Andreas Hofer’s towering phantasms

Andreas Hofer is s German-born artist that specializes in nightmares. Unlike much of the spooky-cute stuff on the art scene today, Hofer’s bizarre work actually makes me uncomfortable the way I wish more art could.

While Hofer works with all types of media, of particular interest to me are his sculptures. Almost toy-like, their scale exaggerated and subject matter not without humor, they are remarkably imposing and unsettling. So much so that I’m tempted to actually pinch myself to ensure lucidity.

Part of “Reich”, Acrystal, silicone, 2006

Most perfectly innocent objects can be terrifying when magnified, but Andreas’ strongpoint is twisting recognizable imagery in simple, potent ways that make the viewer cringe. He distorts things as nightmares would. This doesn’t seem to curb my desire to have his various beasts guarding my future compound – their design is just that appealing!

Many thanks to Jerem for the tip. Click below for more from Andreas Hofer.

10 Responses to “Andreas Hofer’s towering phantasms”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I’m glad to see Andreas being featured here. He doesn’t get nearly enough coverage. He was always my favourite represented artist when I worked at Hauser & Wirth. He’s currently exhibiting at their Zurich branch – for those interested in seeing his works live.

    It’s sad that so many (mostly German) gallerists still don’t understand his potential and the grotesque humour behind his rather crypto-totalitarian Teutonic aesthetics.

    I can really recommend reading his monography “This Island Earth” – published by – great suprise – Steidl Hauser & Wirth. :)

    Chapeau for featuring him!

  2. the daniel Says:

    Not sure i see the ‘crypto-‘ in his totalitarian aesthetics, Suzanne. But yeah, this is great stuff, Thanks for the write-up, Zoe, now I’m afraid to sleep.

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Suzanne, sadly only his 2-d work is being exhibited at the current Zurich show from what I’ve gathered – I dig it as well, but the sculptures resonate with me the most.

    Daniel – agreed, I wouldn’t call these subtle, no.

  4. Suzanne Says:

    Not the above works, of course. They’re far from subtle – after all, they contain a lot of 3rd Reich symbols.

    I was referring to his oeuvre overall – which is massive. His sculptures are just a very tiny aspect of it, even though they’re nevertheless impressive,

    However, I consider his painted and collaged works and his dark comic fantasies far more important to understand where he’s coming from. The Zurich exhibition reflects this and is definitely worth checking out when in Zurich.

  5. Suzanne Says:

    @Zoetica: The exhibition in Zurich is as 3-D as it gets, btw. It’s the “Phantom Gallery” and you’ll get to see what it promises – if that’s what you want to see. :)

    Most people say they saw “nothing but shadows on the walls”, others see dust, others walls where they expect open space, and there are some that see all that Hofer has ever created condensed in an atom.

    Maybe it’s even a 4-D exhibition because time has never been presented better.

  6. Zoetica Says:

    @Suzanne: Wow – that looks fantastic.
    I was half-thinking of this past show in NYC – completely different one [and one that had the sculptures in it anyhow – the source I got the link from sites it incorrectly as an upcoming show]! The phantom exhibit appears to be wonderful, yes!
    Certainly raises the question of whether it’s been long enough since my last trip to Europe to justify another.

  7. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Doing my part. :)

  8. Suzanne Says:

    Hmm.. you only have one week left to make up your mind. It closes 8 March, methinks.

    But at any rate, I do believe that the European continent needs you, Mademoiselle Zoe. You should come here and live somewhere in a hidden forest in the Provence and secretly clone an army of Zoebots®, now that I’m moving to England to assimilate the British.

    Because only then will we be able to prepare this planet for the Plutonian Invasion.

    (Errm.. yes.. I should have just stayed in bed today.. o_O)

  9. Paul Komoda Says:

    Absolutely love these sculptures! They’re so beautifully wrong in all the right places.
    The “Reich” Baltans threw me into paroxysms of glee.
    Thanks Jerem and Zoe for bringing Hofer’s work to my attention!

  10. Robert Andreas Hofer,III Says:

    I was just looking up relatives in Austria and stumbled upon this site, happily.
    -Rob Hofer