Participating artists: Jonathan Lasker, Gerhard Richter, Peter Halley, Neo Rauch, Fabian Marcaccio, Daniel Richter, Adrian Schiess, Alicia Paz, Sarah McGinity, Rashid Johnson
From the Press Release:
The exhibition HEUTE. MALEREI is looking for a cross-sectional view of the genre of painting, while avoiding any kind of attachment to specific trends, schools of thought or generations. The exhibition aims to present items that pursue the creation of imagery through the use of figurative expression. It investigates the topic of the present, a topic which is established by the painting process itself and which is able to reflect the contradictory, unchanging and complex relationship between man and his world today. The open questions may lead, for example, to relationships between the use of colour tones and how they are expressed, between the surface of the image and the space depicted within, between illusion and reality, between conception and artist. The exhibition will present the items in comparison, albeit not for the purpose of comparing them, but rather to emphasize the proprietary and the unique, in which both the moment and the path taken to this point are revealed.
The exhibition uses examples to examine the idea of what makes painting different from other artistic pursuits today, what connects it to the historical era in which painting enjoyed a privileged position, and what it contributes today in the midst of the dominance of media imagery. This gives rise to the question of how painting profits today as a necessary reaction to the media.
Several works of each painter are shown, providing more than just a cursory glance, offering instead a sufficient perspective into the attitudes of each painter, enabling us to see clearly how they truly perceive the world. This exhibition focuses on these unique qualities of each of the items in which a complexity becomes apparent, a complexity that opens out into the painting but also creeps through the superficially visible to become meaning. The method of approaching contemporary painting, the intellectual management of handling traditional painting resources, with the cosmos of colour and the limitations of the canvas, the complex intellectual-manual process is the focus of the concept behind the exhibition. This exhibition does not seek to turn it into an academic exercise by examining labels such as ‘neo’ or ‘post’, but rather to examine individual models that have proven to be accepted over many years and models that have only joined them recently, models that have bound themselves to the unique medium of paint, shunning any other form of categorization in the process.
Of course, an examination of painting as it is in our era gives rise to the belief that they could be representative of our times. In this regard, it is interesting to consider its connection to the definition of art, and to ask whether art could even exist without painting. To those that look, it is obvious that developments to date have given painting its place time and time again, thereby also providing the concept of art with a place in the lives of people.
Dr. Annegret Laabs, Uwe Gellner
Magdeburg , April 2012