Artist: Hans-Peter Feldmann
Venue: Francesca Pia, Zurich
Exhibition Title: Kunstausstellung
Date: May 16 – July 11, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Since the 1960s Feldmann has been collecting postcards, personal photo albums, magazine illustrations, posters. Subjects range from sunsets, pin-ups, bridal couples, Eiffel towers, soccer players and animals to landscapes and cars. This seemingly infinite supply of resource material reflects the visual overload of a mediated world. At the same time, the stereotypical images invariably reveal something about the particular place and time at which they were created. In this sense Feldmann’s practice resembles that of a historian. He collects photographs, illustrations and objects and, in ordering and arranging them, conducts a different kind of archival activity. Their new arrangement highlights particular analogies, typologies or design principles used by advertising which, as a product of our everyday life, can be seen to reflect our own needs and desires. The fact that the images collected by Feldmann frequently verge on kitsch, offensiveness or bad taste is precisely what makes his pieces surprising and visually stimulating to us.
In addition to devaluing the individual image, Feldmann’s endless series and collections of images challenge notions of authorship, individual style, originality and formal uniqueness, while at the same time pointing to a conviction that art no longer needs new images. As one of the earliest artists to subject the visual worlds of popular culture to such close scrutiny Feldmann has secured a place in the history of 20th century art and shaped an entire generation of young art practitioners.
In 1992, Galerie Francesca Pia for the first time presented the work of Hans-Peter Feldmann. This third solo show, titled simply Kunstausstellung or “Art Exhibition,” resembles a cabinet of curiosities. In addition to earlier photographic pieces of unmade beds and women’s clothing the exhibition includes more recent arrangements with subjects such as flower pots on walls, snakeskin shoes with quail eggs, a pound of strawberries and, because Feldmann finds conventional classical and Renaissance sculpture boring, statues of Eve and of David resplendent in a new coat of gaudy colors.
Hans-Peter Feldmann was born in 1941 in Düsseldorf and lives and works in Düsseldorf.