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18 September 2004 until 14 November 2004
Hans Rogalla
  Badischer Kunstverein

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstr. 3
76133 Karlsruhe
Germany (city map)

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tel +49-(0)721 - 28 226

SETAREH SHAHBAZI Oh, no, no ... ­ The Crystal Series

18.09. - 14.11.2004

Opening: Friday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m.

We would like to cordially invite you to the press preview of the exhibition on Friday, September 17th at 11:00 a.m.

Setareh Shahbazi's visual worlds confront the viewer with a peculiar ambivalence: one gazes upon motifs and scenes which appear both intimate and superficial, enraptured and decorative, profound and oversimplified, which seem to make deliberate use of the aesthetic technique of comic books and advertising graphics without proclaiming either a story or a message. One sees simple motifs ­ figures, architectural constructs, "natural" elements such as animals, plants, landscapes ­ against a flat, colored background. The coloration of the pictorial surfaces is concentrated into a spectrum of broken pastel tones which cannot be assigned to any clear-cut commercial or cultural encoding and which summon up in the viewer not only stimuli of satisfaction but also a sense of the subject's being incomprehensibly remote or enraptured.

The man who holds a baby in his hands seems to have been wrenched out of some specific context. But his identity makes reference neither to an advertisement for baby food nor to a television series. His image conveys information neither about him nor about itself. For whom or for what do these images then stand? To what does the gaze of the woman upon a yellow background establish a relationship when her eyes are directed upwards to the right? Do these pictures function like a canvas without projection, like a deception? A beautiful ornament? Or like a sort of fictional domicile (up front against a flat background)? Who takes away what from whom in the generating of significance?

Setareh Shahbazi produces visual worlds which still allow the surmise that they have engendered themselves out of pre-extant models which are then left far behind. They give expression to the theme of a withdrawal that would almost have to be considered to be melancholic if it did not at the same time set us free from the attribution of meaning. This is what constitutes their ambivalence: delineation in a foreground conjoins with stark desire for a background.

Setareh Shahbazi, born in 1978 in Teheran, studied media art at the College for Design in Karlsruhe. Recently she has worked with a DAAD grant in Beruit in collaboration with the Fondation Arabe for l'Image.

The Badischer Kunstverein is presenting Setareh Shahbazi's work for the first time in a solo exhibition. A catalogue is being published with numerous illustrations and texts by Simon Baier and Angelika Stepken.


09.18 ­ 14.11.2004

Opening: Friday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m.

We would like to cordially invite you to the press preview of the exhibition on Friday, September 17th at 11:00 a.m.

Hans Rogalla, born in Karlsruhe in 1946 and deceased here forty years later, already participated during his lifetime in group exhibitions (1977 and 1988) in the Badischer Kunstverein.

Now eighteen years after his death, in a collaborative effort with the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, a presentation is being made for the first time of his unfinished, fragmentary work including a large number of works on paper along with a few large-scale pictures and small-scale terracotta plastics. The initiative for this exhibition came from Robert Hartmann, the head of the Künstlerverein Malkasten in Düsseldorf, and Stephan von Wiese, curator of the foundation museum kunst palast.

Hans Rogalla studied from 1964 to 1966 at the State Academy of Visual Arts Karlsruhe, first at the extension in Freiburg with Hans Meyboden, then with Georg Meistermann. During a year of studies in Rome with Renato Guttuso, the interconnection between political and erotic motifs in painting exerted a formative influence on him. In 1967 he switched to Josef Beuys at the Düsseldorf Art Academy (until 1970). There his uncompromising adherence to the easel painting that was so despised at the time earned him the reputation of being an outsider, and he engaged in agitation as a member of oppositional artists' groups such as LIDL and YIUP (together with Robert Hartmann, Hans Henin and Hans Heiniger). “The world must become more beautiful!” ­ Rogalla demanded on the YIUP graphic work of the same name from 1970.

The work of Hans Rogalla, who grew up in the context of a pietistic family, was characterized during his entire life by painterly visions of lust and torture. His obsessive creative output deals with bodily nature and sexuality, but also with a biography which is torn between love of Italy and involvement in the West German reality of the 1960s and which opposes the social rituals of political resistance and "sexual liberation."

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue published by the Buchhandlung Walter König and containing numerous illustrations and texts by artistic friends and colleagues of Hans Rogalla.

Lucia Madriz erscheinen

18.09. ­ 06.10.2004

Opening: Friday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m.

press photos

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