Now! Young Painting in Germany, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Museum Wiesbaden, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Museum Gunzenhauser
With the exhibition project Now! Painting in Germany Today, the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Museum Wiesbaden,
the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz –
Museum Gunzenhauser and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg are engaged in an endeavor to determine the current status of the medium. The goal is to present a valid cross section of the painting produced in Germany by young artists, while giving consideration to all the forms in which it appears.
This project is guided by three central premises. Firstly, with regard to what has been said above, the curation was restricted to positions that actually deal with the medium within the limited framework of the canvas panel. Consequently, this meant consciously leaving out all variations of the image in a broader sense such as painterly interventions of a spatial installation or multi-media explorations of paintings without paint. This focus struck us as crucial in order to arrive at reliable statements as to what potential the painted image still has today, especially against the backdrop of the overall spreading of digitisation. Furthermore, in view of the unprecedented expansion of artistic practice to all spheres of life, it begs the fundamental question as to whether an equally consistent expansion of painting may give the medium decisive impulses, or whether the conceptually viable position of painting today will not be found more likely at the juncture where painting must deal with its structural limitations on the flat picture carrier?
The second precondition concerns the age of the participants, who basically belong to the age group of around 1979, their ages ranging between thirty and forty. We are dealing with the first generation that has by and large grown up without the experience of a divided Germany. This, too, signifies a crucial focus of Jetzt! Very emphatically we did not want to unfold an historical panorama with this exhibition by specifying the various strands along which the medium developed in the two parts of Germany. In this respect, the title of the exhibition should be understood programmatically: the arena that becomes visible here is not legitimised by its embeddedness in an historically grown context, but stands its ground as an assessment of the contemporary condition which, in turn, raises its own questions and provides answers regarding the painted image.
The third precondition concerns the geographic framework of our area of exploration. Our focus on Germany should not to be understood as an indication of a common national visual language that we suspect is contained in the approaches we selected. Based on purely pragmatic grounds, this decision is the result of a needed delineation of the field to prevent the selection from becoming limitless and thus exchangeable. It was to our benefit that during the past twenty years – also on account of Berlin being so attractive – that the composition of artists living in Germany became increasingly international. Here they can fall back on one of the richest art landscapes in the world and also on vast resources of support.
Within this framework we conducted our research as comprehensively as possible and did not rely simply rely our own competence, but had successful artists, colleagues, art critics, et al. supply us with valuable information.
The decision to present the selected views via several works will provide a deeper insight into the different artistic approachesBack to overview