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Amalgam (shortened version, 2019), Dr. Ilka Kloten 

Vital – interwoven


A vibrating vitality flows through the sculptural art works of Keiyona Stumpf. Forms burst open, bud, blossom and wither. They embody the creative principle, and sexuality as a driving force of nature that continues to create life again and again.

The artist combines what belongs together in life. She interweaves human body shapes with forms and patterns from the plant and animal kingdoms, and she looks at them from the outside and inside. One might have the impression to see skin, bones, organs, but also leaves, flowers, corals, sea anemones. The individual part is neither to be taken out nor to be defined specifically. Everything is interwoven in a perfect composition, in unique structures. They unfold a kind of beauty that does not stop at the surface but reveals a great profundity.   

In these artifacts the observer can discover the tremendous diversity of nature and see herself or himself as a part of this, of her/his world: If they lose it, they lose themselves! Pristine, beautiful, and at the same time vulnerable nature is Keiyona Stumpf’s theme. One that is more contemporary than ever. She deliberately keeps her elaborate creations in a delicate state – between chaos and order.


Beautiful – irritating


What, at first sight, seems to be symmetrical is by no means the same on both sides. On the contrary: the artist avoids all regularity and perfection. A slight deviation from the ideal makes her art so fascinating. This deviation provides beauty with an individual touch that captures one’s gaze. This “it is, yet it isn’t” is irritating for the spectators, and at the same time motivates them to explore the composition. Are they looking into a body? Into a ribcage, a pelvis or a throat? Does the red color refer to flesh and blood? 

Keiyona Stumpf is fascinated by the human body, its outside and inside. Some of her works get under one’s skin – visually and emotionally. The structures cannot be categorized conclusively but remain deliberately ambivalent and open for associations. Therefore, the art pieces are not just decorative or ornamental but always dynamic, inspiring, even mysterious.


Natural – artificial


Keiyona Stumpf obscures the difference between nature and art, and thus follows a principle embodied by the art chamber.

Since the Renaissance, royals collected naturalia, exotica and artificalia in their courts in a special display room. It provided an integral view of the world, visualized the macrocosm in the microcosm and connected nature and art.

But unlike in the traditional objects of the art chamber, in which natural and artificial shapes are intertwined but still remain distinguishable, in Keiyona Stumpf’s works they merge into one another. There, nature and art become one, virtually melt into one extraordinary amalgam.  

Her lavishly modeled works seem to revive the opulent richness of shapes of Mannerism, Baroque or Rococo: the interior design in castles or the composition of grottos and fountains in royal gardens. The many-layered works of the artist – from the showpiece to the installation that fills up a whole room – speak to all senses, evoke memories and emotions – ranging from shudders to infatuation.


Biomorphic – virtuoso


Keiyona Stumpf’s creations are rooted in the tradition of so-called biomorphic abstraction that was established in the avant-garde of the early 20th century. Its groundbreaking representative, Hans Arp, still influences contemporary art. Like him, Keiyona Stumpf engages intensely with the organizational principles of nature and finds a truly unique position. 

The artist works with moldable materials of different kinds: ceramics, porcelain, or glass. But she also experiments with new materials, which she finds in everyday life: industrial remaining products, paper and plastic – up to bubble gum. In the course of this she uses the reservoir of forms inherent in each material, as well as its momentum. A seemingly uncontrolled growth may thus determine the composition, and out of the trivial something beautiful can evolve!

Keiyona Stumpf is one of those artists who contrast the immaterial, virtual mediums in contemporary art with a new kind of materiality and virtuosity. On the one hand, she masters traditional processing techniques. On the other hand, she develops innovative processes in which she combines different materials in such a way that they do not reveal their origin anymore.


In whichever medium and format Keiyona Stumpf may be working, she always aims to assure herself of the world; an endangered world that wants to be recognized in its vulnerability.

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