until 26.06.| #3019ARTatBerlin | Galerie Thomas Schulte presents from 28th April 2021 on the occasion of this year’s Gallery Weekend a solo show with works by the artist Rebecca Horn.
Alongside current works, two of the artist’s best-known kinetic installations from the 1990s will be shown, Bee’s Planetary Map (1998) and Der Turm der Namenlosen (1994). Thomas Schulte’s first exhibition ever opened the gallery in April 1991 with Rebecca Horn’s installation Chor der Heuschrecken in Berlin-Charlottenburg. On the occasion of the gallery’s 30th anniversary and many joint projects later, the gallery continues its collaboration with one of the most important living German artists.
In 1991, Rebecca Horn had created her work Chor der Heuschrecken I, II for Galerie Thomas Schulte. This was the first sculptural choreography that connected two rooms, later two places, in a landscape-like manner and became form-determining for her work. Insects with their love passions between life and death, their spatial sensations and their seismographic perception also became leitmotifs of her work from then on. Bees, with their art of transforming substances and building habitats, belong to this theme.
Bee’s Planetary Map (1998) belongs to the group of works of site-specific but not site-bound spatial compositions. Just as her works often depict the uprooted lives of emigrants, the protagonists of her productions are also on the move. Bee’s Planetary Map was conceived back in 1997, even before the flows of refugees from the Balkans. History has confirmed the artist’s vision. Empty beehives fill the space with the haunting hum of a wandering swarm of bees. Honey-yellow light streams from the baskets, caught by round, rotating mirrors and projected across walls and ceilings. At regular intervals of two and a half minutes, a stone attached to a mechanical winch falls from the ceiling and shatters one of these mirrors. Its spinning splinters chase panicked wisps of light through the room. Struggling for a centre, seeking protection and security, fearing for freedom and belonging – these are the great human themes in Rebecca Horn’s work.
The Tower of the Nameless (1994) is related to the flight paths of fleeing bees. Rebecca Horn dedicated it to the emigrants who appeared in Vienna at that time without passports and without speaking the national language and often had only their musical instruments to express their pain. Interlocked with each other, a spiral of fruit ladders spirals up the nine-metre-high Corner Space of the gallery, as if trying to escape from the window arches. Nine violins climb this tower of ladders; at regular intervals of three and a half minutes, they start moving and intoning a wild polyphony. Stringed instruments can be taken on the run and are among the leitmotifs in Rebecca Horn’s work. This is also the case in Concert for Buchenwald, the sculptural composition that has been permanently installed in Weimar since 1999 and was created at the same time as Bee’s Planetary Map. Among the leitmotifs of her work are the spinning binoculars that recur in her ten-part filmography, for example in Der Eintänzer, La Ferdinanda and in Buster’s Bedroom.
Rebecca Horn’s oeuvre, which is built up from her early performances and encompasses drawings, poems, overpainted photographs, stage sets and paintings in addition to her animated sculptures, lives from the movement of thought that drives each other on. Central to this is the performance Unicorn from 1970, with its female figure extended by a stick, which as a walking vertical physically misses the space. In her poetic imagination, Rebecca Horn stretches the figure so that it touches infinite depths and heights. With the same bodily awareness, the large papers on which she paints are measured according to the dimensions of her arm’s length. Sometimes a pencil-marked centre, corresponding to her own centre, is still visible. The lower edge of these paintings, as can be seen in the painting In the Shadow of Pain, is often formed by an implied landscape silhouette. Taking their momentum from this line, streams of energy rise upwards, branch out more and more and finally condense in a celestial space where they begin to swirl in an ecstatic dance of rotation. The ascent, however, to this spiritual height takes place in a battle between dark and light flying bodies. Involuntarily, we as viewers physically imitate the ups and downs of this struggle as we raise and lower our heads in observation. As in almost all of Rebecca Horn’s works, we are in the picture.
Rebecca Horn (born 1944 in Michelstadt, Germany) taught at the University of the Arts in Berlin for almost two decades after studying in Hamburg and London from 1989. She was the youngest artist to be invited by curator Harald Szeemann to present her work at documenta 5 in 1972. Later her work was also shown at documenta 6 (1977), 7 (1982) and 9 (1992) as well as at the Venice Biennale (1980; 1986; 1997), the Sydney Biennale (1982; 1988) and as part of the Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997).
Awards (selection): Böttcherstraße Art Prize (1979), Arnold Bode Prize (1986), Carnegie Prize (1988), Kaiserring of the city of Goslar (1992), Media Art Prize of the ZKM Karlsruhe (1992), Alexej von Jawlensky Prize of the state capital Wiesbaden (2007), Alice Salomon Poetics Prize, Berlin (2009), Praemium Imperiale Tokyo (2010), Pour le Mérite for Science and Art (2016) and Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize (2017). In 1993, the Guggenheim Museum in New York hosted a mid-career retrospective for Rebecca Horn, the first artist to do so. The exhibition subsequently travelled to the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, the Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Tate Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Musée de Grenoble. A second retrospective took place in 2005 at the Hayward Gallery in London. Another retrospective was held at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2006. In 2019, two comprehensive exhibitions of her works were held simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou-Metz and the Museum Tinguely in Basel. Rebecca Horn’s works are represented in major and important museums internationally. The artist lives and works in Bad König in the Odenwald.
Ausstellungsdaten: Wednesday, 28th April – Saturday, 26th June 2021To the Gallery
Image caption: Rebecca Horn, Bees Planetary Map, 1998 (Installationsansicht, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2019) / Photo: Jacqueline Trichard / © Rebecca Horn, VG Bildkunst, Bonn, 2020 / Courtesy the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin
Exhibition Rebecca Horn – Galerie Thomas Schulte | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin