A BLACK HOLE IS EVERYTHING A STAR LONGS TO BE. DRAWINGS 1992–2020.
Kara Walker (* 1969) is one of the most prominent contemporary artists. The American is known for her wall-sized silhouettes and monumental figure sculptures. The starting point of Walker's work, however, is drawing on paper. The catalog brings together over 600 mostly previously unpublished drawings from 1992 to 2020 that Walker has kept locked away in her archive until now.
Small sketches, studies, and collages stand alongside diary-like notes, typed thoughts on index cards, and dream recordings. In evocative and sometimes obscene renderings that are technically adept and aesthetically pleasing, Walker negotiates racism, gender, sexuality, and violence. In doing so, she references U.S. history against the backdrop of slavery through Barack Obama's presidency. Kara Walker does not offer reconciliation with the past, but shakes up historical images and narratives. She relentlessly exposes deep conflicts and disproportions that persist to this day and thus addresses the formation of collective as well as personal identity.
TIP: Richly illustrated and bibliophilically designed, this catalog conveys the complex work of the artist.
No other woman artist of the classical modern period in Germany has become as much of a myth as Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907). As an exceptional artist and pioneer of modernism, she created an oeuvre that continues to be admired to this day, inspiring and touching viewers with its directness and timelessness. Yet her paintings are also enigmatic, not immediately graspable, indeed even provocative. Featuring 116 works, this comprehensive volume takes a new look at Modersohn-Becker’s oeuvre against the backdrop of social conventions and artistic upheavals around 1900. By breaking clichés and exploring her special and at times radical motifs, as well as her idiosyncratic painting style, the volume traces the question of how Paula Modersohn-Becker’s works became icons and what accounts for their timeless fascination.
TIP: New perspective on a well-known artist! Radiant illustrations and fresh insights focus on the modernity of Paula Modersohn-Becker.
GILBERT & GEORGE. THE GREAT EXHIBITION
Gilbert & George have been creating art together for over half a century. Their unique oeuvre is still of unparalleled explosiveness and significance today. The two artists form a complete unity that does not distinguish between art and life. As "Living Sculptors" they embody their art and are the subject and object of their large-scale collages and racy pictorial worlds. Their work revolves around death, hope, life, fear, sex, money and religion. They are also social themes, which they show in their contradictions: at the same time cheerful and tragic, grotesque and serious, surreal and symbolic. This is also particularly evident in the publication. It is not only a chronicle of the pictures and exhibitions, but also of life itself. In a five-part interview with the curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Daniel Birnbaum, the artists reflect very personally on their decades of artistic work in East London.
TIP "Art for Everyone": With its vast wealth of images, the catalog forms a retrospective in book format - designed by the artists themselves.
MAGNETIC NORTH. IMAGINING CANADA IN PAINTING 1910–1940
Ancient forests in remote regions, majestic vistas in the Arctic, the magic of the northern lights—Canadian modernist painting conceives a mythical Canada. This comprehensive exhibition in the SCHIRN presents Canadian modernist painting and the works by the artists around the Group of Seven. In a captivating visual language, these paintings and sketches epitomize the dream of a “new” world, constructing the idyll of a magnificent landscape beyond the reality of the Indigenous population, modern city life, and the expanding industrial exploitation of nature. As a counter-narrative that holds equal resonance in Canada, Indigenous perspectives are explored in the show. The catalogue does not only depict the picturesque landscapes in large-format images - with a wide range of texts, interviews and changes of perspective, it also discusses the formation of myths and the necessary reexamination of (art) history in the course of decolonization.
TIP Bundled into thematic complexes and richly illustrated, the catalogue follows the structure of the exhibition at the SCHIRN - supplemented by the multi-perspective diversity of the text contributions and interviews. This makes it easy to take the exhibition home with you.
EITHER HE'S DEAD, OR MY WATCH HAS STOPPED
HAERIZADEH, HAERIZADEH, RAHMANIAN
Exuberant, humorous, eccentric and full of allusions: The expansive installations of the Iranian artists' collective Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian carry us off into a world of their own. The Schirn now presents the trio's first solo exhibition in Germany. Their work repeatedly revolves around the crises of the Middle East, war, exile and migration. With melancholy poetry and biting humor, they transform gloomy scenes into caricature-like grotesques that reflect the globalized world. Haerizadeh, Haerizadeh and Rahmanian focus attention on urgent contemporary political and social conflicts and question power mechanisms as well as normative gender roles or the art world. The publication accompanying the exhibition is accordingly exceptionally designed: A cosmos of colors, symbolic references, and large-format illustrations as well as an introductory text by curator Martina Weinhart and an extensive biography of the trio.
TIP The room-filling works are not only visually documented in the catalog in their creation and completion. Texts written by the artists and fellow authors especially for the publication provide insight into the (art) universe of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian.
WE NEVER SLEEP
This exhibition will haunt you for a long time: The fascination of espionage is always a source of artistic inspiration. As glamorously as spies are presented in popular culture, their information obtained in covert actions is socially explosive. The exhibition "We Never Sleep" sheds light on the subject through the prism of contemporary art - from the early 20th century to the Cold War and today's media surveillance. "We Never Sleep" thus raises questions that today seem more virulent than ever. The catalog explores a variety of perspectives on the subject of espionage that complement the exhibition. The essays provide insights into the entanglements of art and politics during the Cold War, uncover cinematic espionage techniques, deal with the militarization of U.S. culture from a personal perspective, and analyze the (aesthetic) structures and practices of agency.
TIP Sometimes works by the artists Gabriel Lester, Simon Menner, and Noam Toran developed especially for the project, as well as articles already published in various media, transform the catalog into a unique collection of complex resources on the subject of espionage.
RICHARD JACKSON. UNEXPECTED UNEXPLAINED UNACCEPTED
More than any other artist of his day Richard Jackson has focused his attention on the radical expansion of painting. For the first time the Schirn is assembling five of his 12 extensive installations. In his Rooms, comic-like figures, animals or objects become actors involved in a unique process: Air compressors and pumps cause rich colors to flow through tubes and funnels, through ears, mouths and other body orifices and spread them across the floor, walls, furnishings and figures. The publication takes up Jackson’s painterly process and guides the reader through the rooms with their ever-changing perspectives and bright colors. Essays by author Chris Kidd, art historian Christian Janecke and curator Matthias Ulrich place the works by the Californian artist in context and highlight important links with art, politics and history.
TIP Thanks to the detailed texts on the individual rooms and installations as well as the comprehensive photographic documentation, readers can enjoy discovering ever new details and connections to the history of art and current events.
After more than 50 years, Lee Krasner is being presented in a major retrospective in Europe again. The impressive works by this pioneer of Abstract Expressionism are now on show at the SCHIRN. With paintings, collages and drawings, the exhibition tells the story of this remarkable artist, who long remained in the shadow of her husband Jackson Pollock. Along with artists like Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock, she was at the center of what was then the newly developed movement of Abstract Expressionism, yet unlike many artists of her time she never developed a “signature style”. Rather, her pictorial language evolved continually. Using large illustrations, the catalogue presents her impressive works from the 1920s to the 1970s, while in-depth texts guide the reader through Lee Krasner’s eventful life and the lasting impact she made, in which art always plays the major role.
The exclusive interview with Lee Krasner, hosted by art historian Gail Levin, and the high-quality shots by photographer Ray Eames offer insights into the artist’s story and the legendary American art scene of that time.
JOHN M ARMLEDER. CA.CA.
His art combines highbrow culture and the everyday, chance and planning, the profound and the trivial – to produce a unique experience. John M. Armleder has purpose-created new expansive installations specially for SCHIRN. One such work featuring 20 mirror balls in the freely accessible SCHIRN Rotunda produces a veritable hall of mirrors. The core thrust of Armleder’s work is on a rejection of anything specific and predefined and instead a predilection for processes. This fundamental approach is reflected for instance in the title “CA.CA.” of the SCHIRN presentation. John M. Armleder takes viewers on a journey through the art and culture of the 20th and 21st centuries and never tires of questioning existing systems and structures of the art world. The publication helps visualize the exhibition, guiding the reader through this extraordinary show and provides fundamental insights into the artist’s oeuvre in the form of an essay and a detailed biography.
TIP The detailed work views provide a visual guide of Armleder’s expansive and visually diverse works allowing readers to vividly relive the exhibition.
Contemporary music has a sound all of its own – quite literally: musical instruments that are sculptures at the same time represent a still relatively unknown, recent development in contemporary art. In a group exhibition involving artists from all over the world, the SCHIRN is showing artworks that also function as musical instruments. Playing these sculptural works is the key element of this continually changing exhibition. Throughout its duration, the SCHIRN will become a temporary concert hall in which the works are activated and made to produce sound.
The publication accompanying the exhibition also has its own sound. Articles by Irene Noy, Marion Saxer, Matthias Ulrich and Salomé Voegelin offer an extraordinary and nuanced insight into the world of sound: contemporary art sounds like social exchange when other forms of language fail, like new ways of making contact, and like questions of identity and the political potential of art.
BRUNO GIRONCOLI: PROTOTYPES FOR A NEW SPECIES
Austrian Bruno Gironcoli (1936–2010) is considered one of the most important sculptors of his generation. With his own personal color scheme and individual pictorial language, from the early 1960s onwards he created a quite unique oeuvre in a never-ending glut of sheer inventiveness. The powerful exhibition at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents excerpts from Gironcoli’s monumental later works. As if they had sprung from a surreal dreamworld, the enormous pieces resemble so many “prototypes for a new species”, coated in gleaming, seductive surfaces of gold, silver and copper. The exhibition catalog guides the reader through images of details and complete works among the monumental sculptures of Gironcoli’s theater of the absurd. Furthermore, curator Martina Weinhart highlights Gironcoli’s extensive creativity and the various different influences on his very particular figural language.
TIP With historic archive shots, the catalog permits extraordinary insights into Bruno Gironcoli’s life and work, as well as the Vienna art scene of his time.
Nowadays, there is pretty well no such thing as unspoiled nature and the blank spaces on the maps have nearly all disappeared. At the same time, our fascination with the phenomenon of “wilderness” in art remains unabated. The SCHIRN is now devoting an extensive themed exhibition to the subject. More than 100 works of art by 34 international artists – from 1900 right up until the present day – will be shown in the exhibition, including pieces by Henri Rousseau, Tacita Dean, Max Ernst, Gerhard Richter and Georgia O’Keeffe, along with many other important positions. The search for those last untouched places, the expedition as an artistic medium and visions of a post-human world characterize the works in the exhibition, as does the renegotiation of the relationship between human and animal. At the same time, the wilderness has always been a space into which artists project their notions of what is different and exotic, their counter-images, longings and fantasies. The lavish catalog illustrates the approaches taken by artists to the phenomenon of wilderness from all kinds of perspectives; it contains impressive illustrations of the works on show.
TIP Alongside the essays, selected statements by the artists as well as historical and literary texts contextualize the works, allowing for profound insights into the development of the term wilderness in the cultural-historical context.
A JOURNEY THROUGH MUD AND CONFUSION WITH SMALL GLIMPSES OF AIR
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
For the first time, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the work of the Swedish artist couple Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg in an extensive survey exhibition in Germany. On display are around 40 video and sound works from the last two decades as well as their first virtual reality work from last year. The encounter with the films of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg has something of a seduction - they impressively and directly attract the viewer into colorful, suggestive worlds accompanied by hypnotic music. Their films resemble absurd dreams and repressed memories, they atmospherically fathom the limits of what is humanly bearable. Curator Lena Essling, philosopher Patricia MacCormack, musician David Toop and curator Massimiliano Gioni decipher the work of Djurberg's mountain in terms of locations, sound and central themes.
TIP With an abundance of large-format color illustrations and picture series, the catalog provides a multifaceted insight into the complex work of Djurberg Berg.
KING OF THE ANIMALS WILHELM KUHNERT AND THE IMAGE OF AFRICA
A detailed chronology in the catalog provides insight into German colonial history and provides the central background information on Kuhnert's life and work
Berlin painter Wilhelm Kuhnert was one of the first European artists to travel the then largely unexplored former colony of German East Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. The drawings and oil sketches of the flora and fauna there that he produced on his trips served as the basis for monumental paintings that he then made in his studio after returning to Berlin. Back then, Kuhnert exhibited the works internationally to great acclaim and emerged as the leading interpreter of the African animal kingdom. He shaped the Western notion of Africa like no other painter of his day. SCHIRN is presenting the first major retrospective on Kuhnert’s life and work. The accompanying catalog sheds light on his oeuvre both against the backdrop of art history and the history of the natural sciences as well as against the foil of German colonial history; it contains large-format reproductions of his monumental animal paintings.
