Wednesday 29 September 2021

Albert Leo Peil, Peter Kraus mit der Götterfrucht der Gorgo Medusa, 1979

Dear friends,

since our founding in 1988, at that time as Galerie Susanne Zander, we have promoted artistic positions that, for want of a better term, have been labelled as ‘Art Brut’ or ‘Outsider Art’ by the art world at large.From the beginning, our aim was to illuminate the valuable work of those artists whose eccentricities, impairments or lack of university degrees saw them thoughtlessly and brutally excluded and pigeonholed.

While societal progress is always fragile, times have changed, and we are delighted that the works of our artists have now found their place within the contemporary art context. Artists like Dietrich Orth, Adelhyd van Bender, Horst Ademeit, the project ‘Margret – Chronicle of an Affair’ have all gained visibility; solo exhibitions are held in important institutions, and their works are now represented in the collections of major museums.

While we are conscious of what we have achieved for this particular form of art and the recognition enjoyed by our artists, we do not want to perpetuate any categorisation of it and them through our own programme. And so it in this spirit that we will cease gallery activities at the end of our current exhibition.

We shall continue to manage the estates of Horst Ademeit, Adelhyd van Bender, Aurel Iselstöger, The Night Climbers of Cambridge, Bruno Schleinstein and Type 42 for the time being, along with that of Albert Leo Peil, whose body of work we only recently opened up.

Our thanks go to all of those who have accompanied us on our journey, by following and contributing to our programme over the years; who inspired, supported and encouraged us, and share our passion for art. Thank you for the memories.

Nicole and Susanne

current exhibition / laufende Ausstellung
Ich fordere Sie auf, das Einsteigen in Meine Wohnung zu unterlaßen!
Sept 3 – Oct 30, 2021


Ich fordere Sie auf, das Einsteigen in Meine Wohnung zu unterlaßen!

September 3 – October 30, 2021 

Horst Ademeit (*1937 in Cologne, †2010 in Düsseldorf) attended the Cologne Art and Craft Schools from 1964 onwards, later obtaining a diploma in Textile Design in Krefeld. In 1970, he spent a short period as a student of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. From early on, Ademeit’s work was intensely engaged with the possible existence of cold rays. 

The artist observed his surroundings over a period of several decades, documenting the results in thousands of analogue, digital and Polaroid photographs. The focus of his interest was on the seemingly random events that occurred in and around his home in Düsseldorf’s Flingern district. 

 In addition to his written accounts, Ademeit would record comments, dates and locations in the white borders of his Polaroids, while also collecting and preserving what he saw as relevant traces and clues from the scenes he encountered. In the course of his investigations, he developed his own system for recording cold rays, one in which facts and assumptions were deeply interwoven with one another. His work has been regularly exhibited in galleries and museums since 2008. 

To accompany the opening of the exhibition, we will present the book ‘Der Fotograf der Kältestrahlen – Horst Ademeit’, by Saioa Fischer Abaigar (*2001 in Freiburg i. Br.), in which the author provides a candid account of her fascination with Ademeit, exploring his work through drawings, photographs and texts. In doing so, she raises questions about Ademeit’s artistic process and what it means to live as an outsider in our society. Not only does the young artist offer us an insight into her own, entirely personal world of thinking, she also represents a new generation that is social, critical, and politically engaged. The book is published by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and Franz König. Fischer Abaigar has been a student at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne since 2020. We are very pleased to be able to present the drawings from the book in the gallery. 

 A slide show of Ademeit’s daily images selected by James Richards (*1983 in Cardiff) will a be on view during the exhibition.

Thursday 10 June 2021


Adelhyd van Bender, folder #237, 1999-2014, 32 x 29 x 8 cm

Curated by Antonia Gaeta
June 18th - July 24th, 2021 
From Wall to Paper and Back Again

The corpus of work that Adelhyd van Bender developed in the decades before his death in 2014 presents a coherence that I like to define as serial. A horror vacui reveal an enthusiastic drive to explore a theme to its exhaustion. The works are urged by the artist's dedication to the study of symbols, ideas, formulas and motifs: all of them are representations of an imaginary and a search that is more like vertigo.

By anticipating some concept or trying to perceive a pattern in the artist's work, it becomes more clear - among other possible approaches - to opt, in this exhibition, for establishing a dialogical conversation between the physical space where Van Bender lived, his house, and the mental space translated into the sheets of paper, his drawings.

What we see in Hot Stuff is a selection from thousands of A3 and A4 sheets inside binders, once storaged in piles on the walls of the artist's house. Walls that also served as surfaces for drawings with patterns and geometric shapes of pure solids, elementary figures, cosmologies, doodles, words, sketches - some more complex, some slightly nodding, others overlapped and redrawn on top. They all looked more like an attempt to give an order to the universe.

Now, try to forget for a moment that we are in the Delmes & Zander gallery facing works of art and allow me to draw a parallel. Remember the first dialogue from Giordano Bruno's book On Infinity, the Universe and the Worlds (1584):

Elpinus: How is it possible that the universe is infinite?

Philotheus: How is it possible that the universe is finite?

Elpinus: Do you think this infinity can be demonstrated?

Philotheus: Do you think this finiteness can be demonstrated?

Elpinus: Of what extension are you speaking?

Philotheus: And of what limits do you speak?

Adelhyd van Bender’s work unfolds in infinite matrices of voracious thought. The drawings went through various stages: they were photocopied, worked on to insert coloured elements, cut out and pasted. The artist would highlight specific points, some commas and strokes, and then photocopy them again. Sometimes the drawings differed by a letter, and the sheets were worked over and over again in a kaleidoscopic synthesis of intelligibility. An extremely complex work in which ideas appear as eternal and immutable principles constituting an order. It is not a simple logical or abstract process; the artist brought heaven and earth together and proposed a grandiose vision of an infinite cosmos.

Fracastorius: Ad rem, ad rem, si iuvat; too long you have kept us in doubt.

Burquio: Present some argument already, Philotheus, for I shall have great fun listening to this fable or fancy.

Fracastorius: Modestius, Burquio: What will you say if at last the truth convinces you?

Burquio: Though it be true, I would not believe it; for it is not possible that this infinite can be understood by my head, nor digested by my stomach; though indeed, I wish it were as Philotheus says, for if by bad luck I should happen to fall out of this world, I would always find other lands.

The artist managed with his formal grammar to shake up the proportionality between man and cosmos, to raise metaphysical questions, to bring sensitive matter and intelligible matter together, to present an infinity of star worlds as a consequence of the axiom by which the divine essence is infinite in the magnetic fields of his sacred atomic system.

From this perspective, his drawings bear witness to a living universe full of infinite worlds, formulas, π, cubes and cabalistic symbols - a work as meticulous as it is obsessive, voluminous, colourful and with the smell of tobacco.

Antonia Gaeta

Thursday 27 May 2021

To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli

Adolf Wöllfi, installation photo by Jann Averwerser 2021

To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli

at Villa Stuck, Munich

on view until July 25th 2021

« The exhibition “To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli” touches on issues of being human: creating worlds and salvation, vision and utopia, abuse and reconciliation, meaning and madness. On more than 25,000 pages, the artist and world-creator Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930) combines drawing, poetry and composition into an inspiring total work of art. A selection of 70 works by Adolf Wölfli from the collection of the Adolf Wölfli Foundation, Kunstmuseum Bern, along with 70 works by other world creators, including Jean Arp, Joseph Beuys, William S. Burroughs, VALIE EXPORT, Anselm Kiefer and Constance Schwartzlin-Berberat, are presented on two floors of Franz von Stuck’s historical artist’s residence. The artists whose works are juxtaposed with those of Wölfli were selected based on their artistic approaches, all of which involve transgressing boundaries. 

