Haluk Akakçe, Darren Almond, Shannon Bool, André Butzer, Terry Haggerty, Mona Hatoum, Arturo Herrera, Ulrich Lamsfuß, Won Ju Lim, Vera Lutter, Marepe, Sarah Morris, Ernesto Neto, Frank Nitsche, Yves Oppenheim, Thomas Struth, Kara Walker
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin 2006
Publisher: Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Publication date: 2006
Dimensions: 29 x 22 x 1cm
Add to Cart
Out of Stock
British artist Darren Almond (b. 1971) works in a variety of media including photography, film, installation, sculpture and painting. His diverse subjects deal with abstract ideas of time, space, history and memory and how these concepts relate and intersect. He examines the symbolic and emotional potential of objects, places and situations to produce works that have historical as well as personal resonance.
Almond’s work often begins with travel to remote locations that are motivated by specific political, cultural or geographical investigations. In the ‘Fullmoon’ photographs, a series that the artist begun in 1998, he photographed diverse landscapes in every continent of the world under moonlight, using long exposures, to create images that seem to uncannily replace night with day. Almond’s films deal with personal and political subjects. In Bearing, for example, he follows the daily trek of a sulphur miner in Indonesia, while in In the Between, he films the controversial high-altitude train line built from China to Tibet. In his sculptural work, Almond often materialises notions of time as both a real and imagined construction. His large-scale, wall-mounted flip clocks, for example, emphasise the passing of time with their amplified sound as well as the impossibility of its mechanical quantification.
‘In practice, the allure of Almond’s artwork transcends the overt splendour of the views. It transpires in the artist’s underlying method, which is aesthetically fuelled by the exploration of time. How might an artist, in this day and age, depict temporality? What are the methods and means for visually representing the notion and experience of time? The answer resides in Almond’s distinct and complementary practices, which involve time in various guises: retransmitted, distorted, delayed, real, subjective or frozen.’
V. Souben in Darren Almond: ...between here and the surface of the moon, FRAC Auvergne, 2011
Artist page on maxhetzler.com
Fusing European Expressionism with American popular culture, André Butzer (b. 1973, Stuttgart) has painted his way through the artistic and political extremes of the 20th century – life, death, consumption and mass entertainment – into the 21st century. With wide ranging influences including Paul Cézanne, Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, as well as Walt Disney and Henry Ford, Butzer has developed a unique and elaborate fictitious universe.
Many iconic characters have come to populate Butzer’s ‘Science Fiction-Expressionism’ with their recognisable large comic-book eyes, inflated heads or oversized hands. First appearing in 1999, these bright figures and shapes continue to lure the viewer in subsequent bodies of work. Engaging with the fundamental dimensions of colour, light and painterly expression, Butzer’s practice has shifted through the seemingly utter blackness of his N-Paintings, to a return to vibrancy, following his move to California between 2018 to 2021. Painting en plein air year-round, these recent works vibrate with a bold, energetic force.
Vera Lutter (b. 1960) is well-known for her unique photographs representing scenes of architecture, transportation and industry, created with one of the earliest photographic devices: the camera obscura. When the image is developed – after an exposure process of several hours, days or weeks – it is a black and white negative assuming precise yet mirage-like perspectives. By showing familiar venues like Venetian architecture, urban sites of Manhattan, or Egypt's great pyramids, the images are immediately recognisable but the inversion of tones and the passage of time captured induce uncanny presences that invite a closer observation.
‘Devoid of a lens, the pinhole of the camera obscura – the aperture – permits a direct imprint of the subject it confronts. By retaining the negative rather than reprinting to create a positive image Lutter adheres as closely as possible to the original activity of light tracing form on photo-sensitive paper. This, in turn, means that concrete elements seem but echoes of themselves, faint traces of what would appear in a conventional print to be substantive in mass as well as in volume. Normally regarded as factual and objective, the trompe l’oeil illusionism that is emblematic of the documentary is undermined, to varying degrees, in her work by effects of the fleeting and evanescent that may at times verge on the eerie or the uncanny. By utilizing photosensitive paper in the largest dimensions available, she produces images imbued with a monumental scale, grandeur and gravitas akin to that associated with the subject matter itself. Invested with a quasi architectural dimension, her unique prints have few parallels in the history of photography.’
L. Cooke, Vera Lutter: Time after Time in Vera Lutter: Inside Out, Kunsthaus Graz, 2004
The thematic repertoire of Marepe’s (b. 1970) work questions his roots: the traditions and culture of his native region of Bahia in Brazil, as well as notions of poverty, colonialism and globalism, are the artist's main concerns. His work is characterised by a personal sensuality combined with a socio-cultural and political verve, symbolised by the use of readymade materials and everyday objects or activities from his home region.
