Dear Painter

20/9 2002 — 1/1 2003
Museumsquartier / Halle1

An exhibition with works of :

Kai Althoff, Carole Benzaken, Glenn Brown, Bernard Buffet, Brian Calvin, John Currin, Peter Doig, Alex Katz, Kurt Kauper, Martin Kippenberger, Bruno Perramant, Elizabeth Peyton, Francis Picabia, Katrin Plavcak, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Luc Tuymans, Sophie von Hellermann

“Dear Painter …” is an international group exhibition that will attempt to trace a distinct strand of figurative painting practice in the post-war period.

The exhibition takes its title from a polemical Martin Kippenberger series, Lieber Maler, male mir (Dear painter, paint me, 1981) in which the artist commissioned a professional cinema poster painter to execute the paintings for his first solo exhibition in Berlin.
“Dear Painter …” will attempt to challenge the Modernist dismissal of figurative painting as “traditional”, politically reactive, and anti avant-garde; it will argue that a certain strain of figurative painting is still a privileged space in which to engage and digest the proliferation of images in contemporary culture.

A selection of contemporary artists will be contextualized within a loose genealogical structure derived from five “historical” positions: a selection of late Francis Picabia nudes from 1940-43; a key group of Bernard Buffet portraits from the 1950s; Sigmar Polke’s early 1960s “capitalist realist” paintings; three large scale, “cinematic” group portraits by Alex Katz from the mid 1970s; a succinct presentation of iconic Martin Kippenberger painting spanning the 1980s.
Whether reflecting on cinematic, televisual and photographic images or engaging in art historical cannibalism, all the artists in the exhibition have constructed a pictorial practice that addresses the impact of the proliferation of imagery on both individual and collective subjectivity in contemporary life.

The exhibition is a co-production of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Centre Georges Pompidou,Paris.
After Vienna the exhibition will travel to the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt from January 15th to April 6th 2003.

Exhibition-committee: Max Hollein, Director Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Gerald Matt, Director Kunsthalle Wien, Alfred Pacquement, Director Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Curators: Alison Gingeras, Sabine Folie, Blazenka Perica

Guided tours: every Sunday 3 pm