Art plays a central role for us, both in our private lives and in the office.
It not only touches us and fascinates us, but constantly challenges us to change our perspectives and to find new approaches. Likewise, it creates contrasts, valuable open spaces and – last but not least – material for discussion.
Under the slogan “kunst undconsorten”, exhibitions of renowned artists take place regularly in our Berlin offices. The art offers the opportunity for an informal exchange with our clients and friends beyond our daily work together.
Kunst undconsorten #1
The opening of the first exhibition in the “kunst undconsorten” series took place on November 5, 2009. Works by the artist Jana Gunstheimer were exhibited under the slogan “Genius.”
“Jana Gunstheimer’s work astonishes us through the variety of its pictorial devices, whose possibilities often go beyond the boundaries of genre and elevate other fields. Her paintings on paper are immediately striking with their dark tones lending the ghostly scenery softer valeurs. Her work encompasses room installations and fictional “background stories” in which the artist reports from a world of shadows that suggests reality but never depicts it. Nevertheless, her works, which skillfully combine narration and critique, are close to social reality and doubtlessly inspired by it – without, however, succumbing to the danger of making a definitive socio-political statement.
Aesthetic quality and consistency in form and content create a unity in Jana Gunstheimer’s work that is continuously generated in complex references between individual works. She uses the world as a reservoir of undiscovered possibilities in her artistic work and roots out the hidden and mysterious. Reality emerges in the process as a conglomerate of labyrinthine spaces whose emptiness is as reliable as it is desolate.”
(Susanne Altmann, Dresden 2006)
Jana Gunstheimer is represented by the Galerie Conrads.
Kunst undconsorten #2
The opening of the exhibition “Hirnen und Winden” (“Brains and Winches”) by Beat Zoderer took place on April 29, 2010 in our Berlin offices. The Swiss artist exhibited, among other things, his first three-dimensional ceiling fresco.
Beat Zoderer, who was as a technical illustrator for various architectural offices during the 1970s, has worked as an independent artist since 1979. Numerous scholarships have allowed him to hold residencies in Genoa, New York, Berlin and Valencia.
Zoderer’s works cannot be reduced to a single artistic genre or a specific style. He creates installations, sculptures, assemblages, pictures and collages that display a highly idiosyncratic and independent approach to art. The effect of recognition produced by his works hence lies in this great variety and variegation, rather than in a single, consistent style.
With few exceptions, his works unite the use of everyday and commercial materials, such as wood, corrugated boards, curved sheet metal and plastic, but also textiles and rubber. Beat Zoderer combines these materials according to what is often a logical, mathematically calculated order, sometimes in rows next to each other, at others woven into each other in spirals, such as in the spatial ceiling fresco developed especially for undconsorten.
His works have been shown in numerous individual exhibitions, including in the Kunsthalle Basel (1996), the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2003), the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen (2004) and in the Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2008).
Beat Zoderer is represented in Berlin by the gallery ftc. fiedler taubert contemporary .
Kunst undconsorten #3
Matthias Bitzer and Gregor Hildebrandt
On March 3, 2011 the opening of the joint exhibition between Matthias Bitzer and Gregor Hildebrandt took place in our offices. Works by both artists were exhibited under the title “The Phosphor Notes.”
Matthias Bitzer. Transitions, connections and changes between different places and times are characteristic of Matthias Bitzer’s work complexes, whose starting point is an interest in the hidden structures of identity construction. Historical personalities whose biographies are characterized by contradictions and lacunae are often the protagonists of Matthias Bitzer’s studies, such as the writers Joseph Conrad (1857-1928) and Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). Not infrequently they have been forgotten by collective memory, for example, the poet and artist Mina Loy (1882-1966) or the writer and Dada co-founder Emmy Ball-Hennings (1885-1948).
Matthias Bitzer is not concerned with the narrative illustration of these biographies but the subjective changeability of reality. He translates the fragility of meaning and content into abstract narrative codes. His installations, consisting of paintings, sculptures, collages and drawings create narrative relationships between these elements and transform the exhibition space into an arena for new narratives.
