STFAN SORAVIA Text: Philipp Singer, M.A.





In 1852, Gottfried Semper wrote, nature offers „great diversity in its motifs”. Stefan Soravia matches this great diversity, providing that he does not limit himself to one artistic form of expression. His œuvre is not just made up of one genre, but tip-toes backwards and forwards between special types of painting and drawing, object art, and installation. A powerful variety is the consequence of these intentional leaps between genres. Soravia´s art is deep penetration into a world where organic nature and human culture meet to then open up new perspectives in this area of tension. Nature, its components and its booming, noisy ongoing processes as well as the quietly secret ones are what inspire Soravia in his work. A mighty oak tree trunk violently split by lightning and the sensitive graphic empathy with tree growth drawn on textile are just two examples that impressively demonstrate the breath of this work. It is probably best to describe the artist´s approach as liberating the artistic essence of nature. It is playing aesthetically with wat nature has to show. Choosing a detail and subsequently processing it, sometimes even alienating it. His works of art are an artistic commentary on their natural role model; variations which do not claim to be objective and scientifically accurate, but which represent an interesting mix of precise reproduction and creative interposition. The emphasis on materiality evidently connects all of Soravia´s works of art with each other. Wood, stone, steel, paper, cloth, tar, and wax repeatedly appear as prominent components. Naturally created and synthetic, man-made materials meet head on. As an experimental test setups, different sides of a body are documented via molding and are captivated on picture media. However, the artist´s investigation often does not just remain at the outer shell, but penetrates deeply into the body, revealing its core and opening up what would otherwise remain hidden from the observer. It is a process gaining proximity, a kind of deeper reality which accompanies this journey to the heart of the material. Beginning and ending is the fate of all materials. These processes which occur naturally, and those which are artificially inducted are the ones which Soravia makes visually tangible. He documents metal which gradually starts to rust, or shows how the growth of a tree progresses over many years. 

Soravia´s works of art are often closely associated with specific landscapes and places. They are inspired by their appearance and incorporate material found right there. Regional myths or the alchemy of past eras are also subjects which can be found in some of his works. In his Maxims and Reflections, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: “When Nature begins to reveal her open secret to a man, he feels an irresistible longing for her worthiest interpreter, ART.”  

With his works of art, Stefan Soravia is more than a worth interpreter of nature.


Text:   Philipp Singer, M.A.