until 20.11. | #3178ARTatBerlin | Galerie kajetan Berlin presents from 17 September 2021 in the framework of the inauguration of the new gallery premises in Charlottenburg the exhibtion Erich has just left the building, a group exhibition in memory of the artist Erich Reusch.
With works by: Monika Brandmeier, Marc Goroncy, Werner Haypeter, Ingrid Lønningdal, Norbert Kricke, Erich Reusch, Günter Umberg, Elisabeth Vary, Jan Wawrzyniak
This year, the German sculptor and “pioneer of decentralised space” Erich Reusch would have turned 96. On this occasion, kajetan Berlin is presenting a group exhibition of nine positions from different generations and genres in its new space at Grolmanstrasse 58 – works by Reusch’s companions, friends, students and colleagues that can be read as direct and sometimes surprising commentaries on his artistic legacy. In 2019, the gallery hosted Reusch’s last solo exhibition during his lifetime. With the participating artists, kajetan Berlin looks to convey the space as the actual event, in the spirit of the media experimenter.
Jan Wawrzyniak | Erich Reusch | Monika Brandmeier | Norbert Kricke | Werner Haypeter | Erich Reusch | Exhibition view | Erich has just left the building | In Erinnerung an Erich Reusch | Galerie kajetan 2021 | Photo: Marcus Schneider
Throughout his life, ERICH REUSCH disrupted the boundaries of art genres and their hitherto valid logics within space. The trained architect was the first to detach sculpture from its pedestal and conceive a floor sculpture that only functions in interaction with its surroundings – in situ art was born. The works presented from his late œuvre attest to his consistent treatment of space as a shaping element, always equal to form and colour. Thus, it is the white space of the initially seemingly unbalanced composition of the energetically painted 2019 diptych that completes a harmonious equilibrium. Or the exhibition space itself, which functions as a counterpart to the irregular, sharp-edged and sometimes garishly painted plexiglass wall objects. They mark both the boundary and opening of the space and activate it in unexpected places
In ELISABETH VARY’s wall installation from 2009, the artist´s work with the space only becomes apparent at second glance. With its intense colour contrasts and multi-layered colour gradients, the two-part, geometrically free body made of cardboard quickly draws the eye and then reveals its asymmetrical structure. In its free form, detached from the wall and placed on the floor, the body of colour would tilt. However, both the colour and its own cast shadow unfold an optical weight that stabilises the body and underlines its spatiality. With changing perspectives, we look at new forms and shapes challenging how we understand the act of looking
More out of kilter appears to us the charcoal drawing Concrete Island (10063) by JAN WAWRZYNIAK, which in its withdrawn form and absence of colour reacts sensitively to the surrounding space. With its seemingly contradictory execution – charcoal on canvas, whose irregular stretcher frame and inclined hanging supports a straightly aligned motif – the drawing refuses to create an effect of depth in the picture and thus to representation in general. By means of white priming, it discreetly blends into the space, while clearly breaking with our habits of seeing. It is with unsteadiness and indetermination that we are confronted as spectators.
We find a similarly analytical approach to one’s own medium of expression in MARC GORONCY and his vertical-format SL 05. The work consists of three natural canvases into which, in rhythmic gradations, horizontal lines are incorporated from fully sewn fabrics. Although Goroncy suggests volume and a spatial depth, he eludes reference to anything outside the picture. The repetition of the pattern in the vertical and horizontal negates a specific reading direction and leads back to itself. Clear, strict-looking structures are softened by the handwork on the textile. It is the artist’s own process of creation and its preparation for the (exhibition) space that he conveys to us in all clarity.
Preoccupation with verticals and horizontals as variables that determine space and perspective also characterises the work Aufzählung (Enumeration) by Reusch’s former student MONIKA BRANDMEIER, conceived for this exhibition. Decentrally installed in the room and supported by three scale weights, an iron rod dominates in its height and materiality the situation, which, despite all its sobriety, seems dramaturgical. Its surroundings – the room itself and the sequence of the industrially diversely made elements – create a narrative that is based both on the proximity and distance of the individual pieces in relation to each other and their different negative and positive forms. Space is the constitutive element that first determines the reading of an artistic setting.
The vertical, sublime moment is then encountered in GÜNTER UMBERG and his black monochrome painting. While its large format demands distance from the viewer, the unusually dense layering of pigment tempts one to step close to the work. At the same time, the sensitive surface, which seems almost powdery, does not allow the viewer to step beneath a certain distance. Thus, the work develops out of its specific relation to space and dialogical relationship to the viewer, who oscillates between closeness and distance. Radically refusing depiction, Umberg already emphasised the installative character of his paintings in his early stage.
In contrast to Umberg’s work, WERNER HAYPETER’s piece deliberately seeks the viewer’s proximity. The reduced, strictly geometrical wall object seems to illuminate the room with its colourfulness. With yellow, laterally aligned rectangles of cast epoxy resin on the inside and applied acrylic paint on the outside, the work invites the viewer to follow its complex construction at close range. Haypeter uses only industrially manufactured material that is infused with traces of his artistic intervention. The apparent tension refers to the artist’s own conditions of production in different social spaces
Erich Reusch | Monika Brandmeier | Norbert Kricke | Werner Haypeter | Erich Reusch | Ingrid Lønningdal | Exhibition view | Erich has just left the building | In Erinnerung an Erich Reusch | Galerie kajetan 2021 | Photo: Marcus Schneider
Thinking first from the space characterised also NORBERT KRICKE’s sculptural work and united him with Reusch, for whom he had established the new chair “Integration of Fine Arts and Architecture”, in his position as director of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His free floor sculpture Raumplastik Weiß 1975/21 is formed from two slender steel tubes that structure the space at right angles. One tube rises vertically from the floor and runs horizontally to the side, only to bend again here and reach deep into the room. Depending on the point of view, the initial and final moments of the sculpture change so that it can only be grasped in the experience of space.
Norbert Kricke | Raumplastik Weiß 1975 / 21 | 1975 | Steel tube, painted – 2 individual parts, Plug-in connections – diameter 2,1 cm | 40,5 x 65 x 263 cm | Courtesy the estate of Norbert Kricke & Galerie kajetan | Photo: Marcus Schneider
The Norwegian artist INGRID LØNNINGDAL, who develops her works in painting, drawing, text and textiles from her study of urban architectures, explores how we ourselves relate to space. Her contribution to the exhibition is a small-format study from the ongoing series Beat (Stressed/Unstressed). Layer by layer, Lønningdal slowly builds up closed circles with watercolour and gouache on paper that never fully dries. Increasingly condensed in colour, the work´s layers nonetheless allow themselves to show through. With this technique, Lønningdal explores the interplay and effects of colour and space by means of changing colour qualities.
With diverse artistic contributions, this exhibition pays an homage to Erich Reusch’s play with space across borders and an œuvre that was marked by multimedia from an early stage.
Eliza Grabarek M.A.
Opening: Friday, 17 September 2021, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Special opening hours Gallery Weekend: Sunday, 19 September 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: Friday, 17 September 2021 – Saturday, 20 November 2021
New address (!): kajetan berlin, Grolmanstraße 58, 10623 Berlin-CharlottenburgTo the Gallery
Exhibition Erich has just left the building – Galerie kajetan Berlin | Zeitgenössische Kunst – Contemporary Art – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin