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Museum Ritter Museum Ritter
Deutsche Version
Bildertausch 3
(18.05.08 - 28.09.08)
Werner Bauer
(18.05.08 - 28.09.08)
Alighiero Boetti
(26.10.08 - 26.04.09)
(26.10.08 - 26.04.09)
François Morellet (17.05. - 27.09.2009)
(28.05.2009 - 25.06.2009)
Homage to the Square
(18.10.2009 - 11.04.2010)
Timm Ulrichs (08.05. - 19.09.2010)
Camille Graeser (08.05. - 19.09.2010)
Caution colour!
(10.10.2010 - 01.05.2011)
Round Tour Caution Colour!
Pictures opening-ceremony 09.10.2010
Regine Schumann - black box
(10.10.2010 - 01.05.2011)
Roundtour "Caution Colour!"
“Caution Colour!” is the watchword at Museum Ritter - right from the moment the visitor enters the foyer and is at once exposed to a kind of colour shock: a large work by Rupprecht Geiger is waiting there, done in the artist’s typical colours – searing pink and dazzling red. And as soon as the visitor is inside the Museum the exhibition upstairs announces itself at the top of its voice.

On reaching the upper floor one finds colour in all its sensual glory, as in Gottfried Honegger’s bright, ten-part metal relief or the two large planar compositions by Imi Knoebel. These boldly coloured wall constructions consist of boards and aluminium brackets which the artist has layered one upon the next and coated – with a markedly painterly approach - with a range of at times very vibrant colours.
Francois Morellet then presents us with a lesson in optics with his 28-piece wall installation. The panels have been covered in a rigorously systematic dot pattern using the primary colours red, yellow and blue – albeit using different proportions in each one. Viewed at a certain distance, each pattern blends in the beholder’s eye to create a single colour value.
It is no secret that artists no longer restrict themselves nowadays to the classical materials of painting, and that instead of oils and acrylics use anything from gloss paint to wax, chalk, or even pure pigments – or substances that don’t normally have anything to do with art. These may develop into highly sensual artworks - as for instance when paint and light are brought together to highly aesthetic effect inside compounds based either on wax or resin. This can be seen in the translucent works of Anne Appleby, Herbert Hamak and Renate Wolf, which truly seem to radiate from within.
In yet other works the lustre comes purely from the surface; this is the case for instance when gloss paint is employed, as in Gerold Miller’s post-minimalist “Total Object” made of gloss-coated aluminium. The smooth, shiny surface of this square piece is quite consummate.
A totally different approach can be seen however in a work by the Scottish artist Jim Lambie, which also consists of gloss-painted metal. Instead of anonymous precision he approaches the paint with a deliberate sloppiness which matches the brash way the corners of the square form have been battered.
Already these examples make it clear that the exhibition is not simply about colour in the sense of hues and their effects, but above all about colour as a material that can be harnessed creatively, and about the artist’s feel for the paint. The German term “Farbe” is somewhat inexact here, for it can mean both colour and paint.
This fine distinction in English is presented to us quite nonchalantly by Beat Zoderer: for his large multipartite work Hommage an das unreine Quadrat he has employed a whole range of industrially manufactured white paints which he has applied with a wide variety of techniques on various sized picture carriers made of various kinds of wood. These panels seem not only impure as a result of the shades of white that have been used, which are far from being a uniform radiant white, but also as regard the square shape, because not a single one of the panels is exactly square.
An important focus of the exhibition is directed towards works in which the pure physical presence of colour plays a central part. In these works the customary congruence between the image and the image carrier is not infrequently susupended. Thus the prime concern in the work of Johannes Geccelli and Kuno Gonschior, for instance, is the concerted effect created by the picture carrier, the picture surface and the way the paint is applied. While Kuno Gonschior – who sadly departed in March of this year – developed a style pared down solely to coloured dots and surfaces, Johannes Gecelli’s vertical blocks of paint create coloured surfaces that lead a life of their own, independent of the picture substrate, such that they even seem to topple out of the canvas.
Indeed, the paint has assumed a totally independent existence in the picture by Australian artist Marita Fraser, which comes from her series of Skirt Paintings. Rubbery, hardened paint presents itself in this work in an extremely physical manner; the colour mass, which has apparently set in mid-flow, appears like a tongue or indeed a skirt as its hangs onto and below the canvas.
Paint as material is also of central importance to artists like Günter Umberg and Gotthard Graubner, who is represented here by two typical “Colour Space Bodies”. In their works colour is not approached in a referential manner but grasped as autonomous. Countless layers of pigment applied one on top of the other lead in Günter Umberg’s radical painting to a dense, intensive colour presence that exerts a great draw through the enormous depth it conveys. Günter Umberg has designed a room full of his works specially for our exhibition. The result is an all-embracing aesthetic concept, a concentrated spatial encounter in which dynamism and silence meet face on - allowing the picture, the viewer and the space to enter a mutual dialogue.
With Reiner Seliger yet another artist has brought his artistic powers to bear directly on the walls of the Museum. He has created a large installation specially for one wall using broken, industrially manufactured chalks. The fragments of chalk that make up this work have flown out from the wall in a veritable explosion; in some instances converging to form dense clusters, while in other places individual elements have remained standing by themselves. In this and other chalk pieces, Reiner Seliger turns the foundations of painting on its head, because chalk is not in any way used here to paint or draw but is, in fact, the actual protagonist.
Pictures from left to right:
Rupprecht Geiger, Farbraum "725/78", 1987 (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Francois Morellet, 28 superpositions de 6 trames de pointes en, 1976 (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Raumeinblick mit Anne Appleby, Requiem for a Lodge Pine Pole, 2009 (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010 und Johannes Geccelli, Triptychon (Steigt aus dem Bild / Fällt aus dem Bild / Noch nicht im Bild),
Gerold Miller, Total Object 124, 2007
Jim Lambie, Metal box, 2010 (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Raumeinblick mit Beat Zoderer, Hommage an das unreine Quadrat, 2007 (c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Marita Fraser, o.T. (skirt painting), 2007
Raumeinblick mit Werken von Günter Umberg
Reiner Seliger, 2430, 2010