"Infinite Space Expands"

KOLUMBA archbishopric museum of art

05. 09. 1998 - 01. 11. 1998, As Guest in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Artists: Josef Albers, Monika Bartholomé, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Cage, Heinrich Campendonk, Felix Droese, Herbert Falken, Roni Horn, Leiko Ikemura, Franz Ittenbach, Attila Kovács, Thomas Lehnerer, Rune Mields, Carl Müller, Chris Newman, Antonio Saura, Antoni Tàpies, Paul Thek, Peter Tollens, Richard Tuttle, Andor Weininger

The exhibition »Infinite Space Expands« tells of self-confidence and the assuredness with which artistic concepts question the world, i.e. about the nature of art itself. This time, it is not a historically limited epoch, a tried-and-true art-historical development which forms the correlation from which knowledge should be gained, but rather it is the dialogue between the works of art, independent of the place and time of their genesis. Following an invitation by the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, the Diözesanmuseum is in these ideal exhibition rooms for the first time testing in this scope the concept which it has been developing over the last few years before it moves to its new building. It understands itself as an art museum which remains conscious of its Christian tradition as a Western form of thought, aiming for new ways to be a home for art with its own logic, its own rationality, both on this side of immediate religious motivations or beyond. In this, the artist is taken seriously and challenged as an inventor of pictures, as a researcher, as an analyst and interpreter of reality. Thus, the title of the exhibition has been taken from a work by Cologne artist Rune Mields. – The historic monument regarded with respect as well as the – superficially speaking – provocative artistic gesture provide inspiration for an exchange of mental energies, for example, when the monumental »Erp Crucifix«, one of the most important late Romanesque examples of Christ Triumphant, is juxtaposed against human, political, economical and ecological reality and existential conflicts at the end of this millennium. Works by Felix Droese, Herbert Falken and Paul Thek, chosen for display together with the »Erp Crucifix” in the Kunsthalle’s large exhibition room, open up programmatically the realm of imagination and the exhibition methods. From a historical standpoint, it comprises masterpieces from the Romanesque to Baroque periods, such as the Ottonian »Ivory relief with the Crucifixion, Ascension of Christ and the Maiestas Christi«. Major works of classical modernity as well as by contemporary art form the up-to-date frame of reference. The exhibition in the small rooms and large halls of the Kunsthalle has been set up like a processional tour, in reference to the first German installation of American artist Paul Thek, »A Procession in Honour of Aesthetic Progress«, remembered in one of the rooms thirty years after it had been created. In further rooms concepts like reality, individuation, the body, ritual nature and creation are circumscribed using precisely-selected juxtapositions. The exhibition demands of the observer a willingness to experience things as well as the thought which has been inspired by what he has seen from the total realm of his experience, i.e. the requirement is not for art-historical knowledge. The installation »Me in a no-time state« by the musician, composer and author living in Berlin, Chris Newman, also to be included in the exhibition, refers to this creative potential of reception as well. An interdisciplinary programme with concerts, talks, readings and conversations will accompany the exhibition, rounding out the chosen theme intellectually.


Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee 8A
76530 Baden-Baden
Germany (city map)

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