“To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli” is a project combining exhibition, research and experiment. It aims to inspire, enchant and unsettle. At the same time, a sociopolitical issue underlies the project: it criticizes the concept of “outsider art.” To this day, artists who, like Adolf Wölfli, lived in psychiatric institutions are described as “outsiders” and their work as “outsider art.” Adolf Wölfli was an artist and saw himself as such. Art has the power to reconcile opposites and inspire changes. It can transcend boundaries, enable self-knowledge and render categorizations redundant. The current political debate about “inclusion” and “integration” lacks a fundamental perspective: an equity-based view of the other. “To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli” conveys the power of art to touch people, to overcome ingrained ways of thinking, and raises questions about freedom and equality. There is no “outsider art.”
There is only art!

All artists included in the exhibition transcend social, political or personal boundaries. They combine the seemingly contradictory and, in doing so, release the power to overcome ingrained thought patterns. The experience of ostracism, discrimination, oppression, illness and crime is the starting point for productive boundary transgressions which manifest themselves both in visionary forms and in very real ways that can be translated into life in society.

In his artistic work, Adolf Wölfli translates his own biography, which is closely linked to the experience of poverty, exploitation and abuse of others, into an imaginary, glorious world creation – the “St. Adolf-Giant-Creation.” The exhibition assembles works from all of Adolf Wölfli's creative phases, from the first surviving drawings from 1904 to drawings and collages from the “Funeral March” (1928–1930), Adolf Wölfli’s last, unfinished work comprising more than 8,300 pages.

Among the boundary-crossing artists included in the exhibition is Joseph Beuys. On view, along with others works by him, is the portfolio he submitted in application for a professorship at the State Art Academy in Düsseldorf in 1962. As a professor,
Joseph Beuys consistently championed opening up the academy. He ignored admission restrictions and had around 400 students. Joseph Beuys viewed the academy as a kind of “world model” – teaching at the academy was an important part of his “expanded concept of art” and provided a basis for “social sculpture.”

Equality for women in society has not been achieved to date. VALIE EXPORT is a pioneer and icon of feminist art. The exhibition brings together three large-format works from the “Body Configurations” series she created between 1972 and 1976. In these “body configurations” VALIE EXPORT relates her body to external structures and, in doing so, conveys the tension between the individual and built, urban reality. Social power structures are revealed.

The Museum Villa Stuck is building a dream machine especially for the exhibition “To the End of the World and over the Edge – with Adolf Wölfli.” The “Dreamachine” was developed in the late 1950s by two beatniks, the painter, poet and multi-media artist Brion Gysin and the mathematician Ian Sommerville. The flicker effects of this dream machine can induce a semi-hypnotic or trance-like state. The “Dreamachine” enables visitors to experience a new state of consciousness. In conjunction with the “Dreamachine,” rare works by Brion Gysin as well as works by his beatnik friend William S. Burroughs are featured in the exhibition. »

The exhibition includes: Adolf Wölfli and the Ariana Painter, Jean Arp, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Ernst Bollin, Christian Boltanski, Bertolt Brecht, Udo Breger, Oskar Büttikofer, William S. Burroughs, Henning Christiansen, Nezaket Ekici, Erich Engel, VALIE EXPORT, Charles Gatewood, Fritz Getlinger, Brion Gysin, Birgit Jürgenssen, Anselm Kiefer, Johann Lang, Meret Matter, Constance Schwartzlin-Berberat, Ian Sommerville, Franz von Stuck, Johannes Stüttgen, Karl Valentin.

Find out more about the exhibition here:

