___ The thrust of Wolfram Ullrich’s works, be they drawings, wall reliefs or sculptures, is always a virtual or factual spatial presence. They are not always three-dimensional volumes, but they always create the impression that they possess a space of their own. They more or less occupy space. If you hang one of his drawings on a wall, the space occupied may be small. That said, the Islands show just how that space can be expanded. It is, however, interesting that it is not always the scale of a work that decides on whether the piece appears large or not. The Türme and the Orbits show clearly that to generate height, width and depth the pieces themselves need not necessarily possess said properties. In an exhibition space, this captivates the viewer, but is also unsettling. Frequently, you can see viewers there standing next to the works, trying to press themselves flat with the wall in order to ascertain whether the pieces really do stretch into it. Indeed, catalogues on Wolfram Ullrich also take up such an approach by illustrating a piece not from one, but from several angles. Most visitors are astonished to find out how relatively flat the reliefs are. And astonished by the related insight that their idea of the work does not correspond to reality. Scenes such as this highlight the fact that the wall is far more than just a place where a work gets hung. It is rather the condition that art can develop and have an impact.
___ Wolfram Ullrich’s works tend to be presented in spaces that conform to the principle of the White Cube – secluded from the outside world, with an aesthetic centring on reduction and above all white walls. Wolfram Ullrich’s pieces depend on such a clean setting, for in front of white walls his surfaces with their vivid colours best come into their own. In front of white walls, the contrast to their dark edges is maximized. In front of white walls, the interplay of outside and inside, of inside and outside becomes most apparent. The white wall is a firm part of his artistic approach.
___ The white wall itself occupies a large amount of the total exhibition presentation in museums and galleries. For Wolfram Ullrich’s works require space in another regard, too: They come most impressively into their own if only a few of them are hung with much space around them. The white wall in the exhibition setting is not just an absence, but helps the works unleash the desired effect.
Text: Dr. Theres Rohde