until 08.04. | Kunsthaus Dahlem currently shows the exhibition ZERO [+1] – Early Works by Hal Busse.
Hal Busse (actually Hannelore Bendixen-Busse) is one of the few women artists who belong to the artistic avant-garde of postwar modernism. Committed primarily to painting in the 1950s, she appears at the end of the decade with sculptural works, nail paintings, surface reliefs and cube progressions. She exhibits together with Otto Piene and Heinz Mack with the artist group ZERO, but is also represented in exhibitions by the artists’ associations Junger Westen and Gruppe 53. In doing so, she is part of those artistic circles which sought to liberate the art of the postwar period from its questionable legacy and set a new beginning in abstraction and non-objectivity.
Hal Busse in ihrem Atelier in der Rosenstraße,
Stuttgart, um 1959, Fotograf: Anton Stankowski
Hal Busse was born in 1926 as the daughter of the landscape painter Hermann Busse in Jagstfeld in southern Germany. At the age of twenty she began her studies at the State Academy of the Arts in Stuttgart, which she completed in 1953 as a master student of Manfred Henninger. During her studies she attended several correction sessions by Willi Baumeister, probably the most prominent teacher at the university after 1945. Before completing her training, the artist moved to Paris in 1951 for several months. The influence of the École de Paris had a lasting effect on her work. In 1956 Busse marries the painter Klaus Bendixen. In the same year she was awarded the renowned ars viva prize of the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft. The following year she took part in the Biennale in Paris. When Klaus Bendixen was appointed to the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg in 1961, the couple left Stuttgart. In 1980 Hal Busse returned to her father’s last place of residence, Heilbronn. In March 2018 she died there at the age of 91.
Hal Busse’s work is marked by her constantly changing life circumstances – while her early work was clearly post-impressionist during her training, a clear abstraction can be observed in her artistic work over the course of the 1950s. For the artist, this process is by no means straightforward and without reservations. In the autumn of 1951, she noted in her diary: “Now I want to be non-representational or I don’t want to. Did I make the leap or not. […] I want the thing, I like the objects. I paint non-representational now only in order to be able to paint objects better later”.
Her path to abstraction is undoubtedly also owed to her artistic environment. She maintains close contacts with the artists’ group ZERO, in whose founding exhibition she took part in 1958. At the end of the 1950s, her work included nail reliefs and structural images in which the stylistic proximity to the group became clear. After moving to Hamburg, the artist increasingly devoted herself to building art, drawing and prints, as well as kinetic art. In the 1960s and 1970s, the colourfulness of her work makes clear reference to Pop Art. In her late work, the artist increasingly returned to painterly landscapes in an impressionistic manner.
Hal Busse, Ohne Titel, um 1959, Nägel, Kaseinfarbe, Bleistift auf Spanplatte, 37,5 x 36 cm,
Fotograf: Marcus Schneider, Copyright: Archiv Hal Busse, courtesy Galerie DIEHL, Berlin
The exhibition at Kunsthaus Dahlem focuses on Hal Busse’s works from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. On display are paintings, works on paper and sculptures that are linked to the formal language of Concrete Art, Constructivism and Kinetic Art. The exhibition pays tribute to an artist who stood at the centre of the artistic avant-garde for a number of years, but who has still not received adequate recognition.
Opening: Thursday, 17th January 2019, 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Friday, 18. January – Monday, 8th April 2019Zum Kunsthaus Dahlem
Exhibition ZERO [+1] – Early Works by Hal Busse – Kunsthaus Dahlem – Kunst in Berlin | ART at Berlin