Exhibition text

Before the Modern art art was in the service of the representation of man and the world in the sense of nobility and church. The Modern art begins with the autonomous art, which frees itself from this service. Since then, art asks itself the question what it is for and what it represents, thus also what reality is, especially its own reality. If reality is what results from the relations of people to each other and to their environment, then art is also a product of these relations. Art that questions itself makes these relations visible and thus represents a provocation, because it thus reveals the power relations in society and in the art field. At the same time art withdraws from these relations and proves its autonomy. Art as counter-reality questions reality as seemingly fixed relations, dissolves them and considers them in their possibilities. It opens and goes new ways and is thus a practice of freedom.

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Courbet's realism no longer depicts princes, but with the "Stone Knockers" the laborious work as a real foundation of the world that had been suppressed by art until then. Manet's "Olympia" shows a real prostitute instead of an idealized female nude and causes a scandal. Impressionism analyzes the reality of the image as a product of seeing: on closer inspection, the image dissolves into individual dots; at a greater distance, the dots together form recognizable shapes. Cubism exposes pictorial space and the figure as a two-dimensional illusion. Abstraction is, among other things, a product of the realization that what we perceive as reality is nothing compared to what we ourselves can no longer perceive, but which we know is there with the help of science and technology, or are esoterically convinced is there. In Informel, the abstraction of the 50s, it is no longer about the reality in the picture, but the reality of the picture itself as an action of painting and as material i.e. paint and canvas. The new realism, in turn, is neither representation nor design of reality, but shows what reality itself produces.

The work of Jürgen Brodwolf is on the one hand contemporaneous with the new figuration, which turns away from abstraction and back to figuration. Brodwolf, too, was initially an abstract painter, but he had the feeling that he was no longer making progress on this path until he had the inspiration to place the expressed color tube itself as a figure in the picture, thus setting in motion a complex consideration of content and form, figure and ground. In other works, on the other hand, Brodwolf uses used and consumed everyday objects and lets them become stages for his tube figures. Brodwolf thus occupies a middle position between new realism and new figuration.

Kai Schupke


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