Sprüth Magers Berlin march 02 - april 13 2013
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are delighted to present an exhibition of new work by
acclaimed German artist Andreas Schulze. In his third solo show at the Berlin gallery, the
artist will present two ceramic sculptures alongside a selection of paintings, depicting
landscapes inspired by the artist’s recent expedition to the island of Sicily.
Andreas Schulze first came to prominence in the early 1980’s, as a pivotal figure in the
explosive flourishing of creativity which centred around Monika Sprüth’s gallery in Cologne.
Schulze has since been recognised as an inventor of new pictorial worlds, having developed
an autonomous and unmistakable visual language with which to explore various interior
views of society. A fundamental theme in the artist’s work is the power of painting to create
illusion, giving multifaceted treatment to the theme of the interplay between being and
appearance, reality and staging in the medium of painting. An independent and antihierarchical
use of traditional styles of painting links his work with the Avant-garde
movements of the early twentieth century, above all Dada, Surrealism and Symbolism, yet
his cool, analytical compositions and his independent themes allow Schulze to retain a unique
position within the context of contemporary art.
The exhibition will showcase a series of paintings depicting the landscape of Sicily, where
Schulze, following the tradition of old master painters who would partake in artistic
pilgrimages across Europe, recently visited. These works on paper are made up of strangely
dimensioned forms, rendered in perspective and executed with a vivid palette, bringing
hidden layers of consciousness and underlying emotions to mind. Ohne Titel (Bahnstrecke am
Meer), 2013, depicts recognisable landmarks including the railway track which crosses the
island, and the volcano Mount Etna. In four of the paintings, the artist furnishes his seascapes
with isolated objects, as in Ohne Titel (Bett am Meer), 2013, in which Schulze blocks a
picturesque vista with the brown form of a bed frame harbouring large, cloudlike cushions.
Here, the domestic object becomes the protagonist of a concealed narrative, freeing it from its
function and assigning a performance filled with significance. These illusionistic landscapes,
which privilege psychological depth over flatness, correspond to the Surrealist preference for
mysterious, enigmatic stage sets. By folding together the genres of interiors and landscapes,
and exploring notions of inner and outer space, the compositions convey coziness and
menace, familiarity and strangeness, playfulness and melancholy, calm and discomfort,
ultimately evoking the dislocated and fragmented nature of contemporary experience.
Juxtaposed against the uncanny melancholy of Schulze’s paintings, two of the artist’s
playfully anthropomorphic ceramic sculptures will be exhibited. These sculptures take the
familiar, everyday shape of vases or jugs, adorned with the facial features of the artist
himself. Each unique ceramic has been hand crafted, alluding to a sense of homely tradition
which Schulze has sought to challenge and complicate in other aspects of his work. The
sculptures tap into a vein of Schulze’s practice that is replete with, and almost fetishizes,
bourgeois décor and ornamentation, which is symptomatic of Schulze’s fascination with
modern yearnings for contentment.
Andreas Schulze was born in Hanover in 1955. He studied at the Gesamthochschule Kassel
and Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he is professor of painting. Major solo
exhibitions include the opening show of Galerie Monika Sprüth in Cologne (1983) and
INTERIEUR at the Falckenberg Collection in Hamburg (2010). Major group exhibitions include
Tate Britain, London (1983), MoMA, New York (1984), the Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen
(1988) and the Triennale in Milan (1997). He lives and works in Cologne.
Sprüth Magers Berlin will also be concurrently presenting a solo exhibition by Peter Fischli &