Wolf Jahn

  • “Aussendienst”

    In the last two decades, “art in public spaces” has increasingly served as an opportunity for large-scale exhibitions in the center city. Tourism has been introduced to contemporary art, and art has in turn taken its place in the calendar of events. Now another large-scale project has been realized in the public sphere—one with a running time of more than a year (divided into three phases), an international roster of artists, and accompanying symposia. By the third and last phase, which begins in May 2001, around thirty artists will have completed their “Aussendienst” (off-site assignment).


  • Paloma Varga Weisz

    NATURAL SCIENCE IS EMBARRASSED by the question of the missing link. Worldviews informed by religion face other problems. Instead of bridging anatomical gaps, they seek psychological continuities between man and creature, consciousness and instinct. In many ways, Paloma Varga Weisz's carved wood sculptures (all works 1999–2000) suggest a religiously founded alliance between man and animal. Stylistically this religious outlook emerges in the way the figures, hewn of limewood, refer directly to predecessors from the history of sacred art. Through their garments, posture, and physiognomy, they often

  • Jochen Flinzer

    Display books are like slipcases with inscriptions: hollow inside, title printed on the outside. Unassuming phrases shine forth from their spines—they might be designated Art, or The Golden City, or Good Form, depending on the purpose of the display. In furniture stores these ornaments of cultivation decorate bookshelves and cabinets; in store windows and other places they turn up as “decorative suggestions” among all conceivable types of displayed goods.

    To Jochen Flinzer such displays provide a welcome canvas for seven of the twenty-four works in his exhibition “Mein Feld ist die Welt” (My

  • Susa Templin

    The history of mankind is manifest in its architecture—houses, temples, streets, markets, parks, and graves. It is a story that is continually being built, seen, and told anew. With her recent exhibition, “3 Feet 6 Inches Deep,” Susa Templin contributes her own chapter to this narrative with a watery vision of the city.

    Templin’s photo collages, small models, and fleeting sketches propose a Manhattan filled with water. This seems appropriate on one level, because her work itself might be described as fluid, osmotic, and dynamic, all qualities that she imagines for the architecture of the future—as

  • Martin Kippenberger

    Among the slew of obituaries and exhibitions sparked by Martin Kippenberger’s death two years ago was a show of the artist’s self-portraits curated by Peter Pakesch and Daniel Baumann at the Kunsthalle Basel. These self-portraits have now arrived in Hamburg, as part of the first comprehensive Kippenberger exhibition in Germany. The survey also includes installations (such as Heavy Burschi, 1989–90, and Sozialkistentransport, 1989), a selection of Lanternen (Lanterns), 1990–91, a great number of hotel drawings, paintings, and other works from throughout the artist’s career, as well as the

  • “Bridge/The Map Is Not the Territory”

    It is difficult to talk about “territory” today: as a concept, it serves as a negative criterion, or a background against which urban life and social development can be displayed. The recent exhibition “Bridge/The Map Is Not the Territory” was an attempt to renavigate this nonterritory. The curators, Ute Meta Bauer and Cathy Skene, with the sponsorship of several gallery owners (Galerie Jürgen Becker, Elke Dröscher, Galerie Dörrie Priess, Helga Maria Klosterfelde, and Produzentengalerie) and two art publishers (Sautter + Lackmann and Joachim Lührs Kunstantiquariat), developed a multileveled

  • Werner Büttner

    Rodin’s The Thinker, sitting placidly on a roundish stone, is getting on in years. It is impossible to tell whether the smoothness of the stone is due to the sitter’s backside being so broad, or whether the surface has been worn down by time. Perhaps the thinker is merely indolent, having chosen the ideal resting place. Although he is impressively stout, he is only a shadow of his former self—with a jutting belly and sacklike back. It is open to speculation whether Werner Büttner’s three paintings entitled Denker, in die Jahre gekommen (Thinker, getting on in years, all 1996) are self-portraits,

  • Fred Sandback

    From the floor to the wall, from the ceiling to the floor, or along the wall the little material of Fred Sandback was stretched: yarn, steel rods, and occasionally elastic. Wherever spaces inspired, Sandback spun his threads in order to create lines and imaginary separations. It is always a two-or three-dimensional geometric figure that seizes the space. Sandback comments, “I’m always in a dialogue with an artificial environment that someone else has constructed.”

    Over the past 25 years Sandback’s work has found its place in the history of sculpture. His thread marks the border between a world

  • Barbara Zenner

    Occasionally dispatches from the world of the department store reach the art world. This is certainly nothing new today. For decades artists have been mining consumer culture with varying results: some lead to kitsch, others to art as commodity. Some artists, among them Barbara Zenner, are attracted to the commodity world because it is more seductive than art itself.

    In one piece, Zenner used a salt and pepper shaker set. Nothing unusual in that but the form: two copulating rabbits that probably are supposed to add visual spice to the contents. Zenner enlarged two other rabbits into stuffed

  • Klaus Kumrow

    Developments within an artist’s oeuvre lead to new definitions of the ideas and structures that form it. At a certain moment, all considerations focus on the new form without actually touching the original form, like larvae which must take on another form in order to remain themselves. Klaus Kumrow has taken a similar step: from his photographic sculptures (folded photographs presented as sculpture) he has now developed large-format, flat photographs. The effect of this reduction, from the three-dimensional, to the two-dimensional, gives the works more power. Instead of seeming flat, they open

  • Günther Förg

    Fascination can result from an attraction to what is really only a mirage: what fascinates cannot be grasped, and the closer one gets to it the more elusive it becomes. Many critics report a similar experience in dealing with the work of Günther Förg: if they follow their attraction to the work, the pictures they are confronted with are incomprehensible. An essay from the catalogue for a Förg retrospective three years ago is entitled, “You might think there was nothing to see.”

    Through its supposed emptiness, however, Förg’s work demands a search for content and the concrete. The critic cited

  • Walter Dahn

    Years ago Walter Dahn remarked that he could well imagine giving up painting someday. He no longer wanted to be branded with the stigma of being a painter. But it was not painting, said Dahn, that was the problem; it was the motivation for painting. After all, images can be produced by means other than brushes and paint as well: by printing, or photography, or film, for instance.

    For a long time now Dahn has been working with a new way of making images. He uses panes of glass—all of them retrieved from old greenhouses or torn-down houses—as a ground for his image ideas. The majority of the works