Bright, Beautiful Painting IV
Works from the 1980s from the Collection
Museum für Neue Kunst
12 July – 19 October 2014
The Museum für Neue Kunst will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015. In the run-up to this anniversary, the Museum will present works from the decade in which it was founded – the optically strident and vibrant 1980s.
The transition from the industrial to the information age affects all areas of life and shapes society. The mass media create their own realities and art duly reflects them critically. Vast quantities of information are now available simultaneously, creating stark contrasts and providing abundant material for all manner of artistic engagement. Political events follow thick and fast, fashion and ‘lifestyle’ are booming, ranging from pop idyll via Pop to punk.
As the heyday of postmodernism, this decade in art represents an unbridled mix of styles with a high recognition factor. It is dominated by the grandiose painterly gestures of the Junge Wilde (Young Wild Ones) and highly colourful approaches to Pop and graffiti. Conceptual art and minimal art continue to develop along a parallel trajectory, supplemented by new, unexpected forms of expression.
Painting takes centre stage in the Museum für Neue Kunst’s collection: works by Friedemann Hahn, Rudolf Schoofs, Martin Disler and K.R.H. Sonderborg range from the expressive to the gestural. Other artists work with the materiality of paint itself, such as Ralph Fleck and Artur Stoll. Klaus Merkel and Stefan Ettlinger follow a more conceptual path. The spectrum is completed by Jörg Janzer and Friedrich Weßbecher’s ideological, propagandistic works. Objects and video art provide reference to the development of other media.
The exhibition represents a current engagement with the kind of art produced during the Museum’s early years. It analyses overall artistic content, breaks in continuity and the germane issues of the day, drawing on that knowledge and those ideas to provide impulses for the present.