Group exhibition

Painting, Serigraphy, Gouache, Encaustic, Paper Relief, Embossing, Offset Printing and Sculptures

Ausstellungsdauer 15. January to 08. March 2022

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends of the gallery,

the exhibition Light and Transparency in the reopened Bonn Minster was visited by far more than seventy thousand people in a short time. Five artists, among them Heinz Mack, Tony Cragg and Gerhard Richter, are exhibiting their works there. An impressive symbiosis of modern art and medieval architecture.
In his speech printed in the exhibition catalogue, Timotheus Höttges complains that we are all too happy to reduce a world full of nuances to black or white in order to be able to explain and understand the world more easily, but in this way we also contribute to the division and polarisation of society.

According to the colour theory of the romantic painter Phillip Otto Runge, black and white belong to the colours. In his theory of colours, Runge did not want to illustrate the relationship between mixtures, but above all the harmonies of colours.
The fact that the artist Heinz Mack refers to this theory of colours comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a "Chromatik" by his hand. Full of colour harmony with the finest intermediate tones, his works revolve around the spectral colours, as excerpts or in their entirety. Even his black and white works are full of nuances and shades, even they show the world in its manifold ways. As a whole of differences. As a unity of differences. Thus, the work of Heinz Mack fits extremely well into this exhibition and shows that it certainly brings great added value to engage with intermediate tones.
The intermediate tones of seeing correspond to the intermediate tones of hearing. In his two-part sculpture Listeners, Tony Cragg dealt with hearing itself, with listening, with being heard and with listening to intermediate tones. Like the screens of radio telescopes, the end points of his sculpture stretch out towards the viewer in order to attract attention but at the same time to pick up, understand and respond to the most sensitive, quiet vibrations of the other person. Precisely the intermediate tones that are otherwise so easily lost in the "grey noise" of the volume.
Gerhard Richter's C-print of an overpainted photo of a landscape is an example of the fact that the world cannot be divided into black or white, right or wrong. It is precisely in the contrast between the sky painted over in shades of grey and the colourful surface of the earth that the world appears colourful and worth preserving, in its multi-layered nature, but above all in its multi-layeredness of different people and their opinions. The fact that there are almost as many in-betweens there as there are people seems to be rooted in ourselves and should actually be self-evident.

"As if floating in space, half-shadowed on the side, the flame almost glistening and yet the picture so reassuringly dark and quiet - "Candle". Gerhard Richter painted it, hardly any modern painting has burned itself into memory as an icon of sacred purity, stillness and perfect introspection like this one. "*.
The candle as a motif, as a symbol of spirituality and religiosity, as a synonym for enlightenment and clarity, for life and transience, but also as a reference to twilight and mystery, already fits into the theme of the intermediate tones through Richter's typical "blurred" painting language. It is precisely here that the wonderful effect of the picture is created by the non-defined boundaries, by the non-concrete delimitation. The flowing transitions, the overlapping and mixing, the toleration of the other lead to a whole full of harmony.

*Süddeutsche Zeitung from 21.10.2016

And so we take the exhibition in Bonn Minster and just Mr Höttges' speech as an occasion to share the gallery. We dedicate one side of the gallery to the worlds of colour and form of Heinz Mack, Gerhard Richter and Tony Cragg, and we design the other half with black and white pictures and objects. Especially in these black and white works, the intermediate tones, the shades of grey, are of immense importance. This is the only way to create nuanced, flowing transitions.
We would like to refer once again to Runge's colour theory, which Heinz Mack used to design his colourful black and white rotations. But also the artists whose white works live only from the shadow in all its facets: Günther Uecker, Aja von Loeper, André Schweers and Thomas Röthel. Depending on the lighting conditions, their works create light-dark contrasts in the most diverse intermediate tones; without these, there would be no life in such objects, indeed, in the end they would be ineffective.
But the works by Sybille Pattscheck and Marius Singer, painted in white and black and all their mixing ratios, are basically multiple intermediate shades of these two colours. You can see very well in them how powerfully these shades of grey confront the viewer. This is precisely where Michael Cleff's ceramic objects come in: Seen superficially, from a distance, his sculptures seem black and white. If you step closer and look just a little more closely, the diversity in his black and white tones becomes apparent.
As you can see, this gallery, redesigned for the occasion, is a plea for diversity. It wants to show symbolically that only through diversity, through difference, can a living whole emerge. It wants to encourage people to listen to each other, to tolerate and accept diversity, to talk to each other. We do not all have to be of the same opinion, but nevertheless we are part of a whole.
Of course, we would be delighted if you would visit us in the gallery and perhaps purchase one or two works of art. There are wonderful things there.

Yours sincerely

Jenny Geißler and Bernd Bentler

Exhibition duration: 15.01.2022 - 08.03.2022

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