Sammlung at MMK - Museum für Moderne Kunst

Horst Ademeit, untitled, 13.01.1994, mixed media on Polaroid, 9 x 11 cm


at MMK, Frankfurt

on view until May 30th 2021

« “But do you know what origin is?” Guy-Yanis asks his friend David in Un film dramatique (2019) by Éric Baudelaire. The two school pupils and authors of the film project vehemently discuss the definition of national affiliation, identity, and racism, ultimately resorting to the article on “origine” in Wikipedia. For his language piece Good Boy Bad Boy (1985), Bruce Nauman filmed an actress and an actor synchronously speaking the same one hundred simple sentences. With every repetition, they utter the statements more and more forcefully until finally the speakers’ synchronicity as well as the relationship between truth, meaning, and emotion are entirely out of joint. In Borrowed Lady (2016), Martine Syms choreographs this normative communication space as a kaleidoscope of specific, recognizable gestures and expressions of African American women, some known from the media, others not. Hands, facial play, and the choice and accentuation of the words together form a political and cultural vocabulary with which Syms draws the viewers into spatial discourse. And while the pieces by Horst Ademeit, Thomas Ruff, and Jeff Wall meticulously examine identification and observation as the foundations of surveillance, those by Marlene Dumas, Sammy Baloji, Thomas Bayrle, and Tishan Hsu revolve around religion and ritual, body technology, and gender.

The exhibition presents works from the MMK collection ranging in date from the early 1960s to the present, including some of the museum’s newest acquisitions. »


Find out more about the exhibition here:

Thursday 29 April 2021

The Holding Environment at Bonner Kunstverein

Martin Erhard, Grossblätter für Bogen No. 12 Schleswig = Holstein / Dänemark (Insel Sylt), 1950-1970, 21 x 16 cm, mixed media on paper

at Bonner Kunstverein 

momentarily closed due to COVID-19

"The notion of the holding environment – the slippage between care, dependence, holding and that which fails to hold adequately – loops back in the show in newly conceived and existing works.

The exhibition and its associated events consider care in ways that encompass both its inherent tenderness and something infantilising, sinister or perverse that lies beyond the point where the authenticity of the care becomes unstable. Realised and developed during a pandemic that has intensified tensions of interpersonal dependency and structural fragility, the show speaks of both the urgency and the necessity of care, and of the slippery nature of good intentions in the age of mass individualism.

Formally, this is a show in which containers and thresholds – both actual and metaphoric – are integral to how the space is structured, to how it holds and behaves. That is, the exhibition is understood as having the capacity to embody and relate contradictions that structure psychological and institutional space. The oscillation between the holding environment treated as both physical space and metaphor was proposed by the psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott in works such as Holding and Interpretation (1986).  His writings proceed from the figure of the child, not just as a little person under the tutelage of adults, but also as the submerged one, who is without power and must, by necessity, to negotiate states of dependency. Within Winnicott’s work, the child and the act of holding become a way of understanding a minor politics – a relation to be thought of across scales, from an intimate space to a structural and institutional consideration of dependency. Such a shift between the mundane and the structural carries the risk of losing sight of difference, nuance and attention, one reason why doubt and ambivalence coupled with commitment and empathy are all the more important to the notion of the holding environment. This is a show that aims to stay put in that space, engaging with the pitfalls of a corrupted notion of care, but also with paths for rehabilitation, restoration and restitution, negotiated through a non-selfish spirit of holding.

The Holding Environment is accompanied by a series of events, including a specifically conceived performance and composition by musician Sarah Davachi; Divine Drudgery, a publication edited with James Richards and Leslie Thornton, with contributions and work by Horst Ademeit, Rae ArmantroutTolia Astakhishvili, Ed Atkins, Kirsty Bell, Adelhyd van Bender, Bruce Conner, Fatima Hellberg, Mason Leaver-Yap, Veit Loers, Terence McCormack, James Richards and Leslie Thornton; and talks and events with the writer and poet Fanny Howe the and filmmaker, artist and activist Gregg Bordowitz, amongst others. "

curated by Fatima Hellberg

Find out more about the exbition, that will hopefully reopen soon, here:

Article on Alexandru Chira in BLAU International Magazine Issue No. 4


In the newest  issue of BLAU INTERNATIONAL magazine you can find a five page article on the  romanian artist Alexandru Chira, written by Gesine Borcherdt. The new issue is now availble for purchase!
«In this issue, Georg Baselitz, at 83, will surprise or even shock in the most in-depth magazine interview of his laborious career. Plus, Deana Lawson talks in rare detail about her miraculous work, saying, “We all have this amazing potential power, the ability to occupy different dimensions of reality at once.”»

Find out more about the issue No. 4 here: