Ulrich Haug's works are image and object. They are plan and rectangular - thus reminiscent of the contours of paintings. At the same time, they unfold an object-like and sculptural presence in space.
Panels and blocks of wax and concrete - these are the first impressions of the materials with which Ulrich Haug works and which could not be more different in their expression. What they have in common is the transformation from their warm, liquid to their cooled, solid state. Taking a deeper look reveals a wealth of raw substances: paraffin wax, honey combs from the unusual and patient communal work with bees, wood and charcoal, stones, bricks, wall plaster, bitumen, patinated lead armour, rusty wire, worn ropes, old photos and word fragments on letter paper, pigments in sky blue or umbra, inks, burnt, pulped and torn items.
These objects and materials are taken from their original contexts, modified, and re-assembled by the consciousness of the artist. They speak for themselves; they enchant and send out new signals. Once discovered, the secrets want to be revealed. They are legacies of mankind, who leaves traces of his way of life all over the place, which are then "preserved" for eternity.
And yet Haug reduces the variety of materials to the bare essentials; his medium is simple and original. The colours of grey and white are penetrated by a few dark bars or streaks of colour; the strict horizontal and vertical images are set against confusing knots. The barely perceptible waves make the wax surfaces form delicate modulations, anchored to wood grains of concrete or bordered by fragments of brick. The soft materiality of the wax seems to transfer to the other substances, which acquire a graceful weightlessness.
Frosted paraffin windows let light shine through, allow insights, but prevent direct contact with the embedded relics and reliquaries. Layer by layer, these "memories" become ever more faded. Just like the memory, the colours and contours also become ever less distinct. The wax seals and muddies the perception but has exactly the opposite effect: the view of what lies underneath is sharpened and the urge to explore and discover increases. When looking in, the viewer is tangibly confronted by objects from daily life, which - like the observer himself - are related to one another or torn apart.
Ulrich Haug's art is full of deep sincerity and is guided by the intention to internalise the person as to who he or she really is and to make him or her aware of their impermanence - like a modern vanitas still life.
His works combine tenderness and strength. They are quiet and meditative and yet invoke loud memories. They are transparent and profound, floating and, at the same time, heavy and have the effect of strangely familiar stone slabs, weathered house facades or precious treasure boxes.
They are not urgent works. Time and patience are immanent. They encourage the viewer to search and yet allow him to find himself, much in the spirit of the Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tse: “Deep calm is movement in itself".
Betha Maier-Kraushaar – Gallery Owner, Stuttgart