Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Little escap(ad)e II

Sooner than I had thought I got another chance to see some art which isn’t availabe around here. Last weekend I finally went on the Christmas visit to see my parents, which had been cancelled around Christmas due to the wintery weather conditions. My son and I took the train to Karlsruhe on Friday – he is always one for train rides! – and on Saturday I arranged that grandparents and gendchild had some time to themselves. As a lucky side-effect, Mama had some time to herself, too.

So I headed for the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. At first I had thought I would go to see the current exhibition of Pia Fries, but as I ended up in the building with the permanent exhibition first, I decided on the spot that here I would only look at the permanent exhibition and the greenhouses of the Botanical Gardens. Which was a good decision.

In the exhibition, I was all by myself for most of the time (except for the guards), which was wonderful. I got to see some beautiful pieces by some of my all-time favorites which I hadn’t seen before: Landschaft (Haus und Kirche) from 1916 by Emil Nolde, the sculpture Panischer Schrecken by Ernst Barlach, Rehe im Walde from 1914 by Franz Marcand Leute am blauen See from 1916 by August Macke
Of course there were quite a few names new to me, amongst them Blinky Palermo 
with Himmelsrichtungen II from 1976, (here is a review of an exhibition of his works in Düsseldorf),
Palermo, Himmelrichtungen II (1976)
Imi Knoebel (the English link is not quite as informative)  with Radio Beirut from 1982 (couldn’t sneak a picture) and Ernst Buchholz (German link, English linkwith Holzbild 23 (Neue Tafeln Nr. 3) from 1923.

E. Buchholz, Holzbild 23 (Neue Tafeln Nr. 3)

A number of sculptures were also on display, and while I was impressed with the naturalness of the proportions of Gustav Seitz’s  „Die Gefesselte“ from 1949, which looked like a normal woman, not a supermodel, nor a distortion in shape, I really liked Julio Gonzales’ (German link, English link„Kaktusmensch“ from 1939/40:

J. Gonzalez, Kaktusmensch

However, I was disappointed by the first real Yves Klein which I saw here:

Y. Klein, RE 48: SOL 1960
The blue is fantastic, of course. But the piece definitely needs a thorough dusting! Probably not an aspect Klein gave mucht thought to when he decided to attach sponges and other protruding items to his pictures, but certainly an aspect that museums need to consider (though I understand, as I am not a great duster myself...).

After the paintings and sculptures I went to see the living plants in the three greenhouses, each set at a different temperature. Here I found some very nice and inspiring patterns on and with leaves.

And after the greenhouses came the real treat: the first European exhibition of works by Nancy Holt, „Sightlines“ in the Badischer Kunstverein:

I had seen pictures of her „Sun Tunnels“ in a book on Land Art, and although I have to admit that her name had not stuck with me despite the fact that I was fascinated by the documentation on this work, I was very excited to see the photos or films of other things she has done.

A video on the construction of Sun Tunnels, with several condensed showings of the movement of light through the concrete conduits is also part of the exhibition and well worth seeing, if one can’t go to Utah in person. An extensive catalogue is due to be published any day now.

Great little escap(ad)e!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great museum visit! I remember a whole room full of Palermo paintings (maybe in the Art Institute of Chicago??) that were all striped in the colors of the German flag. Of course I couldn't help thinking you could make them as quilts and probably get them all pieced in a day.