Matthias Bitzer is represented by the Galerie Kadel Willborn.
Gregor Hildebrandt. “In his pictures and objects Gregor Hildebrandt engages both with reality and his generation’s attitude towards life, for which film and popular culture are an essential component of everyday experience. Members of his generationare looking to identify with a past culture, whose myths of musicians and actors are already formed and in whose life they canparticipate through identity-producing images that arecoupled to emotional events. Gregor Hildebrant’s works fuse a reduced language of forms with a romantically embellished consciousness of the present. These elements are expanded through citations from various musical currents such as Post Punk and New Wave, from which a specific aesthetic arises. His repertoire varies from minimalistic objects made of sound and image recordings to material collages of photocopies and cassette tapes to canvases that are covered with cassette or DAT tape arranged in parallel lines. […]
Hildebrant deals with questions of the production of images. Reduction, seriality, raw material that allows color to become substance and montage are the means employed by geometrically abstract painting from constructivism to contemporary minimalist currents. The self-referentiality that characterizes this artistic movement, its categorical adherence to formalisms, is broken open by Hildebrant through narrative elements such asphotographs or found objects. He hence allows very personal narratives to emerge without grand gestures through a restrained tenderness and a careful consideration of means.”
(Extract from: Friederike Nymphius, Sehnsucht nach der Sehnsucht, in: Gregor Hildebrandt, Kerber Verlag, 2007)
Gregor Hildebrandt is represented by the Galerie Wentrup.
Kunst undconsorten #4
The works of Matthias Meyer stood at the centre of our opening on September 20, 2012. They could be admired in our offices under the title “Voix sans visage.”
“Matthias Meyer’s works build on the visual power of cinematographic images, which appear familiar even when narrative is eliminated, when parts stand for the whole and certainty loses itself in memory. It is an aesthetic of disappearance that generates new image worlds from the fragmentary, in which absence gains its own significance, since it achieves new visibility as an empty space. Frozen film stills encounter silent sequences whose erstwhile eloquence still vibrates in the space like a distant echo. However, it is not only the deconstruction of filmic dramaturgies or the abbreviation of iconic images that motivates these works.
It is a matter of fundamental minimalization, a de-animation of cultural products that, for their part, rely on the power of the imagination and unfold their potential in the open structure of images and words. Films beyond narrative economy. Books that evoke images rather than tell stories. Chance happenings of the Real loaded with meaning that unfurl their own dramaturgies.”
(Excerpt from »Non plus d’histoire(s)…« by Vanessa Joan Müller)
Kunst undconsorten #5
On April 25, 2013 we had the chance to admire works by Pascal Danz at our fifth opening. Several were exhibited in our offices under the title “zoom.”
Pascal Danz knows how to place apparent trivialities at the centre of his painting – and how to mask supposedly primary motifs. “Being blind” and “masking out” are constantly present as principal elements of design within his entire output and produce a reduction to the “empty spaces” that interest the artist – ultimately, to what is “unpainted.” These white spots or black holes should promptobservers to fill in the missing spaces themselves. The works oscillate between the macro and micro; there is a latent tension between near and far, between object and abstraction. We could even go so far as to say that the images are dynamic but decelerated film images that could always be investigated and discovered anew. Pascal Danz provokes a constant questioning of perception by posing on canvas questions for the observer about space and time, object and abstraction. […]
In terms of content, Pascal Danz’s painting deals with the often difficult delimitation of universal and personal topics. Sometimes the matter is personal and biographic, sometimes questions are posed on perception and the production of narratives in general. Danz always manages to entice us with his works, to draw us into them and to fascinate us. We could even say that the artist expands his themes in such a way that we can incorporate our own wealth of experience. His painting is seductive and unsettling – simple, but not simple to grasp. […]
Pascal Danz is represented by the Blancpain Art Contemporain gallery.
Kunst undconsorten #6
On October16, 2014 we exhibited works by Natalia Stachon at our sixth opening. Several of her charcoal drawings and installations were presented in our offices under the title “The History of Aberrations.”
As a template for the charcoal drawings, the artist used images and photographs of destroyed or collapsed electricity pylons that, partially illuminated by spotlights, are otherwise engulfed in total darkness. It is astonishing that, even in such a fragile state, they remain connected to the electrical cables. They hover over the street like strange, threatening sculptures. They are an anomaly in the endless system of pylons stretching ahead and behind. They tell a story about deviation and are motifs that speak strikingly about the absurdity of our everyday life.
Stachon is always looking for such images and spaces fallen out of the linearity of time, for detours and deviations. The ambiance of these situations is tremendously important for her. “I have an aversion to everything that is ready, absolute and total. I do not believe in the idea of a closed-off, self-sufficient artwork since it just isn’t that way in my life. That’s why I work in series and variations. Every work emerges from the previous one. They refer to each other and are connected.”
Alongside the eponymous series of drawings, Stachon presented, amongst other things, the new installation “Parade of Remains” (2014), a wall arrangement consisting of black-dyed hemp rope and stainless steel brackets. The particular quality of the work is the tension between empty spaces and fullness or overloading. Many brackets are empty or contain only a few rope loops. In other places, where the hooks are placed close together, indistinguishably large amounts of rigging are used so that dark, heavy and inextricable areas emerge. This arrangement, dominated by emptiness and amplitude, lightness and weight, brightness and darkness, rigidity and flowing is the symbol of an absurdstorageof loops of unused time – of time located on false paths, deviations and in a state of collapse, which we attempt to control through apparent order.
Natalia Stachon is represented by the Galerie Loock.
Kunst undconsorten #7
The 7th exhibition in the “kunst undconsorten” series opened at our Berlin office on Kurfürstendammon November 26, 2015. The Japanese artist Takehito Koganezawa presented his works “Music and Mushrooms: Two words next to one another in many dictionaries”.
Takehito Koganezawa (*1974, Tokyo) is known for his poetic engagement with everyday objects and his exploration of the subject of time. In his videos, sculptures and drawings, Koganezawa draws upon working methods from music, and in his pictorial world, he employs forms of emptiness.
“Music and Mushrooms: Two words next to one another in many dictionaries” (John Cage) is the point of departure and point of reference for his works in the kunst undconsorten exhibition.
One Sunday afternoon, Koganezawa observed an ant underneath a park bench. The ant was trying to move an apple that someone had discarded there. Taking this random observation as a starting point and drawing upon the concepts of randomness and determinism as well as the lexicality of John Cage, he found 148 words in the Oxford English Dictionarybetween “ant” and “apple”. In the form of neon lights, drawings and collages, as well as a performance, Koganezawa comments on and composes a “lexical route” in the footsteps of Cage.
In recent years, Koganezawa’s work has been showcased at numerous biennials as well as at the Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt). He has exhibited his work in renowned museums such as the Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin), the Haus am Waldsee (Berlin), the Haus Konstruktiv (Zurich), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA (Los Angeles), the Queens Museum (New York) and the Museu de Arte Moderna (Sao Paolo).
Takehito Koganezawa is represented by the Galerie Loock.
Kunst undconsorten #8
In 2018 the vernisage was dedicated to feminism. The New York artist Jen Ray, who approaches the topic from an unusual perspective with her series Season of the Witch, was the guest artist. She presented the guests with a spectacular evening dedicated to her art, not only presenting her filigree watercolor drawings, but also with a live performance. At the entrance guests were greeted with a sign that read: "Warning: Strobe lights will be used during tonight's performance. Seizure warning!", setting the scene for the night.
In particular, the harsh contrasts between classic office space and controversial art inspired discussions, enriching conversations between clients, friends and consorts. For example, after the performance of three actresses, the guests wondered whether Jesus was reincarnated as a woman on the kitchen counter of the office or whether the production was more a homage to the rappers' scene in Brooklyn.
About the artist
After living and working in Berlin for several years, Jen Ray is now back in New York City. The motif of the woman has also been an important focus in her art. She herself says that for her, art is a catalyst for expressing current social influences. In Season of the Witch she picks up on the "dark times that the USA is currently facing." However, she is not only affected by society; other artists also have a significant influence on her style.
Jen Ray's Webseite