Duration: 3 February – 31 March 2018
Location: Kunstsäle Berlin, Bülowstraße 90, 10783 Berlin, Germany
Following the exhibition “About Painting,” on display at Galerie Judin in 2016, the Herford-based collector Heiner Wemhöner will present a new selection of previously unseen works from his collection as of February 3rd, 2018.
The group show KÖRPER-SPANNUNGEN features works by international artists Nevin Aladag, Kader Attia, Stephan Balkenhol, Roger Ballen, Monica Bonvicini, Asta Gröting, Marc Lafia, Duane Michals, Andreas Mühe, Helmut Newton, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Xu Qu, and Yang Fudong.
Bodies are fields of tension. They pulsate between the poles of total relaxation and complete tension, conveying, for instance, a sense of elegance or insecurity. Bodies are also a source of tension. They have the power, especially in a state of nudity, to cause tension in a viewer, awakening feelings of desire or discomfort. Art that is dedicated to depicting exposed bodies is never only concerned with superficial phenomena, but also with the states of the soul. The Wemhöner Collection, with its two-part exhibition KÖRPER-SPANNUNGEN/BODY TENSIONS, explores the highly charged terrain of an aesthetics of nudity that has been shaped by taboos, norms, and transgressions since antiquity.
Featuring the works of Kader Attia, Stephan Balkenhol, and Duane Michal, the first part of the exhibition (Körper als Spannungsfeld/Bodies as a Field of Tension) presents contemporary positions of artistically staged nudity, which can be linked to two lines of tradition that persist today: the ancient Greek notion of ideal beauty, and the Christian narrative of the fall of man associated with shame, knowledge, and transience. Against the backdrop of heroic or ideal nudity, the works of the artists Yang Fudong and Xu Qu – Chinese contemporary art is a focal point of the Wemhöner Collection – also gain in contour.
The second part of the exhibition (Körper als Spannungserreger/Bodies as a Source of Tension) confronts the omnipresence of nudity conveyed by the media in an increasingly exhibitionistic society. Not only have divisions between the private and the public become blurred; the flood of images threatens to unleash a frenzy of immodesty. Seen in this light, the works of Roger Ballen, Monica Bonvicini, Asta Gröting, Marc Lafia, Andreas Mühe, Helmut Newton, and Tim Noble & Sue Webster strive for a contemporary relationship with the naked body. By shifting the boundaries of shame its demystification is sometimes driven so far that a longing for its reenchantment becomes irrefutable.
About the Wemhöner Collection:
Heiner Wemhöner acquired his first works of art in the late 1990s, inspired by meeting the collector Lutz Teutloff and the founding director of MARTa Herford, Jan Hoet.
His constantly expanding collection now encompasses more than 1,000 works by international artists and includes paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, installations, and films. An important milestone in Heiner Wemhöner‘s relationship with contemporary art and architecture occurred with the planning and realization of the contemporary art museum, MARTa Herford, which opened in 2005. As Chair of the Friends of MARTa, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wemhöner Foundation, established in 2000,
Heiner Wemhöner champions the cultural life of Herford, the town in which he lives and where his business is based. Expanding the scope of the Wemhöner Foundation is its MARTa Prize. Heiner Wemhöner’s family company, Wemhöner Surface Technologies, which has production sites in Germany and China, has been manufacturing machinery and equipment for the refinement of timber products for three generations. Heiner Wemhöner also maintains his business, cultural, and social commitments in China. The city of Changzhou, with a population of 5.5 million, expressed its gratitude to him by awarding him honorary citizenship.
Copyright/ Images courtesy: Roger Ballen Selma Blair and Sphinx, 2005 Silver Gelatine Print, 80 x 80 cm © + courtesy Roger Ballen
2. Kader Attia Le Corps Reconstruit #5, 2014 Collage auf Papier, 50 x 70 cm © the artist courtesy Galerie Krinzinger, Wien
3. Duane Michals The most beautiful part of a man´s body, 1986 Silver Gelatine Print, 35 x 38 cm © Duane Michals courtesy Galería Max Estrella
4. Xu Qu Lineament (Laocoon), 2015 Messing, geschmiedet 210 x 220 cm © der Künstler courtesy The Ministry of Art
5. Yang Fudong New Woman I, 2013 Inkjet Print, 110 x 165 cm © Yang Fudong courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery
6. Tim Noble & Sue Webster The Wedding Cake, 2008 Gips, 42 x 42 x 54 cm © VG-Bild, Bonn 2017 courtesy BlainSouthern
Cover: courtesy of Roger Ballen Selma Blair and Sphinx, 2005 Silver Gelatine Print, 80 x 80 cm © + courtesy Roger Ballen
Wemhöner Collection, Philipp Bollmann (Curator)
Tel: +49 (0)160 94 750 468