With 74 art works by 53 artists, this exhibition is the first retrospective of German contemporary art in Riga, from the 1960s until today. The aim of the exhibition is to showcase the central and affective points, as well as the most important aspects of German art of the last 50 years.
The exhibition at the exhibition hall Arsenals, Riga will include Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Photography and examples of Video Art, with a few singular examples of Conceptual Art. The greater aspect of the exhibition will focus on visual and perceptual contents rather than theorization. As the covered time period began with both West and East Germany, it is necessary to show some examples from the DDR. However, while using singular examples, and particularly works from artists such as Richter, Polke and Baselitz, who existed in the East prior to the Berlin wall, the status of the former East Germany is thus largely represented by artists from the post-unification period.
The title of the exhibition refers to Elective Affinities (1809) by the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The novel title deals with the affinities of human relations, and appears ideal as an approach to an exhibition that will include differing viewpoints of artistic production. In this sense, the exhibition highlights connections, correspondences and derivations, which are created through the interaction of the art works. These almost chemical reactions, which – in Goethe’s novel – form through characters and human characteristics, are echoed in the concept of this show.
The installation of the exhibition is divided into four categories. Since they are non-deterministic, but rather the result of careful architectural design-layout, these zones will flow naturally into one another. They will do so in a manner that also allows for further mental expansion and cross-visual fertilization. The idea of a generic umbrella for the differing types of art works will create opportunities for respective sections are discreetly labeled as:
1. Expression, Imagination, and Subjectivit
2. History and Narrative
3. Abstraction and Conception
4. Presentation and Critique
In certain instances, artists appear in two different areas suggesting the breadth of their practice. They may at times be figurative and/or abstract, historical and/or critical, conceptual and/or historical, critical and/or expressive. The aim is an exhibition with an intense presence and enervating visual and intellectual content. The aim is to make the exhibition visually accessible affording a large attendance response by city inhabitants and the Latvian public in general. There will also — cognizant of the time of year — be an extended possibility of summer international visitor attendance to the exhibition. The exhibition will take place in the exhibition hall Arsenals of the Latvian National Museum of Art. A framework program consisting of discussions and talks with and about participating artists of the show will be developed in cooperation with the Goethe-Institute Riga.
Participating artists: Martin Assig, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Norbert Bisky, Christoph Brech, Werner Büttner, Hanne Darboven, Georg Jiri Dokoupil, Rainer Fetting, Thomas Florschuetz, Katharina Fritsch, Philipp Fürhofer, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Gregor Hildebrandt, Karl Horst Hödicke, Candida Höfer, Sabine Hornig, Jörg Immendorf, Ruprecht von Kaufmann, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Imi Knoebel, Martin Kobe, Bernd Koberling, Dieter Krieg, Alicja Kwade, Markus Lüpertz, Jonathan Meese, Christiane Möbus, Olaf Nicolai, Frank Nitsche, Marcel Odenbach, Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Bettina Pousttchi, Neo Rauch, Anselm Reyle, Daniel Richter, Gerhard Richter, Julian Rosefeldt, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Thomas Scheibitz, Thomas Schütte, Willi Sitte, Thomas Struth, Gert & Uwe Tobias, Rosemarie Trockel, Timm Ulrichs, Jorinde Voigt, Michael Wesely.
German Art Since The Late 1960s
Host: Latvian National Museum of Art
Venue: Exhibition Hall Arsenals, Riga
Time Span: June 17th to August 21st, 2016
Curator: Mark Gisbourne
An extensive catalogue will be published by the Kerber Publishing House with contributing articles by Mark Gisbourne (Curator), Christoph Tannert (Director Künstlerhaus Bethanien) and Professor Ojārs Spārītis (President of the Academy of Sciences and Arts Riga)