The series of paintings of Elfenbeintürme (Ivory Towers) are based on objects from the collection of Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), Dresden. They show precious ivory items that had no other function then to show the immense craftmanship of the artisans that made them, including the reigning duke himself. They can be regarded as very early examples of formalistic (“non-figurative, abstract”) art-pour-l’art pieces made to sadisfy the exquisite taste of their aristocratic owners – at the very beginning of what was to become the modern art world, with institutions like museums and art lovers that are collectors. This might be the reason why we refer today to artists, writers or theoreticians that have lost touch with normal life as “living in an ivory tower”.
On their back side, the canvas of the paintings is stiffenend by glued-on newspaper clippings. The a-temporal and the contemporary meet. Ivory towers are part of history – of the history of art making as well as the transformation of art items into precious, useless, beautiful “ivory towers”.