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
Fernando Bryce, who was born in Lima in 1965 and now lives and works in New York, has long been one of South America’s leading contemporary artists. In his group of works he reflects on international and geopolitical events of the twentieth century. He culls archives for print material which he then reproduces using his own slower method of ink-on-paper drawings. He is less interested in reconstructing history than in revealing ideologically-loaded imagery and the power strategies used in print media and films. This exhibition presents his most recent cycle, which explores Bremen’s colonial history and the its colonial revisionist tendencies after 1914.
The exhibiton is made possible by the Supporter’s Circle for Contemporary Art at the Kunstverein Bremen. Since 1971, the Supporter’s Circle has funded one exhibition of contemporary art each year and assists in the acquisition of works of art. The exhibition series has set benchmarks in art: The Gerhard Richter exhibition in 1973 was followedby by presentations of works by Antoni Tàpies, Andy Warhol, Emil Schumacher, Georg Baselitz, Isa Genzken, Anna and Bernhard Blume, Norbert Schwontkowski, William Kentridge, Sarah Morris, Andreas Slominski, Thomas Hirschhorn, and most recently Mary Reid Kelley.
Fig.: Fernando Bryce, To The Civilized World, 2013/14, Detail from a series of 97 drawings, ink on paper, courtesy of the Artist & Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen was a flourishing centre of rapidly growing international trade relations. It benefited both from colonial expansion and from mass overseas emigration. This global interdependence also left its mark on the Kunstverein in Bremen which was founded in 1823; one that has remained unexplored until now. A research and exhibition project sponsored by the Federal Cultural Foundation focuses for the first time on investigating these complex colonial relationships. It links the history of the Kunstverein in Bremen to that of the city’s trading history and examines works by Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emil Nolde and Fritz Behn among others in light of their colonial context. The blind spots which are illuminated as a result explore the depiction and treatment of all things foreign during the colonial period. The exhibition creates a dialog between the Eurocentric view of the Kunsthalle Bremen’s collection and non-European positions in art.
Fig.: Emil Nolde, Head of a Man, 1913/14, watercolour on Japanpaper, 48,2 x 34,7 cm, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen / Photo: Lars Lohrisch, © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Max Beckmann (1884–1950) was fascinated by the world of the theater, the circus and music halls as metaphorical settings for human relationships and world affairs. In his œuvre, one finds numerous paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures which allude directly to these subjects and convey his idea of the world as a stage. This exhibition focuses extensively on the imagery and history of ideas in Beckmann’s “world theater” and illustrates how the painter and author of two hitherto neglected dramas viewed himself as a “theater manager, director, and scene-shifter.” The core of the exhibition is formed by the extensive holdings of the Kunsthalle Bremen, which posseses one of the largest Beckmann collections in Germany including paintings and a nearly complete collection of the artist’s printed works. It is supplemented by loans from major German and international museums and private collections.
The exhibition will be held in cooperation with the new Museum Barberini in Potsdam and will be on display there from 23 February to 10 June 2018.
Fig.: Max Beckmann, Apache Dance, 1938, oil on canvas, 171,50 x 151 cm, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen / Photo: Lars Lohrisch, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
For many decades, the Jürgen Ponto Stiftung has promoted artistic talent in Germany. Since 2011, it directly supports talented artists away from metropolitan centres in a different region each year.
Through this program four artists from Bremen and its surroundings will present their work in the Kunsthalle Bremen. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue. Artists are proposed by then experts from the city and the region. From these applicants, the jury nominates four artists to present their works in the exhibition. Jury members are Prof. Dr. Christoph Grunenberg (Director of the Kunsthalle Bremen), Karin Hollweg (Bremen collector and patroness of young artists) and Ingrid Mössinger (member of the Board of Trustees for the Jürgen Ponto-Stiftung, Director of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz).
Subject to modifications!