‘Marepe’s work is full of clashes and crossovers – between the traditional and the popular, the local and the foreign, the national and the international, the South and the North, the Brazilian Northeast and Southeast, the personal and the political, the familial and the official, the poor and the rich, high-tech and low-tech, high and low culture. These clashes and crossovers find their echo in different characters as the ambulante, the retirante, the migrant, [...] and the artist himself, who moves from one place to another in the world with his works full of memories and meanings and many possible translations.’
A. Pedrosa, Memory and displacement in the work of Marepe in Marepe, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paolo and Holzwarth Publications, 2007
Through his formal vocabulary, Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964) engages with the idea of social interaction. Neto has gained acclaim for his large experimental sculptures and installations that dramatically alter our surroundings, activating the senses and inviting viewer participation. The unconventional choice of materials, the simultaneity of internal and external structures, the contrast between the organic and the mechanical, and the qualities of sensuality and tactility, are all deeply inherent to the artist's practice. Neto’s installations draw on the lessons of minimalist sculpture, New Brazilian Objectivity of the 1960s and 70s, and anthropomorphic architecture, transporting the viewer from the hustle and bustle of everyday existence into immersive, multi-sensory environments where time seems to slow down. Constantly producing new formal and conceptual developments in his work, Neto describes his sculptures as living organisms that transgress all limitations.
‘This art appeals to all the senses, it is a holistic experience. Ernesto Neto’s sculptures (often they are sculptural landscapes rather than individually distinguished artifacts) seductively lead the eyes along their surface. Odors emanate: turmeric, cumin and other exotic spices stimulate the nose. Many of the works can, are even supposed to be touched [...]. Reception of the art is an active process. And Neto goes even further: he lets people penetrate into his works. “Naves” are what he calls the sculptural creations he has made since 1997, composed from membranes of stretched fabric that can be walked through, that can be physically conquered, that are supposed to be used.’
S. Preuss, ‘The universe behind the skin’, in Ernesto Neto: From Sebastian to Olivia, exh. cat., Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2008
Frank Nitsche (b. 1964) has developed a sophisticated visual language, overlapping layers of paint on top of one another, intersecting lines and creating specific forms. Geometric figures, lines and shapes are reduced to abstract formations reminiscent of construction plans, technical models, designs, calligraphy or computer programmes. To work on his abstract compositions, Nitsche makes use of a large visual archive taken from media, pop and consumer culture which he arranges, selects and condenses into his own pictorial idiom; his ‘albums’ are published as artists books or exhibited next to the paintings.
‘Nitsche exclusively develops his typically distorted and intertwined planar formalisations during the painting process – without any computer assistance, but nevertheless intentionally including a general aesthetic of medialisation in the paintings. In his opinion “all aspects of social life are designed. I understand my work”, says Nitsche, “as the resume and essence of all design, so to say, the deformed design of the zeitgeist, the over-design and the distortion of the over-design”. In this respect the scintillatingly compact, evocatively synthetic character of the paintings also harbours social-critical reflections. [...] Nitsche applies a unique pictorial logic to the development of every one of his paintings. For him there is no seriality; not even the formats are standardised. He enters the painting process completely: positioning a form, reacting to it in subsequent steps, obliterating existing parts, overpainting, complementing, erasing further parts, overpainting again, and so on. He continues this until a structure exists with the desired tension, rigour and dynamics.’
J. Asthoff, Into the Green in Frank Nitsche: Green, Galerie Max Hetzler, 2006
Since the late 1970s, Thomas Struth (b. 1954) has been capturing our time. Reconciling forms of documentation and contemplation, his photographs frame the world today as seen through empty streets in different cities, cultural venues, and scenes of worship, as well as images of nature, family portraits, and, more recently, sites of industrial and technological innovation, often underlining the tension between banality and the sublime. The examination of different situations and their impact on collective behaviour is typical of the artist’s work. His recent images introduce new subjects of reflection, such as the relationship between humans and machines.
‘Thomas Struth is a reluctant modernist. On the one hand, his photographs seek to capture, in non-distinct street scenes and amongst groups of anonymous tourists, the beauty found in ephemeral and fugitive moments rather than poses honed by tradition. These photographs discover beauty in what had been, before the advent of modernity, considered off-limits to aesthetic contemplation: the allegedly soulless architecture of post-war Europe; the poor dwellings in the emerging world; the back areas and unacknowledged zones where museums, cathedrals and other spaces of spiritual and cultural gathering are purely functional sites of usage. But in many of his photographs, Struth does not simply discover but inscribes beauty in unexpected places.’
U. Baer, ‘The Reluctant modernism of Thomas Struth’, in exh. cat., Thomas Struth, Napoli: MADRE Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, 2008
Haluk Akakçe, Darren Almond, Shannon Bool, André Butzer, Terry Haggerty, Mona Hatoum, Arturo Herrera, Ulrich Lamsfuß, Won Ju Lim, Vera Lutter, Marepe, Sarah Morris, Ernesto Neto, Frank Nitsche, Yves Oppenheim, Thomas Struth, Kara Walker (catalogue)
Oudenarder Straße 16-20, Berlin-Wedding
Exhibition page on maxhetzler.com