ERIK STEFFENSEN - HELMUT FEDERLE – A NORDIC VIEW Over the past twenty years art community all over the world has reflected on and meditated over the outstanding work of the painter Helmut Federle. His artistic language focuses on and is dedicated to the inner qualities of painting as an existential challenge for whoever it might concern. Nevertheless Helmut Federle is rarely shown at galleries or traded in the turbulent art market. His reputation is based entirely on his belief in the value of artistic expression and the pure strength of his work. In many ways this commitment and attitude is similar to the Nordic romantic tradition, which in a wild and broad sense deals with religion, existence, longing, nature and migration without rejecting these strong human passions.
HELMUT FEDERLE – A NORDIC VIEW provides the visitor with a glimpse into this mysterious yet humorous and balanced cave of the north, where – as Ludwig Wittgenstein once wrote after living in the solitary wilderness of the Norwegian fjords – white can also be a sort of black. This exhibition of Helmut Federle's works is at the same time a presentation of the work of fellow Nordic artists as well as men marked by this tradition, whether this be from trying to escape from it, like the modern masters Paul Gauguin, Asger Jorn, Olle Bærtling and Alfred Jensen, or from (almost) never leaving home, like the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi. Music by "The Man in Black" Johnny Cash, a short film by "The Great Man" W.C. Fields, and a sculptural chair by Gunnar Aagaard Andersen add new perspectives to the works of Helmut Federle by building bridges between people in the unpredictable though well-known rivers of culture. The contemporary artists Per Kirkeby, Per Bak Jensen, Håkan Rehnberg and Tal R, who work in sculpture, photography and painting, enter into a dialogue through their work and address some important existential issues that have been thematically singled out in the names given to the four rooms of the exhibition: "God and Symmetry", "Colour and Travelling", "Nature and Animals" and "The American Room".
HELMUT FEDERLE – A NORDIC VIEW includes new paintings and photographs by Helmut Federle as well as drawings and older paintings never exhibited before, like "Untitled" (Elvis) and "Two Heart Flames" painted in New York City in 1980.
Catalogue to be published.
ERIK STEFFENSEN, born in 1961 in Valby, Denmark, is a writer and photographer, as well as professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.
HELMUT FEDERLE, born in 1944 in Solothurn, Switzerland, lives in Vienna and Düsseldorf. He is professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf Exhibitions (selection, since 1991): 1991 Wiener Secession, Vienna; 1992 Kunsthalle Zürich; Moderna Museet Stockholm, Stockholm; 1993 Museum Fridericianum, Kassel; Museum Folkwang, Essen; 1995 Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Kunstmuseum Bonn; 1997 Venice Biennial; 1998 Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau; Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe; IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia; 1999 Kunsthaus Bregenz; 2002 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes; 2004 Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria.
Sculpture, music, film, works on paper and paintings by the following artists:
PAUL GAUGUIN 1848-1903
VILHELM HAMMERSHØI 1864-1916
W.C. FIELDS 1879-1946
ALFRED JENSEN 1903-1981
OLLE BÆRTLING 1911-1981
ASGER JORN 1914-1973
GUNNAR AAGAARD ANDERSEN 1919-1982
JOHNNY CASH 1932-2003
PER KIRKEBY 1938
PER BAK JENSEN 1949
HÅKAN REHNBERG 1953
TAL R 1967
The Gallery will be open during the holidays.