Current Exhibitions

The Absurd Beauty of Space

Seven Artists vs. Ungers

Jan Albers, Sol Calero, Dana Greiner, Dominik Halmer, Franziska Reinbothe, Helga Schmidhuber und Claudia Wieser

The museum’s mission is quite straightforward: offering society space in which to see art. Within this space, artists, observers and curators come to an encounter via the presented works. Ideas, perspectives, opinions and preferences develop in the scope of such an encounter and, finally, result in a common aesthetic concept. If up to the mid-20th century it was the frame that served to contain a painting, what encompasses an artistic oeuvre today is the exhibition space, which opens up entirely new dimensions for works of art. Contemporary art interacts intensively with its surroundings and yet, at the same time, emphasizes its own fragmentary nature in the context of the whole.

Beginning in the fall of 2020, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting a series of shows in the Gallery of Contemporary Art featuring artistic positions that have rendered the spaces created by Oswald Mathias Unger and their architecture fruitful for their own work. New site-specific works are being created for and in the skylight gallery of the Unger building in close collaboration with the participating artists.

The seven artists on display as of 4 September understand their work explicitly as ‚Äúspatial art‚ÄĚ and are realizing projects in the Gallery of Contemporary Art that relate to the exhibition spaces and their internal and external visual impact. These are seven positions that leave (behind) the panel painting in order to conquer new dimensions for the painted surface.¬†The works span a range from installation-based painting, via painterly assemblages and spatially expansive installations, to the projection onto or composition within the context of painting. ¬†

Supported by: Deutsche Bank, Philipp Otto Runge Stiftung and Ministry of Culture and Media Hamburg

JAN ALBERS

Jan Albers (b. 1971 in Wuppertal, lives in D√ľsseldorf) constructs images that he describes as painting, sculpture and architecture in one. His formal inventions are preceded by a destructive transformation process, as beating, milling, pressing and bending take the industrial raw materials to the verge of dissolution. In his work for the exhibition, furrowed colossuses reach just below the ceiling of the room. Opposite them are simple, immaculate bronze cubes. ¬†The aesthetic tension in Albers‚Äôs works comes not least from its dialogue with the formal clarity of Ungers‚Äôs architecture.

 

SOL CALERO

Sol Calero (b. 1982 in Caracas, Venezuela, lives in Berlin) provides no framework that would separate us from her art. Her immersive environments ‚Äď here a currency exchange office and in the second room a terrace ‚Äď envelop us completely. The artist has chosen an aesthetic that could be described as ¬Ľexotic¬ę, a word mainly used by us Europeans to describe something foreign, overseas, a far-away place of longing. Calero‚Äôs declared intention is precisely to question this clich√©d notion of identity and nationality. For years Venezuela has been suffering under a severe economic crisis. In ¬ĽCasa de Cambio¬ę, the artist creates a social environment that highlights the country‚Äôs current hyperinflation while contrasting it with our own yearning for exotic climes.

 

DANA GREINER

Dana Greiner (b. 1988 in Munich, lives in Munich) challenges us with static objects that yet seem to undergo metamorphoses, sounds that materialise along the walls, and fluctuating light that steers our perception. Two plump pompoms invite us to try to reconstruct Greiner’s performance setting in seven acts. Viewing the installation as a whole, we quickly lose track of what is going on. We are called upon to engage with the constantly expanding dimensions, to seek out alternate points of view and perspectives, and thus to react in some way to the changing arrangements. The surrounding exhibition architecture becomes a stage, with the viewers as actors.

DOMINIK HALMER

Dominik Halmer (b. 1978 in Munich, lives in Berlin) developed his wall installations in response to the architecture of the Gallery of Contemporary Art ‚Äď they re-enact the moment of image creation in the studio. The shaped canvases seem to be detaching themselves from the wooden panels set up on the floor, suggesting an initial impulse of movement. The paintings successively take their leave from the wall: some are still hanging, while others are merely leaning against it. What seems to be happening before our eyes suggests a departure for new shores ‚Äď away from the wall!

The Philipp Otto Runge Stiftung has made it possible for the artist Dominik Halmer to participate in this exhibition.

The "Philipp Otto Runge Fellowship at the Hamburger Kunsthalle" is intended to enable young artists* to present themselves to a large audience at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

FRANZISKA REINBOTHE

Franziska Reinbothe (b. 1980 in Berlin, lives in Leipzig) is the one whose work is closest to conventional panel painting, and yet she is also the one who breaks with it in what is literally the most aggressive way. What interests her in painting is that which is usually hidden: the reverse side and its edges. In order to make these elements visible, she compresses canvases, exposes their stretcher frames or does away with them altogether. After finishing a painting, she proceeds to stretch, fold, break, cut or sew it. Some of the paintings protrude far into the room, while others have completely detached themselves from the wall.

 

HELGA SCHMIDHUBER

Helga Schmidhuber (b. 1972 in Wiesbaden, lives in Bad Schwalbach) often uses found flora and fauna as starting points for her sculptures and paintings. She expands them into room-filling installations by creating collages out of folding screens, floor graphics, dermoplastics, skulls and sound. The stuffed ¬ĽAntje¬ę is part of an ark holding survivors of a coming disaster that Schmidhuber foresees. Her images, which start out abstract and are then painted over with figures, literally put the space off-kilter

CLAUDIA WIESER

Claudia Wieser (b. 1973 in Freilassing, lives in Berlin) manages to polarise with simple forms, meticulous craftsmanship and the absence of function. Is this art or design? It is in fact both, because here Wieser juxtaposes Ungers’s modular variations on the simplest of stereometric spaces with ornament and decoration. With her targeted interventions, she succeeds in breaking open the familiar wall-and-space continuum of the Gallery of Contemporary Art. Her aim is to teach us to more consciously perceive the spaces we occupy and to think about their purpose and how they are charged with specific themes.

Current Exhibitions

Eight Centuries of Art

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UNFINISHED STORIES

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Back then has always been now

Painting since 1947 reconsidered
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Max Beckmann

feminine-masculine
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Making History

Hans Makart and the Salon Painting of the 19th Century
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