Artist: Henning Bohl
Venue: Kunstverein Hamburg
Exhibition Title: Cornet of Horse
Date: June 25 – September 11, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kunstverein Hamburg. Photos by Fred Dott.
The exhibition “Cornet of Horse” features several installation settings by Berlin-based artist Henning Bohl (born in 1975) that are linked both in terms of content and in terms of recurring motifs and materials and the way these are employed. Besides referring to each other, Bohl’s works also contain numerous, often subtle references to other art (movements). While his use of references follows a certain logic, it does not necessarily aim to produce meaning. Bohl is more interested in creating arrangements that tell stories and in how they are told.
The exhibition in Hamburg is centred around two objects that resemble tables insofar as they have four legs (made from Schultüten, paper cones that are filled with small gifts and given to German children on their first day of school), a horizontal frame (a stretcher frame of the type used for mounting canvasses) and an oversized “tabletop” (made of plywood and fibreboard). Only touching the ground on the tips of the four Schultüten, the objects appear to be in a precarious state of balance and almost seem to float. The stretcher frames – horizontally placed pictures, so to say – bulge upward towards the ceiling, as they are, in a sense, “hanging” from the floor on the paper cones. The Schultüten themselves display various images representing abundance and plenty – conveying the concept of a “cornucopia” on several different levels.
In the works in his “Frog Substitutes” series from 2011, which are also featured in the Hamburg show, Bohl uses elastic bands and rope to mount bicycle helmets into openings in the canvases – very literally applying his subject to the picture surface.
In addition to exploring various possibilities for generating picture motifs, Bohl also poses questions about the presentation and staging of art. Large-scale canvasses featuring collages of layered shapes cut from rolls of paper hang from plasterboard elements that are piled on sawhorses, creating their own architecture alongside the architecture of the exhibition space. This questioning on the part of the artist – which for him can never be finally resolved – causes the status of his work to be relativized in several different ways. Thus the pictures are relegated to the status of stage props, while the means of presentation take on an independent sculptural and conceptual significance of their own.