For more than a century, German art has been defined by an expressive, furious and effusive idiom. This tradition is still alive and fresh, and its influence is palpable in the works of many Finnish painters.
During the past ten years, Hamburg lawyer and art lover Doctor Harald Falckenberg has built an immense collection of insurgent Contemporary Art. This exhibition, named Goethe Abwärts – Deutsche Jungs Etc. by Dr. Falckenberg, was compiled of works from his collection.
The exhibition includes works by the current top German painters Jonathan Meese and Daniel Richter, and Günther Förg and Gerhard Richter who are among the genre’s pioneers. Other key artists in the collection are the mutual challenger and friends Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen and Werner Büttner. In addition to contemporary German artists, the exhibition introduces like-minded Americans, including Paul McCarthy and Richard Prince.
The exhibition includes works from more than 50 artists. They are arranged under four themes: History deals with the paradoxical relationship between historical events and the history of art; Provocation as a course of action displays works for example by the Vienna Actionists, who introduced physical provocation to art as early as the 1960s; State of Mind shows how contemporary artists use the unrestrained expression of their own associations and emotions as a point of departure; and Everyday phenomena shows how artists look at the pluralistic modern world.
Harald Falckenberg believes that important art is always initially “against culture” and that challenging conventional thinking is more important than anything else. The noble ideals of Goethe’s classicism or early Romanticism are alien to the works in his collection. Grand narratives, established values and the current state of the world receive a brisk treatment in the exhibition.
On Saturday, 15 October at 15 o’clock there will be an English-language panel discussion on the state of painting. The panellists will include Dr. Harald Falckenberg, the artists Werner Büttner, Jonathan Meese and Robert Lucander and the curators of the exhibition, Oliver Zybok and Pessi Rautio.
Guided tours: Guided tours free of charge in Finnish on Wednesdays at 17.00, and on Sundays at 14.00, and in Swedish on the second Sunday of each month at 15.00. To book a private tour, please call +358 9 310 87003.