It is often only a brief moment that holds something unique: a particular sense, a particular mood that you would like to keep forever. The instant then contains something great. The transient, fleeting nature of the moment experienced attains fundamental and timeless significance.
Sean Scully’s painting Green Pale Light inspired by the landscape of Upper Bavaria is reminiscent of own individual landscape impressions that mean something special. They have a limited, often only short duration. Thus, the mist over the meadows disappears as soon as the sun rises higher. What you then want to retain is not the details of the topography but rather the sound of the whole thing, which is associated with a personal feeling. From here, it is only a small step to the title of the exhibition: ein Moment – ewig (One Moment – Forever). With it, a thought space opens up, which contains a universal human experience, namely the desire to make the experience of a special moment last – at great moments, to be able to keep the fleeting and transient forever.
Those who come into KUNSTWERK and into the exhibition will certainly come with such an experience but also know that it relates not only to the experience of nature but also to encounters with people. Accordingly, the path laid by Sean Scully broadens and also leads to figurative pieces in the collection. In the exhibition, around 50 pieces by 20 artists from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and the USA reflect extraordinary moments of experience in different ways and make them last in pictorial form.
Level 1 |
Moments of Existential Depth: Sean Scully and Dieter Krieg
Internationally, Sean Scully is one of the leading abstract painters of the present day. Since his professorship in Munich in 2002-2007, he has worked not only in his studios in New York, London and Barcelona but also in Mooseurach in Upper Bavaria. This is where the painting Green Pale Light was created. It picks up on the colourful nature of the scenic environment but also captures a special, manifestly melancholic mood at the same time in the consonance of color. Sean Scully condenses the momentary impression in an essential way by translating it into pure painting: in coloured areas arranged horizontally and vertically with open contours, which vibrate softly in the colour tone.
In his image series, Sean Scully pursues a specific, underlying artistic idea and intensifies it by differentiating it. However, he does this not only purely in the abstract interplay of artistic possibilities. As art historian Armin Zweite puts it, Scully is mainly concerned with emotionally charging the intangible fabric of his painting with structure, mood and the application of colour. Each picture is closely linked to a personal experience, an emotional state.
The painting Green Pale Light is part of the Wall of Light picture series, behind which lies the observation of constantly changing appearances of light on a wall. Against this, the arrangement of the coloured areas and strips, which is characteristic of Scully’s pieces, forms other structures in the etchings. In Cut Ground Red, it is marked by the outline of our cultural landscape. Doric is inspired by the culture of ancient Greece.
The existential depth in the pictures of Sean Scully laid a path to Dieter Krieg in the stock of the collection. Having been a professor at the college of art in Düsseldorf for many years, his work is known mainly for large-scale pictures with the powerful application of (often trivial) figurative motifs and writing. The Bilder für die Dämmerung (Pictures for Twilight) from the last phase of his life are set apart from these by the absence of colour, without losing the obsessive power of the work. They are drawn and written in charcoal on paper, glued onto canvas and collaged into the shape of the image frame. They appear like a radical and uncompromising statement, encapsulating the essence of his life’s work.
LEVEL 2 |
Now! Accents of the Momentary
Whereas the combination of Sean Scully and Dieter Krieg on the first floor arises from the similarity of the basic approach of the two artists, a range of works is unfurled on the 2nd floor, which employ the medium of photography or emanate from it in painting.
Edward Burtynsky’s photography of centuries-old rice fields in China picks up again on the theme of the cultural landscape shaped by people but also relates its particular aesthetic to the scope of human interference with nature.
The works by Leipzig artist Christiane Baumgartner are very atmospheric. As she recounts, she was never able to rediscover the exceptional light that she found at the strange scene of a ship graveyard on the River Medway. Placed adjacent to her work is a painting by Udo Nöger that is devoted to the phenomenon of light through painting.
Derelict woodsheds in the countryside of his home in North Carolina painted as fading photographs with ruined surfaces bring together opposite poles such as present and past in the painting of young New York artist Damian Stamer.
Photographic notations of fleeting but special encounters with people in everyday life and on journeys enter the multifaceted image spaces of Eva Wagner, whose work is displayed in an installation on the main wall of the 2nd floor.
With an impression of a bird’s-eye view, Andreas Gefeller offers a view that is both documentary and fictional of a New York flat roof full of graffiti.
The illusion and perception of the “single moment” in photography is finally quashed by Paul Graham in his Street Photography, in which he underlays the three-part image sequence with a specific choreography of everyday life.
Lastly, the temporal extent of a supposed moment is revealed in the photographs of Annette Kelm.
LEVEL 3 AND STAIRWAY |
Sommerbild 16 by Erdmut Bramke opens the tour on the 3rd floor, which carries the subtitle Beyond Reality. With gestural brushwork, concentrating the web of strokes layer by layer, Erdmut Bramke makes the colour space shimmer and thereby conveys a scenic impression in a basic artistic idea that goes beyond reality.
The photographs of Thomas Weinberger literally exaggerate reality, as he combines night and day shots of identical townscapes in one synthesis.
The exhibition concludes with photographic works by Sean Scully, which again seek to retain motifs and moments through the eye of the painter: shacks und corrugated sheet sheds on the Scottish isles of Lewis and Harris or the stratification of beach, sea and sky in the Landline photographic series, which he translates into painting that resonates far into the room in the picture Landline Green White.