"The extraordinariness of Knut Maron's universe does not lie in astonishing forms or new themes. Its profound distinctiveness is not the consequence of breaking through hitherto accepted boundaries of art. Instead it results from a meditative reversion to art itself, from transcending its timeless truths. Knut Maron doesn't shock us, he just sees things differently. His art doesn't participate in modern civilisation's innate urge to advance with technological breakthroughs and revolutionary ambitions. And that's exactly how it evades a last restraint, the desire to serve or adhere to the development of the society around us. […]
Thomas Kemper’s works are built upon 3 cm. deep, matt, small-format Plexiglas blocks. The paint is applied on the front and the raw edges still allow light through. Depending on the source of the light, the painting may appear float freely in front of the wall.
The first impression is of singular images, divided into two groups: the first of monochromatic color fields (or layered monochromatic color fields), the second of liner traces of color on a white background.
These two-dimensional color works are created through the repeated application of thin glazes of paint. They require very little mixing with white as the white of the base coat shining through intensifies the color.
The liner color works emerge out of figurative painting. The study of the model later changed into an observation of body structures. The movements of the body distract from its own structure. The transposition of these movements into a painterly gesture gives way to reproductions of the formal language of these structures. With that, the act of painting is surrendered to the body itself, without the guidance and editorial of sight. Mr. Kemper’s interest lies in the various ways of reading these traces of color, which say much about the interaction of color and the white background, but also record the movements of the body or reproduce fragments of the human form.
In the installation, the individual works form groups, together with the framework of the space itself, embodies a larger, overarching image structure. At this stage of the perception of a larger whole, Mr. Kemper draws up a network of references: the works alone, to the empty space between them, to the room, and to the light in the room.
“Through the way in which Thomas Kemper draws relationships between the individual elements of the greater image, a unique, self-projecting, spatial system in his paintings is established. A room does not need to be prepared for these paintings. Quite the opposite: they create space themselves. The work’s unique, quiet energy not only pulls the viewer into the work itself but also informs the room in which the viewer stands with an impression of a potentially eternal expansion of the installation’s scope.”
From: “Geste und Kontemplation” (“Gesture and Contemplation”), from Andreas Steffens, Opening speech for the exhibition "Neue Arbeiten" (“New Works”), zone B, Berlin, 2007
“In his work Thomas Kemper advances the formal discourse that began with the Avantgarde and continues today on the fundamental topic of what painting is. Beyond the structural aspects, a totality emerges through the figuration of his painterly fragments that fills the color fields with an additional drama. Fragments of a theatrical event rely on the viewer to complete the narrative. Cognition happens in the detail – one that represents a location in relation to many others – that inspires an awareness of the entirety. Only then, perhaps, does the significance emerge.”
From: Thomas Kemper, “Tafelbilder,” Exhibition Catalogue, Korridor-Verlag 1995, TAFEL-BILD / BILD-RAUM, from Stefan Kraus
With her work, “Imbisse”, Antje Dorn places “potatoes,” “beans,” and “lettuce” as headlines on architectural objects in the new Essen gallery, zone E.
“Imbisse” from Antje Dorn, re-scales and reevaluates our relationship to the fundamental conditions of our lives. Paintings of architectural sculptures and models, constructions straight out of the classical Modern, shops, kiosks and bodegas, present a full-format typeface that, with a palpable ease, form the words of staple foods in an aesthetically unorthodox way.
Ms. Dorn works in oil and lacquer on a base built of recycled off-set boards with roofing nails, mounted on wood. She relates the terms ”habitation” and “life” to the lexicon of essential sustenance, placeholders for a world that already exists in fragments, so radical and visionary that it has never before been formulated and depicted.
In the commercial world, the brands that broadcast their logos, emblems, and icons loud and colorfully from buildings and skyscrapers, occupy our entire field of vision and trap us in a chain of narrative associations. “Imbisse” explodes these associations with jovial and confident ease. In this context, the paintings respond to these ever-multiplying messages and thereby develop a new form.
The work revisits basic elements of our daily necessities and brings us back to a reformed set of values and hierarchies– ones that we always took for granted and that the Ms. Dorn now finally paints. The artist also references here the semantics of her earlier achievements in drawing, film, and photography.
The gallery zone E is the newest exhibition space in Essen, the UNESCO-designated 2010 Cultural Capital of the World. Opened in November 2006 and located near the Folkwang Museum, zone E devotes itself entirely to perspectives in contemporary art. The gallery is lit throughout the night allowing passersby a view of the exhibitions around the clock. The paintings will certainly feel very much at home here: the space itself was formerly a snack bar before Dirk Ockhardt transformed it into a space for art. The space will continue as zone E under the direction of Knut Wolfgang Maron, curator, artist, and professor, Hochschule Wismar, and Marc Grümmert, curator and artist.
Inspired by the everyday, Klaus Küster’s works explore the relation between image, reproduction, and reality. In his material-world, fundamental trial-and-errors in light, form, and movement with material, space, and color are contextualized in various mediums (painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography).
Zone E will show four different methods from the photographic explorations of the artist. The camera generates photographs, photograms, chemical-grams and the Luminoplastic Relief (LPR). The first three methods are well known; the latter is a method developed by the artist in the late 70s through which a mechanical treatment of the image carrier (paper, film) before the exposure results in a partially 3-D camera photograph or a 3-D photogram.
In all of his works, Mr. Küster conjures the magic of the immaterial world through his alchemical trials. He strips the material world of the notion of the aura long since given up for lost and returns it to us in an altered form.
A comprehensive retrospective with almost all of Mr. Kuster’s series will open on October 18th, 2007, in the City Gallery of Remscheid.
Klaus Küster was born in 1941 in Remscheid-Lennep. He completed a technical training and later attended evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, and the Werkkunstschule, in Wuppertal. Until 1969 he worked with advertisement agencies as a graphic designer, photographer and art director. Beginning in 1969, he worked as a freelance graphic designer, painter, photographer and set designer. As a graphic designer, Klaus Küster created numerous logos for industrial and commercial enterprises and institutions. A well known example is the “chain” logo for Amnesty International. In the 70s, Mr. Küster was chairman of the BBK in NRW and member of the arts advisory board for the city of Remscheid. He initiated the city’s Gerd Arntz Collection. Since 1998, he has been a member of the gfg – gruppe für gestaltung in Gelsenkirchen with Prof. Rolf Glasmeier. In 1995, Mr. Küster founded his own school for design and the gallery ART&RAT in Remscheid. For the opening of the gallery, in honor of 100 year celebration of radiology (the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen), he presented the exhibition “Durchröntgen” (“Xraying”) with works from 128 international artists. In 1996, Mr. Küster was appointed to the German Work Federation. He has participated in approximately 120 group exhibitions and 30 solo exhibitions. He works are included in numerous public collections. Since 1998, he has been the Director of the City Gallery of Remscheid.