TIP An extensive chronology in the catalog gives the reader an overview of German colonial history and provides the key background information on Kuhnert’s life and work.
THE INVENTION OF AN ILLUSION
A glass display case. Behind it a stage showing scenes relating to folklore or natural history, inhabited by all kinds of materials, stuffed animals or even human figures. This is what we typically associate with dioramas. And what does this have to do with art? For the first time, the exhibition at Schirn Kunsthalle takes a critical look at this question. The show starts even before the development of Louis Daguerre’s theaters at the Paris Opera, with the early religious tableaux dating from the 18th century which reflect the scientific use of dioramas in natural history museums and continues right up to the 21st century, to the deconstruction of the diorama in contemporary photographs, films and installations. The numerous texts in the accompanying catalogue range from meticulous technical instructions to art texts and even the kind of theoretical analyses typical of the history of art and culture. They reflect the interdiscipinarity of this special medium, providing multilayered insights into the cultural history of exhibiting and the development of the diorama as a precursor to the virtual world
TIP In addition to the wide range of dioramas portrayed, the catalogue texts are unbelievably diverse. They range from the detailed analyses by Carl Akeley, the inventor of the dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, to a letter by Anselm Kiefer to the curator and Donna Haraway’s famous text on the “teddy bear patriarchy”
30 YEARS SCHIRN
THE MAGAZINE FOR THE ANNIVERSARY
All good things are thirty! In thirty entertaining chapters, the magazine collects everything that makes the SCHIRN one of the most respected and popular art institutions in Europe. Opulent to amusing, the magazine presents selected exhibitions, opinions and virulent topics, the friends and community, facts and figures, the highlights and excitement of thirty years of the SCHIRN. A magazine by and for all those who love the SCHIRN and make it what it is.
SAND IN THE EYES
Lena Henke’s is inspired by a broad variety of things, ranging from the architecture of fantastic 16th century landscaped gardens to the bright colors of Luis Barragán’s buildings in Mexico City from the mid-20th century. In the extensive installation entitled “Don’t yell at me, Warrior!” the artist draws on her very own experiences of architecture, public spaces, and urban planning concepts to develop a quite unique formal vocabulary. The pillars of the Schirn Rotunda, clad in garish yellow, pink and blue, are reflected in the cool, metallic aluminum surface of the two sculptures at the entrances to the Rotunda. Only from above can one discern their shape: outsized large eyes with a curved shape. Through grill shutters on the first floor of the Schirn fine sand drifts down into your eyes as soon as a gust of wind or the movement of a foot sends a puff of the tiny grains through the grill.
TIP Lena Henke’s piece relies on a change of perspective (from below, from above, from the side) to cerate an ever new, surprising interplay of different shapes, colors, materials, lighting situations and reflections
PETER HALLEY. THE SCHIRN RING
Based on the spatial conditions of the rotunda, Halley has developed a multi-part installation that begins on the outside and extends on the inside over both floors of the rotunda and an adjacent exhibition space. On an area of approximately 450 m² Halley designs a spatially complex, coded installation with both current and older elements of his work. Peter Halley's installations are always based on his understanding of the cultural and architectural context in which they are created. Thus, the development of The Schirn Ring was also preceded by an intensive conceptual and architectural examination of the Schirn rotunda.
JOAN MIRÓ. MURALS, WORLD PICTURES
HALF A CENTURY OF PAINTING
Joan Miró had a preference for large formats and a fascination for the wall. It represents the starting point of his painting - as an object that is depicted and that determines the physical and haptic quality of his works at the same time. Miró moved away from a simple reproduction of reality and equated the picture surface with the wall. His special relationship to the wall explains the care with which he selected and prepared his materials and pictorial grounds. With white-primed canvases, raw jute, fiberboard, sandpaper or tar paper, the artist created unique pictorial worlds of outstanding materiality.
In his essay, Joan Punyet Miró, the artist's grandson, devotes himself to the artistic significance of the wall in his grandfather's oeuvre and illustrates its special influence on his painting.
