Surface: The Poetry of Material Exhibition

Mar 14, 2012

by Leila Haghighat

From 18 March to 16 September 2012, the Museum Kunstwerk – Alison and Peter W. Klein Collec¬tion in Eberdingen-Nussdorf will be staging a new exhibition “Surface: the Poetry of Material”, featur¬ing the first-ever joint presentation of the artists Chun Kwang Young, Gotthard Graubner and Anselm Kiefer. The exhibition, curated by Keumhwa Kim, focuses on the way the three artists deal with mate¬riality: the artists, whose works employ a great variety of different materials, all direct attention to the tactile and haptic surface of works of art and to the transition from picture to object.

The work of the Korean artist Chun Kwang Young is being presented to the German public for the first time in comprehensive form, with 13 artworks from the “Aggregation” series being on display. Chun Kwang Young (b. 1944), whose work “Aggregation 02″ was purchased by the private collectors Alison und Peter W. Klein back in 2004, employs Korean mulberry paper for his installations and pictorical objects. Coming from second-hand bookshops and printed with Chinese and Korean characters, the mulberry paper is wrapped around thousands of small polystyrene elements in pyramid or triangular form, which the artist attaches to the canvas or accumulates to create large-scale objects.

The thematic complexes on display in the exhibition “Material as Traces of Memory: Chun – Kiefer” and “The Embodiment of Colour as Material: Chun – Graubner” are concerned with formal and content-oriented aspects of the topic of material. In the works of Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945), several of whose works are in the Klein Collection, lead, concrete, human hair or dried plants are woven into dense compositions that arouse in the viewer’s mind associations with historical and mythological topics. Gotthard Graubner (b. 1930), on the other hand, places paint at the heart of his creative out¬put. His “coloured spatial bodies” with their many-layered application of colour on a variety of fabrics have a sensuous, sculptural effect. Depending on the curvature or indentation of the material, the paint takes on a life all of its own, varying in intensity and force.

The exhibition is complemented by young artistic positions chosen from the Alison and Peter W. Klein Collection – works by Nicole Bianchet, Chiharu Shiota, Tabaimo and Monika Thiele.