Play / Stop

28th July — 30th September 2007

wie es ist (how it is)

Holger Bunk, Milan Kunc, Silke Leverkühne, Andreas Schulze
Paintings from the early 1980s to the present day

wie es ist (how it is) presents four monographical spaces showcasing a selection of works from
the 1980s through to the present day. The four artists featured here—Holger Bunk (*1954), Milan Kunc (*1944), Silke Leverkühne (*1953) and Andreas Schulze (*1955)—all studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the 1970s and early 1980s. During a period in which artistic and socio-political transition manifested itself on several different levels—punk, new wave and various protest groups such as
environmentalism the peace movement and the anti-nuclear lobby—and one in which neo-expressionist painting was flourishing, Bunk, Kunc, Leverkühne and Schulze developed highly individualistic positions quite independently of one another. Unlike the widespread trend of the time, they eschewed the rapid, expressive gesture, placing instead conceptual and art historical references at the forefront of their considerations. The exhibition realised on the basis of a selection of works and in co-operation with the curator Susanne Rennert, clearly exemplifies different phases of production resulting from the continual development of compositional motifs over the years.
Milan Kunc presents the viewer with provocative pictorial concepts, which have long since become reality today in the scope of their social and political vision. His compositions, carried out in the virtuoso manner of an old-master yet switching style and mode of expression at will, are dedicated to the great themes in art and human existence: Eros and arcadia, war and catastrophe, capitalism, communism and zeitgeist are all given ironic treatment here. Silke Leverkühne's compositions on the other hand appear unspectacular and somewhat distanced by comparison to Kunc's dramatic works. They succeed in capturing and holding the specific auras of people and things in those places that are normally overlooked, namely in everyday life. Leverkühne's precise observations of the immediate environment invite one to reflect upon the condition of her
medium, rendering the painting process and technique (egg tempera on coarse jute or canvas) to the subject of a style of painting about painting, which, as in the case of Bunk, Kunc and Schulze, internalizes art history most masterfully. Holger Bunk also focuses centrally upon the individual in his personal and social context. In compositions revolving variously around the perpetual search for the »Where
am I?« (Bunk), the artist places his alter ego in ambiguous spaces that might equally represent real architecture as well as a complex, psychological interior space. Whereas most of his protagonists perform upon a stage, Andreas Schulze's pictorial space—frequently closed interiors or corners of rooms that seem to extend the compositional process into actual space—is devoid of human forms.
And yet his compositional inventory drawn from the context of living, design, furniture and modern art undergoes an amazing transformation. The two-part, large-format standard tableaux render both the familiar and usual somehow alien, as though Andreas Schulze were looking at the world through a pair of special glasses that create a distance between us and things.
An exhibition by Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in co-operation with Susanne Rennert. A catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be published by the DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Cologne.

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