Mona Lisa and the Black Square
6 May to 30 September 2007
Dr. Barbara Willert
With the exhibition “George Pusenkoff - Mona Lisa and The Black Square”, Museum Ritter is once again proud to present a major artist from the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection.
Artist George Pusenkoff, who comes from Russia and lives in Cologne, unites in his work two realms that have rarely been so intimately linked: the history of art and culture in the modern era, and the world of digital imaging involving the new media and computer technology.
This is especially true of his conceptual works based on this famous portrait, as for instance the photographically documented voyage of a version of the “Mona Lisa” painted in yellow and black as it travelled through Russia and ultimately space. The truly astonishing voyages that the work has undergone – in the form of large scale photographs in light boxes – are no less part of the exhibition at Museum Ritter than Pusekoff’s “Mona Lisa Tower”. The freestanding walk-in aluminium tower has been part of the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection since 2005. After stops at Moscow (Tretjakow Gallery, 2004) and Venice (51st Biennale di Venezia, 2005), it will now be instated on the Museum site. Set upon the grounds behind Museum Ritter, it presents itself on the outside as a black, monolithic and seemingly archaic rotunda, almost 10 metres in diameter and 6 metres tall. But inside of this open-top tower are 500 square Mona Lisa portraits set tightly together in rows, in every colour of the rainbow: a continuation and escalation of Andy Warhol’s serial paintings done in the age of digital reproduction - and an overwhelming whirl of images under the open sky.
pictures from left to right:
George Pusenkoff: Homage to Albers, 1997 (c) George Pusenkoff
George Pusenkoff: Single Mona Lisa 1:1, 1997 (c) George Pusenkoff
George Pusenkoff: Square (1:1), 1997 (c) George Pusenkoff