“Surface: die Posie des Materials” displays the work of Korean artist Chun Kwang Young (*1944) in Germany for the first time. Chun, whose artistic roots lie in abstract painting, critically tackles the expectations of traditional western painting. To do this, he uses antiquarian mulberry paper (Hanji) from Korea as the means to eliminate the conventional forms of painting. Since 1994, instead of working with a brush and paints, he has brought “aggregation” into his work: thousands of small, pyramid-shaped objects on the canvas, which are encased in mulberry paper printed with Korean and Chinese written characters. Because of the monochrome colouring and geometric image format, Chun’s works are assigned to the traditions of Minimalism and Colour Field Painting. However, the exhibition in the Kunstwerk museum hopes not to locate the works by the Korean artist explicitly in the context of Euro-American art history but rather to stimulate consideration of these through their juxtaposition with works by artists Gotthard Graubner and Anselm Kiefer.


Whereas Chun has consistently dedicated himself to mulberry paper as his artistic medium, Gotthard Graubner (*1930) uses paint, the ancient, traditional medium of artistic material in all it attributes and colour effects. His so-called Cushion Pictures produce a sensual and graphic effect through multiple paint application on different fabrics. Unlike Graubner’s self-referential approach, the materials – lead, concrete, human hair and dried plants – in Anselm Kiefer’s (* 1945) epic works are a reference to historical and mythological subjects, memory and recollection.

The exhibition is supplemented with Young Perspectives from the Alison and Peter W. Klein Collection. Included here: Nicole Bianchet, Chiharu Shiota, Tabaimo and Monika Thiele.