Painting electronically, capturing movement in a new way, abstract experiments with light, manipulation of images from the mass media: The Kunsthalle Bremen has an outstanding collection of media art from the 1960s to the presence. These include the seminal work Writing through the Essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience‘, 1985/91 by John Cage or the installation Room for one colour and windy corner by Olafur Eliasson, 1998 and Diana Thater’s Dolphins, 1999. Numerous works by the father of media art, Nam June Paik, including the Video-Synthesizer, 1969/92 or Three Camera Participation Video, 1969/2001, demonstrate the importance of the collection.
This comprehensive exhibition presents a survey of the rich collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen and art’s exploration of film, video and electronic media since the 1960s – from early one-channel videos to total sensual experiences in immersive installations. The exhibition includes the early Back Gate Cologne by Otto Piene and Aldo Tambellini from 1968, works by the artists Peter Roehr, Wolf Vostell, Peter Campus, Jan Dibbets, Gary Hill and Manfred Mohr as well as contemporary positions by artists William Kentridge, Jean-François Guiton, Mariko Mori, Simon Starling and Pipilotti Rist.
Fig.: Diana Thater, Dolphins (Detail), 1999, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Photo: Roman Mensing
In the history of 20th century German art, Franz Radziwill (1895 1983) is considered to be a lone wolf. His work is highly distinctive. This exhibition will explore for the first time his relationship to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen: he spent the formative years of his childhood and youth in Bremen, a fact that left its mark throughout his entire œuvre.
During his lifetime, Radziwill captured on paper and canvas typical places, distinctive buildings and important events of his native city. With around forty works dating from 1910 to 1960 the exhibition traces his development from early Expressionist works and masterpieces of New Objectivity and Magic Realism to the fantastical inventions of his mature œuvre. At the same time, the show provides an exciting look at the history of Bremen – with depictions of the Walle water tower, the gasometer with the red and white pattern of the Bremen flag, and the Bremen express steam boat as symbols of Hanseatic success.
Even as a young man Radziwill had contact with the Kunsthalle Bremen, exhibiting there in 1919. In a final act, he cemented his relationship to the museum by donating a painting in 1982.
Fig.: Franz Radziwill, The Colourful Gasometer, 1960, oil on canvas, 99 x 109 cm, E.ON Art Collection, Essen / Photo: Maurice Cox, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
On the occassion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), the Kunsthalle Bremen presents masterpieces from its excellent collection by the French sculptor. These include Rodin's radically reastistic figure of John the Baptist (1878-1880) and the smaller cast of three figures from his famous sculpture The Burghers of Calais (1889), which, like the figure of John, were commissioned directly from the artist by the Kunstverein Bremen. Rodin's figures will be joined by contemporary photographs by Candida Höfer (*1944): For her 2000 cycle Douze-Twelve, she photographed all twelve casts of Rodin's The Burghers of Calais at their place of installations around the world.
The exhibition is part of an international series of events and presentations on the life and work of Rodin. The Musée Rodin is publishing all events around the world celebrating Rodin as the pioneer of Modern Art on its online plattform rodin100.org
Culture Partner: Arte TV
Fig.: Auguste Rodin, John the Baptist, 1878-80, bronze, 2 x 0,82 x 1,14 m, © Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen / Photo: Lars Lohrisch
This exhibition presents outstanding French prints from 1650 to 1715, an era in which the magnificence of Absolutism reached its climax. During the reign of Louis XIV, a principal task of the fine arts was to spread the glory and splendour of the Sun King as a statesman, general and patron far beyond the borders of his own country. Prints were especially suited to this purpose. They were easy to transport; they could be produced in great numbers; they were sold individually or sumptuously bound together, and they could unequivocally serve political aspriations. Engravings after paintings in the King’s collections, views of his palaces, and images of his military victories advanced them to highly respected prestige objects.
In 1660, Louis XIV freed engravers from the restrictions of the guild system and elevated them to the rank of free artists. In 1663 they were allowed to enter the Royal Academy, which provided standardized training and thereby ensured an extraodinarily high level of technical skills. The precision and inventiveness of engravers such as Gérard Edelinck, Robert Nanteuil, Pierre Drevet and Jean Audran, who used subtle graduated tonality, sophisticated lighting, and eleborately worked surfaces, contributed significantly to forming a French style that set the standard for later printmaking.
The engraver Anton Würth (*1957), who has explored the aesthetic quality of 17th century French engravings in depth, has been invited to make a guest contribution.
Fig.: Gérard Edelinck (1640–1707), The Battle of Anghiari, after a sketch by Peter Paul Rubens, after the lost fresco by Leonardo da Vinci, etching, 50 x 64 cm, © Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen / Photo: Karen Blindow
Sarah Morris, Jardim Botânico [Rio], 2013 (Detail), 59,81 m x 4,07 m
© Sarah Morris
The American artist and filmmaker Sarah Morris (* 1967) has created a monumental, panoramic mural for the central entrance hall of the Kunsthalle Bremen. Jardim Botânico [Rio] (“Botanical Garden”) is related to the artist’s new series of works entitled Rio but also reacts to the architecture of the museum. The spectacular installation combines luminous colours and abstract grid structures with rectangular and curved forms to form a spectacular environment. The numerous layers of brilliant pigments and
household enamels give rise to visual rhythms as well as to tactile, almost relief-like structures.
Morris works in the tradition of geometrical painting of modernism as well as of the 1960s with marked references to the oeuvre of Piet Mondrian, the American color field painters, Op Art and Victor Vasarely. She continues this tradition creatively into the future and instils new life into a reduced formal language through her dynamic, intensively colourful compositions. But with the shiny colours of her striking paintings and murals the artist also reflects critically on the illusionary world of Hollywood film and the surface aesthetics of glossy magazines, fashion and advertising.
The exhibition has been realised with the generous support of the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art in the Kunstverein Bremen and the Bremer Landesbank.