December 29, 2011

Per Kirkeby.

Untitled, 1984, Oil on Canvas.
The Ludwig Collection, Cologne, Germany.
Per Kirkeby (born Copenhagen, September 1, 1938) is a Danish painter, poet, filmmaker and sculptor.

December 21, 2011

A.R. PENCK, Ich in Deutschland (West), 1984, Dispersionsfarbe auf Nessel, 600 x 1200 cm

Penck's vision of life in the West.

A.R. PENCK, Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas, 19.69 x 39.37 feet

"Centre stage is a work that Penck painted non-stop in 35 hours. This was prompted by the legendary overview exhibition "von hier aus" which took place in 1984 in Düsseldorf. After-wards it arrived at Museum Ludwig, where it could only rarely be shown on account of its size, which is [almost 20 by 40 feet]. Ich in Deutschland (West) [me in Germany (West)] is the name of this monument from the period shortly after the artist moved to West Ger-many. "I'd been spat out by the East but not yet gobbled up by the West", as he wrote at the time. But the piece is not simply about a society, it's about a whole culture and existing in it, about sex and power, politics and church, life and death - aspects that he joins up with great daring.

It is accompanied by four paintings (Standart - Prä - Standart) [Standard - Pre - Standard] from the nineties and ten less-known felt sculptures from the eighties. The later are conceived of as science-fiction machines, yet they don't look at all angular or technological, but soft and round instead. 

Penck has remained true to himself, his reduction does not constrain anything but follows the gaze of the feeling, suffering, joyous person who is beyond all ideol-ogy."

excerpted from the Museum Ludwig announcement (click here).

A.R. PENCK, Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas, 19.69 x 39.37 feet

A.R. PENCK, (detail) Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas

A.R. PENCK, (detail) Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas

A.R. PENCK, (detail) Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas

A.R. PENCK, (detail) Me in Germany (West), 1984, Emulsion paint on canvas

December 6, 2011


Cosima von Bonin’s (*1962) exhibition at the Museum Ludwig is the final chapter of an exhibition series connecting four European cities. Conceived as a work in progress – similar yet totally different in each location -, the cycle began in Rotterdam, continued to unfold in Bristol and then in Geneva.

The cycle ends with a big bang where it all began: in Cologne, the artist’s home base. Cologne thus forms the final “loop” in this circular exhibition concept, as indicated in its title. Lazy Susan is a colloquial term referring to a rotating platter centrally placed on a dining table – and particularly common in Chinese Restaurants – enabling easy access to different dishes. The choice of a household accessory that bears a female name is no coincidence. Just as significant is the idea of laziness, a recurring motif in Cosima von Bonin’s work. 

Installation of Cosima von Bonin's CUT! CUT! CUT! at Museum Ludwig, Oct. 2011

The central new piece of the LAZY SUSAN SERIES, AMATEUR DRAMATICS (2010), was co-produced by the participating institutions and takes the form of the eponymous Lazy Susan: a large rotating disc that looks like a mix between carousel and presentation platform. The artist placed various previously created works from her repertoire on the disc, including the PURPLE SLOTH RABBIT (2010) – a large reclining rabbit figure with the word SLOTH embroidered underneath its feet. With irony and provocation, Cosima von Bonin thus makes laziness – simultaneously a vice and a dream in today’s times in which every minute counts – the leitmotif of an exhibition cycle that has more to do with manic production and hyperactivity than with idleness and indolence.

For the Museum Ludwig’s vast skylight gallery, Bonin created a spectacular installation that is simultaneously a clever exhibition design. Six oversized tables ranging in height from 2.7 to 5.4 meters fill the space and offer various presentation levels, with the table surfaces as well as the space beneath used for display. Here, the artist actively incorporates the special features of this high-ceilinged hall with its suspended gallery into her work, offering the visitor a completely new and unaccustomed viewing perspective. 

Installation of Cosima von Bonin's CUT! CUT! CUT! at Museum Ludwig, Oct. 2011

Across five rooms and various media settings, the exhibition continues to unfold outside the south entrance of the museum, with the monumental TAGEDIEB (2010) a long-nosed – and hence obviously dishonest – Pinocchio sitting on a towering umpire’s chair, acting as both sculpture and streetlight. 

Altogether, the exhibition unites over 70 works, among them numerous new productions and a few rarely exhibited pieces from private Cologne-based collections.  Cosima von Bonin does not focus exclusively on a specific technique or style. 

Installation of Cosima von Bonin's CUT! CUT! CUT! at Museum Ludwig, Oct. 2011
However, she often privileges soft materials and embroidered textiles, which not only summon associations with stereotypical female pastimes, but also express the apparent lassitude of her cast of characters. The artist picks up on a host of references and associations – from Kippenberger to Disney – and mixes them all together, reminiscent of a DJ’s sampling technique.* 

Cosima von Bonin is represented by Friedrich Petzel in New York and Galerie Buchholz in Cologne.
(*the Museum Ludwig Press Release)

December 2, 2011

Let's Active

from Winston-Salem NC
Let's Active
Mitch Easter (vocals/guitar), Faye Hunter (bass), and Sara Romweber (drums)

Waters Part.
from the LP Cypress (1984).
Released on I.R.S. Records.

November 22, 2011

Hannah Höch

Hannah Höch, Siebenmeilenstiefel, ca. 1934

Hannah Höch (November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.

Her most exciting work during the 1920s must surely be the ambitious “From the Ethnographic Museum” series (Abduction above), 17 montages that constitute an epic foray into the notion of Lebensraum (colonial expansion), “primitive” cultures and “underdeveloped” (i.e. inferior) peoples, and female alienation. The series is remarkable for its thematic coherence, elegant visual impact, and technical virtuosity.

“From the Ethnographic Museum” was visually influenced by the newly-redone tribal art displays in the Ethnological Museum. A predominant number of snippets Höch used came from a single issue of Querschnittmagazine entirely devoted to the displays. Each delicately reconstituted object in the series is showcased on its own pedestal, thus reflecting the idealization (and trivialization) of “primitive” artifacts by “developed” nations.

Abduction represents the type of complexity at work in the seemingly-simple images of the series. The female face may be a stand in for Höch. In any case, one might read this image any number of ways—the nobility of “primitive” culture, civilization being carried away by tribal culture, the subjugation of the female identity.

The 1920s were a particularly fruitful decade for Höch, as she explored new emotional and thematic territory. Curiously, however, she exhibited virtually not at all publicly during this period. Nontheless, by the end of the 1920s, photomontage had become an accepted medium, and Höch was gaining public recognition for her work.

Hannah Hoch's work is included in the show "The Other Side of the Moon" at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dusseldorf, click here to learn more about the artists who made major contributions to the aesthetic renewal of Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.

November 9, 2011

Maria Lassnig

Tatkraftige Assistenz  (Energetic Assistant), 1989, oil on canvas, in the collection of the Ludwig Museum, Cologne
Maria Lassnig (born 1919) is an avant-garde pioneer who has produced fresh and vibrant work for 60 years. She has remained independent from many art historical movements and yet her work has consistently engaged with successive generations of artists. For much of her career, Lassnig was celebrated mainly in Austria and Germany, but the significance of her work has now been recognized through exhibitions worldwide.

Lassnig's bold and visceral paintings reject the static tendencies of traditional portraiture. She coined the phrase body-awareness paintings to describe a visual language that she invented to depict the invisible aspects of inner sensation painting the body from the inside out. She frequently uses her own image as a means of exploring and representing human experience. This exhibition, her first solo museum presentation in the United States, focuses primarily on the extraordinary paintings produced over the past five years, including self-portraits, semi-abstract figurations and works from a series of paintings of couples.

Lassnig trained at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and then spent several years in Paris in the 1950s and 60s, where she was exposed to Surrealism and Art Informel, a European counterpart to Abstract Expressionism. From 1968 to 1980, she lived in New York, where she made a series of inventive animations, several of which are included in this exhibition. Drawing on some of the same themes and subjects as her paintings, the narratives make astute observations of the complexities of male-female relationships and present her experience of being both a woman and an artist. She returned to film-making in 1992, producing Kantate, her most celebrated film, which presents her life story in a 14-verse song, performed by the artist.

Zweifel (Doubts), 2004-2005, Oil on canvas, 207 x 150 cm / 81 1/2 x 59 in

In 1980, Lassnig was invited back to Vienna to become the first female professor of painting in a German-speaking country at the Academy of Applied Arts and her work received wider recognition at an international level when she represented Austria in the 39th Venice Biennale that same year and participated in Documenta 7, Kassel, in 1982. Since then, Lassnig has had numerous solo exhibitions, including: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1994; Muse national dArt moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1995; Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna, 1999; and Kunsthaus, Zurich, 2003, as well as many commercial gallery exhibitions. Her work was recently featured in the major American touring survey Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2007 and was included in the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, 2008, Life on Mars.
excerpted from a CAC press release (click here for more info)

Die Sinne (The senses), 1996, Oil on canvas, 205 x 155 cm / 80 3/4 x 61 in

November 2, 2011

Rosemarie Trockel

Rosemarie Trockel (born November 13, 1952 in SchwerteGermany) is a German Artist, and an important figure in the international contemporary art movement.  

