The Gunzenhauser looks black |

In fact, this exhibition could have been a contrast to the bright, sunny and hot summer expected: Curator Anja Richter devoted an entire floor to the achromatic color black, which is technically referred to by the not-exactly familiar code “# 000000” – just like the exhibit itself. Now she’s almost a reflection of gray, cool, …

In fact, this exhibition could have been a contrast to the bright, sunny and hot summer expected: Curator Anja Richter devoted an entire floor to the achromatic color black, which is technically referred to by the not-exactly familiar code “# 000000” – just like the exhibit itself. Now it has almost become a reflection of the gray, cool and rainy days of August.

But that’s just by the way. The special exhibition, which is fed by funds from the Gunzenhauser collection and the art collections, is in fact a reflection of the world, which has not only drawbacks but also drawbacks. Even the staircase leading to the “black” floor offers an impressive picture: in the middle of the red walls, a spray of blood-red paint shines on a black background. Otto Piene’s 1967 work does not need a title. It combines terrifying and desperate darkness with the blood red of life. In 2003, Eberhard Göschel completely dispenses with the colors in his gestural sheets of “Chemnitzer Konvolut”; noise does not want to form an image yet. Just like with Volker Hildebrand, who in 1989 “creates the television image in seven days” without seeing anything. Even Michael Morgner’s “Summer” from the “Four Seasons” series is not colorful, cheerful, if you think back to the time it was made – the years 1985 to 1989 – it seems to kill all hope. living. Likewise the “Black Wall – Crematorium” by Werner Knaupp from the years 1980/81.

And yet the structures are shaking in black, there are bright spots, as in “Testament III” of 1985 by Ion-Ilarion Isaila from Romania, who studied under AR Penck, among others. Richard Serra, too, in his “Hreppholar IV”, 1991, named after the Icelandic basalt columns, leaves room for white next to black. Even more Willi Baumeister, in the “Taru-Turi” of 1954, black spots form the center, but allow colored spots of color.

In a number of other works, black is also an aesthetic medium, not just a significant non-color. In her photos, May Voigt emphasizes contrasts and drama in the reduction to black and white. In the photos by Hilla and Bernd Becher, industrial buildings take on graphic lines, refraining as a sort of memorial for the age, hopefully, of the end of an economy that consumes and destroys resources. In “Floating Elements – Two Destroyed Squares Reformed” by Karl-Heinz Adler, the printing technique creates a silvery gray that gives the destruction a noble optimism.

The exhibition is a reminder that black was particularly popular in Western European art in the years following World War II. More or less consciously according to Theodor W. Adorno’s statement: “Radical art today means something sinister, starting from the base color black. To “survive in the midst of the most extreme and darkest reality”, according to Adorno, “works of art that do not want to be bought as encouragement must” make themselves equal to this “- that is, say the “darker.” Just as Adorno called the writing of poems after Auschwitz “barbaric,” he also found in his “Aesthetic Theory” published in 1969 that “much of contemporary production is disqualified. . by the fact that she … is childish in terms of colors is happy “. In the voluntary “impoverishment of means”, that is to say the reduction to the black, art pursues “superfluous misery” in the world. However, the philosopher also allowed artists to revolt against this “impoverishment” of means.

And so there is nothing “dark” about this exhibition, even if it is reminiscent of the great exhibition with the black paintings by Pierre Soulages which has just ended. It shows how diverse the holdings of Chemnitz art collections are and how many facets of the presentation it allows. So that residents can always discover new things at the Gunzenhauser museum, especially since a varied support program is again provided with a small series of black films in cooperation with the new arthouse cinema “Camera” , a photography workshop and a Halloween party.

The exhibition “# 000000” is on view until October 31 at the Gunzenhauser Museum in Chemnitz. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The current access rules are available at: www.kunstsammlungen-chemnitz.de

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