until June | #3021ARTatBerlin | Galerie Max Hetzler presents as of April 2021 at the gallery in Bleibtreustraße 45 and in the Window Gallery at Goethestraße 2/3 a solo show with works by the artist Raymond Hains. The exhibition is visible through the window front or can be visited by appointment.
A central figure in post-war French art, Raymond Hains developed a complex artistic universe that playfully takes up elements of the real world and explores the visual and metaphorical possibilities of linguistic systems. Known in the late 1940s primarily for his works with torn posters, the “Affiches lacérées” and later the “Palissades”, Hains plays in his work with verbal and visual associations, the reference to historical moments and reflects central elements of the emerging consumer society of his time.
Along with artists such as Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely and Jean Villeglé, Hains was one of the founding members of Nouveau Réalisme, the French counterpart to Pop Art that emerged in 1960 and sought to reshape the relationship between art and life. Despite the short-lived nature of this group, which emerged in an earlier phase of Hains’ artistic career, the dualism between artistic tradition and popular culture accompanied him throughout the course of his work.
In the artist’s current exhibition, Galerie Max Hetzler presents works from Hains’ groundbreaking matchstick series. Inspired by Claes Oldenburg’s work seen at the 1964 Venice Biennale, Hains began his work of oversized matchbooks and matches, which were first exhibited at the Galleria del Leone in Venice that same year. The works are conceived as both free-standing and wall-hanging objects and play with traditional genres of sculpture and painting.
A monumental bronze matchstick sculpture will be presented exclusively in the Window Gallery at Goethestraße 2/3 as part of the exhibition. Hains created the fictional artist characters “Saffa” and “Seita” around this complex of works, whose names derive from the acronyms of a French tobacco and match company and an Italian match company. He cultivated the myth of the two invented artists in numerous exhibitions, signed works in their names and presented himself as their agent. By humorously assuming different roles and identities in the art world, Hains questioned the status of the artist and its social instrumentalisation.
Raymond Hains, Allumette géante brûlée, 2005, Installation view: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, 2021
© Adgap, Paris / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021,
Courtesy of The Estate of Raymond Hains. Photo: def image
The choice of a trivial object, such as a matchbox, enabled him to monumentalise everyday objects in artistic form. By critically examining consumer goods and incorporating them into his works, Hains transformed the everyday object into an art object. “Seita” and “Saffa” reflect the legacy of the ready-made and navigate between humour and seriousness, familiarity and aesthetic tradition.
In addition to the works from Hains’ match series, eight original screen prints from the series “La biennale eclatée” (1976) are on view in the exhibition. We present these together with publications and ephemera by the artist.
Raymond Hains’ (1926-2005) work has been part of renowned international exhibitions such as “The Art of Assemblage” at MoMA, New York (1961); “Paris-Paris” at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris (1982); documenta IV, Kassel (1968) and documenta X, Kassel (1997). More recently, a space was dedicated to the artist’s work at the 57th Venice Biennale “Vive Arte Viva” (2017). A large-scale torn poster work from the series “Dauphin” was exhibited at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, in the exhibition “The Fondation’s Collection. A Vision for Painting” (2019). Between 2000 and 2002, retrospective exhibitions of Raymond Hains were held at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; MACBA, Barcelona; Foundation Serralves, Porto and Moore College of Art, Philadelphia. Other solo exhibitions of Hains’ work have included MAMCO, Geneva (2015); Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2002); MAMAC, Nice (2000); Musée d’art Moderne, Saint-Etienne (2000); MUMOK, Vienna (1995) and Fondation Cartier, Paris (1994).
Works by the artist are in the collections of numerous museums, including the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Fondation Cartier, Paris; MAMAC, Nice; MoMA, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Sprengel Museum, Hanover; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Fundação Serralves, Porto; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; MACBA, Barcelona; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; MUMOK, Vienna; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Exhibition period: April to June 2021To the gallery
Image caption cover: Raymond Hains, Allumette géante brûlée, 2005, Installation view: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, 2021 © Adgap, Paris / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021, Courtesy of The Estate of Raymond Hains. Photo: def image
Exhibition Raymond Hains – Galerie Max Hetzler | Contemporary Art – Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries – ART at Berlin