From 1970–1978, Two contemporary concerns, particularly women and their place in the art world. Her work challenged concepts of sexualityculture, and artistic production. In the eighties she had important Solo-Shows in the USA e.g. at the MoMA, New York.  Trockel's "knitting pictures", produced in 1985, consist of lengths of machine-knitted, woollen material stretched on to frames.  The material is patterned with computer-generated geometrical motifs, or with recognizable logos, such as the hammer and sickle motif of the Soviet Union superimposed on a background of red and white stripes reminiscent of the US flag

Four Corners, 2008, wool (yellow-orange), wood, painted, 96 x 296 cm
Another of Trockel's pieces consists of a steel cube fitted with six hot plates in two parallel, diagonal lines, meant to establish a bridge between the feminine domain of cooking and the masculine domain of industrial production. Aside from the knitted, patterned logos she made, she also made a series of pictures of webs spiders had made and their effects if taken lsd, hashish, or mescaline. She says it depicts their loneliness and their weak figures, because their webs would not be strong enough to catch prey to survive. They would eventually die. These spider web series can be seen at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, NY.

Untitled from What it is like to be what you are not..., 1993,
One photogravure from a portfolio of eight photogravures and one photolithograph and one screenprint, composition: 14 15/16 x 11 7/16" (38 x 29 cm); sheet: 22 5/8 x 17 1/2" (57.5 x 44.5 cm). Publisher: Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition,
Hamburg. Printer: Niels Borch Jensen, Copenhagen. Edition: 9.

Pot, 2006, ceramics, platinum glazed, 58.5 x 66 x 62 cm

OH MYSTERY GIRL 8, 2006, mixed media, 67.5 x 57 x 3.8 cm

Untitled (AMACA, RED-WHITE), 2000, wool, linen, 40 x 195 x 125 cm

Trockel's Painting Machine and 56 Brush Strokes is a mechanical contraption of wires and steel rollers, in which 56 paint brushes make small marks on a roll of paper. The brushes are made of human hair and are engraved with the names of the hair's donors as like Cindy Sherman and Georg Baselitz.
In 1995, Trockel created the Memorial Frankfurter Engel in Frankfurt am MainGermany

She is represented by Sprüth MagersBerlin London.
She lives and works in Cologne, and teaches at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Untitled, 1986, ink on lined notebook paper, 8 1/8 x 5 3/4"

October 24, 2011


Kunsthalle Dusseldorf
22.Oktober 2011 - 15. Januar 2010

Starbanner for Kunsthalle Dusseldorf Facade, 2011, spray-paint + gel medium + collage on plastic, 140 x 207 inches (left), and Orange Construction Painting, 2006, oil + spray paint on plastic mesh, 51 x 42 x 4 inches (right).
Starbanner for Kunsthalle Dusseldorf Facade, 2011, spray-paint + gel medium + collage on plastic, 140 x 207 inches

Bedford Boogie-Woogie, 2001, enamel + spray paint on yellow vinyl, 118 x 143 inches. Installed on the outside of the KD.

Joseph Beuys' stovepipe from 1971 with The Last Optical Illusion of 2008, 2008, oil + spray-paint on canvas, 50 x 36 x 5 inches (right) on the facade of the Kunsthalle.

Water (7x7), 1999-2000, acrylic on canvas, 118 x 143 inches (left), Staring into the Sun, 2011, oil on canvas, 429 x 118 inches (right)

Staring into the Sun, 2011, oil on canvas, 429 x 118 inches (left), Big Glitter Painting, 2009-10, mixed media on canvas, 135 x 108.25 inches (middle), Ain't It Funky, 2003-10, mixed media on canvas, 135 x 114 inches (right)

Monkeys, 2008, oil + collage on canvas, 54 x 49 inches
The Secret Melancholy of Karlheinz Stockhausen 2008-2009 in foreground, oil and spray-paint, 20 x 14 inches

Monkeys (left) and Untitled , 1989, oil + acrylic gel + aluminum foil on canvas, 129 x 95 inches (right)
reverse side of Untitled, 1989
Psilocybe, 1980-1981, oil on canvas, 17 x 13 inches
0-1234567, 1986-1996, oil and collage on canvas, 18 x 16 inches

Motown Music and the Astral Plane, 2007-2008, mixed media + oil + collage on canvas, 48 x 38 inches

1234567...., 1987-1995, oil and roof cement on canvas, 18 x 15 inches

The Valley, 2005, acrylic gel + oil + collage on cardboard, 25 x 18 inches

The Valley (left), Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, 1988-97, oil + collage + latex on canvas, 14 x 12 inches (upper right), and Untitled, 2003-05, oil + collage + acrylic gel on canvas, 11 x 14 inches (lower right)

I Am Not..., 1988, oil + collage + glitter on canvas, 25 x 22 inches

What is Here..., 1990-1992, oil + smoke on plasterboard, 16 x 17 inches (left), I Am Not...1988 (upper right), and 1-21..., 1986-1995, oil on canvas, 16 x 14 inches (lower right)
Long Lake, 2000, oil on canvas, three panels, each: 118 x 143 inches
Long Lake, 2000, oil on canvas, three panels, each: 118 x 143 inches (right)
King and Queen Couple, 1997, acrylic on canvas, 129 x 160 inches
Here (s/w), 1995-96, acrylic on canvas, 129 x 143 inches
Chris Martin is represented by