• A.R. Penck

    Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
    June 15–September 16, 2007

    Curated by Ingrid Pfeiffer

    A. R. Penck’s painterly language—a kind of visionary semaphore forged under the pressures of life in the GDR and refined in the hothouse of the 1980s art world after his move to the West—could use some revisionist lexicography. This ambitious retrospective will present some 150 works, including large-format paintings, sculptures, and artist’s books. Together with the accompanying catalogue, which includes essays by Isabelle Graw and others, the exhibition should help redefine an important oeuvre that has often been overshadowed by that of wilder Neue Wilde. Travels to the Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany, Sept. 29, 2007–Jan. 6, 2008.

  • Pensée Sauvage: On Human Freedom

    Frankfurter Kunstverein
    Steinernes Haus am Römerberg Markt 44
    May 25–July 8, 2007

    Curated by Chus Martínez

    A pun, it has been said, is “the shortest distance between two straight lines.” One suspects this initially baffling definition-cum-quip might well appeal to the curator of “Pensée sauvage,” who presents this show under the banner of a French double entendre (roughly translated as the “savage mind” or “wild pansies”)—an appropriation of the title of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss’s 1962 book on structuralism and the nature of human freedom. For this two-venue show, Martínez brings together sixteen artists bent on using divergent or “wild” thinking—through détournement and other unorthodox strategies—in some twenty-five paintings, films, videos, drawings, and installations from the 1970s to the present. Including work by Andrea Büttner, Mandla Reuter, and Aïda Ruilova, “Pensée sauvage” is divided between the Frankfurter Kunstverein and the Ursula Blickle Foundation in Kraichtal (May 20–July 1).