Martin Honert Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Martin Honert
Riesen (Giants) detail


Styrodur, polyurethane rubber, wool, clothing, leather

300 x 100 x 80 cm
Martin Honert’s meticulously rendered sculpture Riesen (2007) is inspired by memories of his childhood. "Childhood is a theme for me because I think it’s important to discover what’s way past but still in the memory as an image."

His large-scale human figures manage to capture a vivid immediacy and sense of wonder achieved by recreating the world from a child’s point of view. Instead of looking back from an adult’s nostalgic perspective, the artist bases his works on family photographs and illustrations from schoolbooks, as well as his own childhood drawings, using scale and illusion to "save an image before it dies within me".

A feeling of being afraid in a huge and empty exhibition space originally inspired Honert to make his oversized figures entitled Riesen (which translates as ‘trek’ or ’journey’). The sculpture is composed of two bearded men, dressed in ordinary, contemporary clothing. The fact that they are each 2.72 metres high is not entirely fantastical or arbitrary; Honert took this specific measurement from the tallest man of the 20th century, an acromegalic American named Robert Wadlow.

The figures wear backpacks, trekking boots and hoodies; their clothes bear marks of wear and dirt, and one of them holds a walking staff. But despite their unremarkable appearance, and their conventional realism, something about their purpose remains unexplained to the viewer.

Like Cyclops-sized giants that have strayed into the gallery, they could be updated mythical wandering characters from a fairytale set in the wilderness, or social outsiders, fearsomely fending for their own survival.

Martin Honert's Biography

Martin Honert
Born in 1953 in Bottrop, Germany
Lives and works in Düsseldorf


Comma21: Martin Honert, Bloomberg Space, London

Martin Honert: Schlafsaal, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden

Martin Honert, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

Under Cover—aus dem Verborgenen: Berlinde de Bruyckere and Martin Honert, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Martin Honert, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Christliche Kunst, Munich
Konrad-von-Soest-Preis 2004, Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster

Martin Honert, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Kunstverein Hannover, Germany

Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne

Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden
Martin Honert: Mutprobe (Test of Courage), Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Albertinum, Dresden

Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Martin Honert, Galerie Gebruder Lehmann, Dresden, Germany

Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne

Martin Honert: Fata Morgana, Museu d´Art Contemporani, Barcelona

Zuspiel: Martin Honert and Stefan Hoderlein, Kunstverein, Stuttgart
Martin Honert: Fliegende Klassenzimmer (The Flying Classroom), Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

Martin Honert: Fliegende Klassenzimmer (The Flying Classroom), Venice Biennale, German Pavilion (with Katharina Fritsch and Thomas Ruff)

Martin Honert, École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Bourges, France

Martin Honert, Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan

Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich
Peter Mertes Stipendium, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn

Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne

Galerie Johnen & Schöttle (with Elke Denda), Cologne; Traveled to
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich


The Shape of Things To Come: New Sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London
Dwelling, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Jeff Wall: The Crooked Path, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium

The Promised Land, Albertinum, Dresden
New Work: Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Honert, Charles Ray, Terry Winters, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

5 x 5 CASTELLÓ 09, Espai D'Art Contemporani De Castelló, Castelló, Spain

Summer Exhibition 2007, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Very Early Pictures, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles. Traveled to Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glendale
Elements of Nature, La Cité de l'énergie, Shawinigan, Québec
Elbowroom, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

Animations, Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany
Durchgehend geoffnet, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Keep on looking, Kunst Haus Dresden, Städtische Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, Dresden
Kunsthalle Mannheim

Fama: Vier Positionen zeitgenössischer Skulptur in Dresden / Fama: Four Perspectives on Contemporary Sculpture in Dresden, Kunst Haus Dresden, Städtische Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, Dresden
Zwischenzeit / Meanwhile, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
Startkapital / Start-up Capital, K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Kunstverein Hannover, Germany
Elke Denda, Martin Honert, Wolfgang Schlegel, Lindig in Paludetto, Kunsthaus Dresden