RONI HORN. PORTRAIT OF AN IMAGE
The photographic series “Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert)” is based on a collaboration between Horn and the French film and stage actress Isabelle Huppert. Together they selected earlier roles Huppert had played that the actress then performed again for the camera. For these photographs, Huppert visualized her repertoire solely on the basis of her memory, without the aid of the scripts or the films themselves.
Setting out from the Schirn, Horn places a selection of these motifs in public space in a way that does not reveal that they are part of her work or an artistic project: no mention is made either of the artist or the exhibiting institution, and there is no title that would indicate that it is a work of art. Sixteen motifs appear in places in Frankfurt’s urban space in which advertising is usually displayed—advertising that in our society for the most part relies on the impact of faces. However, in Horn’s work the portraits are not furnished with commentary and therefore raise questions, for example how and whether we can read the face we are looking at even without a prescribed context.
Life as optimization and experience project?
The credo of today’s society without boundaries reads “ever faster, ever higher, ever further.” In the early twenty-first century, man, oscillating between euphoria and depression, finds himself confronted with the promising opportunities of a global and virtual world as well as the challenge to constantly improve, optimize, and shape his life more efficiently. The presented works are not aimed at visualizing the contents of the eponymous epochal novel “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace. The book rather explores the various demands confronting today’s individual, in which the modes of resistance and the contradictions of a reality often described as lacking any alternative make themselves felt. The catalog is a commentary on the exhibition. The essays it contains are reproductions in a twofold sense: they reproduce the idea of the presentation in textual form, and they are reprints. The artistic manifestos also published in the book refer to the included essay by Alex Danchev on the one hand and are a constant companion to early-twentieth-century art on the other. They demonstrate the ever-recurring desire for renewal in a way of their own.
Artists: Francis Alÿs, Maurizio Cattelan, Claire Fontaine, Peter Coffin, Lara Favaretto, Andrea Fraser, Karl Holmqvist, Judith Hopf, Ceal Floyer, Josh Kline, Alicja Kwade, Joep van Liefland, Helen Marten, Kris Martin, Navid Nuur, Daniel Richter, Michael Riedel, Anri Sala, Ryan Trecartin, and the Kopp Collection.
LAST WORKS. FROM MANET TO KIPPENBERGER
Intensity, radicalization, reorientation
Outstanding works and groups of works dating from the late nineteenth century to the present strikingly demonstrate the final intensification or surprising turn within an artist’s oeuvre. The catalogue centers on works by fourteen artists such as Claude Monet and Henri Matisse, who produced a late work that has received acclaim in the meantime, or Martin Kippenberger and Bas Jan Ader, who, when they died young, left us an almost unknown “late work.”
Artists: Bas Jan Ader, Stan Brakhage, Giorgio de Chirico, Walker Evans, Alexej von Jawlensky, Georgia O’Keeffe, Martin Kippenberger, Willem de Kooning, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Francis Picabia, Ad Reinhardt und Andy Warhol
Graffiti on the cover makes each book a one-of-a-kind item
The major cities of Brazil are home to one of the world’s most vital and fascinating graffiti scenes. In terms of both content and aesthetic quality, this colourful, dynamic and unique movement differs significantly from the American and European street-art scenes. Brazilian street art stands apart from the globalized graffiti culture by virtue not only of the specific political and social climate in a country rocked by profound upheavals but also because of the incredible abundance of styles and techniques it encompasses. Eleven artists and artist groups from São Paulo and other Brazilian cities have been invited to exhibit their paintings in urban settings throughout Frankfurt, and thus to alter the everyday image of the city. Their works include figurative and abstract, light-hearted and socially critical paintings ranging from oversized murals to unpretentious, ephemeral signs and symbols.
With works by: Herbert Baglione, Gais, Rimon Guimarães, Jana Joana & Vitché, Nunca, Onesto, Alexandre Orion, Speto, Fefe Talavera, Tinho, Zezão
BRASILIANA. INSTALLATIONS FROM 1960 TO THE PRESENT
Installation art from Brazil
With examples of installations from the late 1960s to the latest artistic positions, the publication demonstrates the specifically Brazilian aspect of this “art of experience.” The book combines positions now considered classical, like those of Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida, Lygia Clark, Tunga, and Cildo Meireles, with works by younger artists such as Ernesto Neto, Maria Nepomuceno, Henrique Oliviera, and Dias & Riedweg and thus continues the history of the installation in Brazil through to the present.