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Art and Alphabet

The large-scale exhibition Art and Alphabet explores the complex relationship between writing and images in contemporary art. The basic components of writing – letters, symbols and alphabets – are key elements in the featured artworks, which analyse, manipulate and modify these visual signs. The focus shifts from reading to seeing, from deciphering to perceiving, resulting in a curious back-and-forth between writing and image.

As a visual language, writing also plays a fundamental role in the construction of personal, social and cultural identity, leading to the development of a great variety of alphabets and scripts. This has inspired many visual artists to recontextualise language as a medium of communication by moving it into the pictorial realm, where it can be explored, creatively extended or playfully transformed.

Art and Alphabet brings together works from the last 10 years by around 20 international artists, including pieces that have been produced especially for the exhibition. A number of individual works from the 1960s and 1970s provide a historical perspective on this fascinating theme.

The exhibition features works by Paul Chan, Ayşe Erkmen, Friederike Feldmann, Mekhitar Garabedian, Camille Henrot, Katie Holten, Bethan Huws, Janice Kerbel, Rivane Neuenschwander, Paulina Olowska, Martha Rosler, Michael Sailstorfer and Philippe Vandenberg, among others.

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HONEY, I REARRANGED THE COLLECTION

#2 Help Me Hurt Me. Between Care and Cruelty
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Open Access

13 Views into the Collection
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Uncharted Territory: Jose Dávila

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Collecting for Hamburg

New Acquisitions and Donations for The Department of Prints and Drawings, 2001–2016
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ART IS PUBLIC

From Kunstverein to Kunsthalle
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Anita Rée

A Retrospective
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The Light of the Campagna

Drawings by Claude Lorrain from the British Museum in London
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HORST JANSSEN

A Tribute to Claude
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Artist’s Books: The Collection

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