Wolfgang Max Faust

  • Jimmy Pike

    Increasingly work by third-world artists is being included in the dialogue on where art may be heading in the aftermath of this Eurocentric age. The series “Artists of the World” has been launched with the show entitled “Jimmy Pike—Paintings from the Great Australian Sand Desert.” Pike is an Australian aboriginal, from a nomadic family that settled down to work a cattle ranch. In 1980, after killing a man in a fight, Pike was sentenced to life imprisonment. In prison, he began making art under the guidance of two teachers. Adopting the imagery of his ancestors, he tied it to Western techniques:

  • Positionenheutiger Kunst”; “Stationen Der Moderne

    The sense of being at the end of a century provokes various cultural undertakings. On the one hand, we see a “revision of modernity,” an attempt to transcend Modernist concepts and launch a discourse characterized by the buzzword “post-Modernism.” On the other hand, we find large-scale efforts to sum up and record the quintessential achievements of this century. At the end of a year promoting Berlin as the “Culture City of Europe,” two events here constituted exemplary models of both kinds of endeavors.

    One such event was the Nationalgalerie’s exhibition “Positionen Heutiger Kunst” (Positions of

  • Ange Leccia

    The French object artist Ange Leccia was responsible for some excitement at last year’s Documenta in Kassel. In the Orangerie he showed a brand new Mercedes on a revolving pedestal. The deep blue color of the car was identical with that of the pedestal, which functioned as a kind of barrier to the object itself. The object of seduction—also the title of the work—could not be touched. Leccia calls his works “arrangements.” He avoids the use of the term “installation” because it seems to him to be too physical. Behind this concept of arrangement, there is a respect for the object itself. These

  • A. R. Penck

    Since 1980, when A.R. Penck moved from East to West Germany, he has become one of the most important painters in contemporary German art. The 137 paintings, drawings, and watercolors in this retrospective impressively document his development. From its start in the early ’60s, Penck’s oeuvre as a whole has constituted a discourse, for the works coalesce into something like an overall text. At the core of Penck’s art is a yearning for a universal human sign-language. The “system paintings,” as the artist calls them, transmit signals and information concerning social as well as historical conditions.

  • Joseph Beuys

    Two years after Joseph Beuys’ death, some of the questions concerning the presentation of his work are commercial ones: how will the unsold works be marketed; how will curators, dealers, and collectors handle Beuys’ false datings? With the mounting of several exhibitions on both sides of the Berlin wall, it has become obvious that other questions are tied to deeper concerns about the power of Beuys’ artmaking activity to sustain its meaning now that the artist who so carefully guided its presentation is gone. For Beuys saw his “works”—his drawings, sculptures, and installations—as manifestations

  • “Emotope: A Project of Büro Berlin”

    For several years now the projects organized by Büro Berlin have been a staple of the Berlin art scene. The goal of their work is to make art more independent of established institutions (i.e., galleries. museums). Sites and situations are sought out that connect artwork with social, historical, and economic experience. “Emotope,” 1987, their most recent project, was organized by Raimund Kummer and Fritz Rahmann (two artists/administrators of Büro Berlin) together with the Künstlerhaus Bethanien. They and ten other international artists created ten projects at various locations throughout Berlin.

  • Humbert Kiecol

    The Hamburg artist Hubert Kiecol has become well known within the German art scene in recent years for his miniature concrete architectural units—houses and stairways. Reducing the sculptural statement to a minimum, they represented a countertendency to the hypertrophic forms in so many contemporary paintings and environmental installations. At the same time, through architecture’s repertory of familiar forms, the works established a connection with the public sphere. But this very connection was also a weakness, for the basic architectural forms, which were given their own autonomous value,

  • “Die Moral der Gegenstände”

    This exhibition on the Ulm Academy of Design, a school that is legendary in West Germany for its postwar design work, comes at a time when imaginative new developments in contemporary design have caught the art world’s attention. Initiated and sponsored by the Olivetti Group, and cu-rated by Herbert Lindinger, “Die Moral der Gegenstände: Die Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm 1953–1968” (The ethics of objects: the Ulm Academy of Design 1953–1968) was mounted at the Bauhaus Archive in West Berlin. The Ulm Academy was the acknowledged heir to the Bauhaus, although it never achieved the latter’s widespread

  • ter Hell

    Ten years of work by the 32-year-old Berlin painter ter Hell was presented in this double exhibition of 99 works at the Galerie Pels-Leusden and four large paintings at Galerie Fahnemann. The effect was like an explosion, with the energy that manifests itself in this artist’s work made visible all at once. ter Hell has always played a kind of “outsider” role in Berlin, preferring to carve out a territory of his own rather than participate in any of the established art trends. His work, which stems from gestural abstraction, searches for the boundary between chaos and order. It is based on the

  • Androgyn

    You can see it in the shape of the human body: woman and man must have belonged together once, must have been one single creature. The myths of almost every people tell the story of dual-sexed, primordial human beings, of gods that embody both man and woman. Today, after the collapse of traditional, stable role models for “male” and “female”—and after the “sexual revolution”—it would seem that the theme of androgyny is a particularly hot one. In the pop culture of the rock stars (Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Boy George, Prince), androgyny is a fascinating lure for the masses. It offers opportunities

  • Eugen Schönebeck

    How can art, as the intersection of the individual and society, bring about change? This question was posed by an exhibition of work by Eugen Schönebeck who stopped exhibiting in the mid ’60s, and had ceased to make art altogether by 1966. The 50 drawings on view here, which had never before been publicly shown, were all done between 1960 and 1964, the period of his friendship with Georg Baselitz. At that time Schönebeck and Baselitz cultivated the role of the artist as radical, antibourgeois outsider. In their two famous “Pandämonische Manifeste” (Pandemonic manifestos, 1963) they sketched an

  • Endart

    Endart is a typical West Berlin phenomenon—an artist group that has lived, worked, and exhibited outside the established art world, in Kreuzberg (a sort of Berlin equivalent of New York’s East Village), since 1980. The members of the group reject the conventional notion of the artist as a special individual. Close to the Berlin Wall in a rundown quarter of the city with an unusual population mix —pensioners, students, punks, artists, Turkish workers—Endart owns a “gallery” that changes its name and direction for almost every exhibition. Analogously, they work in all the media—painting, posters,