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March 3 - April 24, 2005
PERSONAL STRUCTURES
16 artists from 11 countries

 
Nelleke Beltjens
   

Nelleke Beltjens
“Tacitly present – divine division“, 2003, cast plaster, wood, resin, pigments, 14 x 18 x 11, 14 x 17 x 12 and 21 x 16 x 12 cm

 

   

PERSONAL STRUCTURES is an international art project aimed at presenting those artists in exhibitions and publications who are concerned with the personal or subjective interpretation of simple, or supposedly simple, abstract concepts of form (structures in the broadest sense of the term). A reduced language of forms, the tendency towards serialization, as well as the individual, intrinsic treatment of form, color, material and processes of creation are features common to their works. Likewise, working in the border areas between the genres of painting, sculpture, and spatial installations is a central concern which applies to the majority of the exhibiting artists. The art represented in “Personal Structures”, for all the diversity and innovative energy of the individual contributions, owes much to the abstract modern and (post-)minimalist movements by using their basic vocabulary.

Paul Raguénès
   

 

Paul Raguénès: „(...) RC“, 2003, wood, bitumen, oil, pigments, 168 x 153 x 15 cm  

   

In the meantime, the concepts of abstraction and figuration have increasingly lost their sharp contrasts to a large extent due to the fact that non-figurative ways of creation have just as little to do with the “reduction” and simplification of what you see as figuration can be reduced to a simple reproduction of nature. Still, it was a basic decision for “Personal Structures” to limit the selection of art works to clearly non-representational works. Figuration, representation, and mimetic processes in whatever form, always bear a certain reference to reality, something outside of art. “Personal Structures”, however, asks the question as to whether and how a reference to the world as well as to the personality of the artist himself can be articulated by using purely “abstract” formal means without relying on the meaning of non-representational forms and doing without symbols, allegoric signs and conventional sign systems.

René Rietmeyer
   

René Rietmeyer: 3 Boxes from the „Mittelrhein“ series, 2004, oil on wood, 25 x 16 x 11 cm each

 

   

“Personal Structures” devotes special attention to works in the border area between painting and making objects. These are works that push painting into the three-dimensionality of a picture object and, thus, outwards into real space. But even works which can be more clearly attributed to the genres of painting or sculpture have their place in the concept of “Personal Structures”. What is crucial here is that they express their intentions of adopting their own minimal language of forms, as well as their tendency towards emotionalizing the work and towards creating installations which define space. This especially applies to instances where painterly or sculptural positions are defined as material- or process-oriented and the boundaries between the genres are critically and experimentally expanded. It becomes very clear here that subjectivity and per­sonality do not necessarily have to manifest themselves in an expressive language of forms and in a rhetoric of gesture, but may rather very subtly unfold, in an interplay between subjective decisions, conceptualizations and the self-dynamics of materials and working processes, putting themselves into question, if necessary.

Johannes Girardoni
   

 

Johannes Girardoni, Trough. Cadmium Yellow Deep”, 2003, beeswax, pigment, wood, 254 x 26,5 x 27 cm

   

“Personal Structures” is not an artist group, at least not in the sense of an artist group within the classical modern movement. Generally, such artists adhered to a binding program, and were often or­ganized in an association with certain membership rules. The ideological definition of art, professions to a certain art, manifestos and diatribes were the expression of an avant-garde consciousness, which was directly tied in with the notion of a linear history of progress in art. This teleological idea of history has long since been questioned and proven untenable for doing justice to an increasingly complex pluralistic world with its diverse artistic attitudes. Thus, Personal Structures is not a group, but may rather be compared to an open forum, where different individuals meet and communicate.

Yuko Sakurai
   

Yuko Sakurai: „Nihonkai #8“, 2003, oil on canvas on wood, 175 x 129,5 x 6 cm

 

   

For this exhibition, 16 artists are being represented who stem from 11 countries on three continents. These are men and women ranging age-wise from the beginning of their 30's to the beginning of their 50's. These facts alone serve to illustrate that the project is not rigidly fixed, but concentrates upon openness and exchange. Inherent to “Personal Structures“ is the fact that the works of art formulate basic common thoughts which extend beyond any identity by nationality, culture, or generation, but yet still document the lively diversity of the individual approach. Especially attractive is the interplay of mutuality and difference in the coexistence of the western “minimalist” language of forms and the eastern Asian reduction of forms.

Frank Piasta
   

 

Frank Piasta: Untitled“, 2002 pigment and silicone on aluminum, 150 x 140 x 5 cm

   

The Koblenz exhibition will be showing the following artists: Marcus Abel from the United States of America; Jeong Sook Ahn from South Korea; Nelleke Beltjens from the Netherlands; Andras Gal from Hungary; Jakob Gasteiger from Austria; Johannes Girardoni from Austria-USA; Jus Juchtmans from Belgium; Jae Ko from South Korea; Tomoji Ogawa from Japan; Frank Piasta from Germany; Thomas Pihl from Norway; Nicola Rae from England; Paul Raguenes from France; Rene Rietmeyer from the Netherlands; Yuko Sakurai from Japan and Takashi Suzuki also from Japan.

Takashi Naraha
   

Takashi Naraha: : „Structure Mandala“, 1994, grey granite Bohuslan Sweden , 560 x 137 x 110 cm

 

   

“Personal Structures“ was initiated by Dutch artist René Rietmeyer. The project was realized in close cooperation with art historian Dr. Peter Lodermeyer. It was launched at the end of 2003 with the publication of the book “Personal Structures. Works and Dialogues“. This work, available in English, German, and Dutch, garden introduces the project, foregoing any obligatory platform or manifesto but presenting itself as an undogmatic, open forum, far removed from the formal organization of traditional artist groups. Following exhibitions of „Personal Structures“ which took place in several shows involving smaller numbers of various of these artists, the exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz is now introducing to the public for he first time an overall survey of the artistic scope of this ambitious project . As an additional contribution to the exhibition, Dutch photographer Frans Lossie is showing a series of large-format portrait photographs of the participating artists, but also including Japanese artist Takashi Naraha, whose large-format outdoor sculpture will be on permanent loan to the Ludwig Museum garden from April 17, 2005 on.

Editions
Especially for this exhibition at the Ludwig Museum, artist René Rietmeyer has created a limited edition series of boxes called “Middle Rhine.” Prices available upon request.

Peter Lodermeyer's book “Personal Structures. Works and Dialogues”, has been published by GlobalArtAffairs Publishing for this exhibition. Hardcover, 172 pages, € 35.- (plus postage, if mail-ordered).

 
 

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Jakob Gasteiger