Monika Brandmeier, Ulrike Grossart, Martin Honert, Carl-Emmanuel Wolff, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
Skulpturenpark Köln, Stiftung Dr. Stoffel
In-Between, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, 100 Drawings and Photographs, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Interventions, Milwaukee Art Museum
Themenpark Human Kind, EXPO 2000, Hannover

Von Beuys bis Cindy Sherman: die Sammlung Lothar Schirmer / From Beuys to Cindy Sherman: The Lothar Schirmer Collection, Kunsthalle
Vergiß den Ball und spiel’ weiter: Das Bild des Kindes in der Zeitgenössischen Kunst / Forget the Ball and Play On: The Image of the Child in Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Germany; Haus der Kunst, Brünn, Germany
ZOOM: Ansichten zur deutschen Gegenwartskunst, Sammlung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg / ZOOM: Views of Contemporary German Art, the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg Collection, Forum und Galerie Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart; Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart; Galerien der Stadt Esslingen, Villa Merkel und Bahnwärterhaus, Esslingen; Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany
Cosmos: from Romanticism to Avant-Garde, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona; Palazzo Grassi, Venice
Szenenwechsel XVI, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
Unsichere Grenzen, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany
Vergiß den Ball und spiel’ weiter - Das Bild des Kindes in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Kunsthalle Nürnberg

Szenenwechsel XII, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

Pro Lidice: 52 Artists from Germany, The Czech Museum of Fine Arts, Prague
Drei Wege zum See, Kunstverein, Klagenfurt, Austria
Szenenwechsel XI, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
Young German Artists 2, Saatchi Gallery, London
The House in the Woods, Center for Contemporary Art, Glasgow

Landvermesser / Surveyors, Mannheimer Kunstverein
Martin Honert, Collier Schorr, Tom Gidley, Entwistle Gallery, London
Fondo, figura y lluvia, Galerie Antoni Estrany, Barcelona
Cabines de Bain, Piscine de La Motta, Fribourg, Switzerland
Elke Denda, Martin Honert. Zwei Editionen, Edition Opitz-Hoffmann, Bonn
Private View. Contemporary British and German Artists, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, United Kingdom
Views from Abroad, European Perspectives on American Art 2, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
En helvetes förvandling - Tysk konst fran Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kulturhuset, Stockholm

Szenenwechsel V, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
Zwei und Zwanzig, Peter Mertes Stipendium 1985-1995, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
Zimmerdenkmäler, Blumenstrasse, Bochum, Germany

Kunsthaus Murzzuschlag/Jahresmuseum, Murzzuschlag, Austria
Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Bourges, Bourges, France
Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne (with Elke Denda, Stefan Hablutzel and Daniel Oates)

Galerie Massimo de Carlo, Milan
Venice Biennale, Aperto, Venice
Menschenwelt (Interieur), Portikus, Frankfurt am Main; Traveled to Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Norwich Gallery, Norfolk Institute of Art and Design, Norfolk, United Kingdom; Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; and Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster Kunstpreis der Bottcherstrasse in Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen

Double Identity, Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne
Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Post Human, Asher Edelman Foundation (FAE), Musée d´art contemporain, Pully/Lausanne, Switzerland; Traveled to Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Renata Preis, Nurenburg; and Elisabeth-Schneider-Stiftung, Freiburg, Switzerland
Qui, quoi, ou? Un regard sur l´art en Allemagne en 1992, Musée d´art moderne de la ville de Paris
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

Art conceptual des annees 79 à aujourd´hui, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Paris
Anni ’90, Galleria Comunale d´Arte Moderna, Bologna/ Cattolica/ Rimini

Carnet de Voyages, Fondation Cartier, Jouy-en-Josas, France

Martin Honert, Katharina Fritsch, and Thomas Ruff, Stichting de Appel, Amsterdam