until 16.03. | #4074ARTatBerlin | Galerie Stella A shows from 29th October 2023 the exhibition “Tender Blossoms” with Collages by the artist Michael Behn.
In this exhibition I operate multifunctional as artist, curator and gallerist. II present collages, produced mainly in the last two years. In these collages depicted artworks have been complemented by petals and leaves from various trees. The selected artworks refer to artists who have inspired me and the gallery’s program for many years. I felt, it was time to name and present some of these „ghosts”.
The petals are mostly from roses, which have accompanied the various gallery shows more or less decoratively during the past years. In test tubes instead of vases they also served as a reminder of Joseph Beuys and his „Rose for Direct Democracy“. I was reluctant to simply depose the withered petals in the garbage, so I started to collect the leaves and press them inside various books. They had to wait for a long time for their recycling. The idea of associating them with works of art wasn’t new to me; ever since the seventies I had occasionally inserted them in my own watercolors.
One of the first collages in which I combined a single leaf with a foreign work of art is shown here on the sheet from 1995 with the „four trees“ by Vincent van Gogh. This addition of a simple frugal gesture was somewhat notorious and liberating to me at the same time. Notoriously, because it ignored the quotation rules by adding an alien element to a citation and liberating, because it allowed a fresh sight on some of the familiar „classics“.
The title Tender Blossoms refers to the title Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein. A book in which the conventions and rules of language are in part overriden and which is therefore hard to read conventionally, but instead pictures and associations are layered next and on top of each other just like a collage.
However, is it already (or still) art to combine works of art with leaves? As always, the last word on this, is on the spectator.
M. Behn, October 2023
Michael Behn was born in 1944 in Walsrode / Lüneburger Heide and spent his childhood and youth in Hamburg. After training as a lithographer in Hamburg, he moved to West Berlin. This was followed by a stay of several years in Mexico and the USA, working as a graphic artist in New York, Hamburg and Berlin. From 1970 exhibitions in Hamburg and Berlin. In 1992 he organised the first Marcel Duchamp exhibition in the former GDR in Moritzburg near Dresden. In addition to his artistic work as a painter and photographer, Michael Behn studied philosophy and art history at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Since 1999, he has been running the Galerie/Edition Stella A. in Berlin with Dorle Döpping.
Opening: Sunday, 29th October 2023, 3-6 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Sunday, 29th October – Saturday, 16th March 2024, Wed. – Sa.: 2 – 6 pmTo the Gallery
Caption title: L. M. Eilshemius, Three Girls and River, 1907, Collage with petal on photo paper, 11,7 x 14 cm, 2022, Courtesy Galerie Stella A.
Exhibition Michael Behn – Stella A. | Contemporary Art in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin