Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Delmes & Zander I Cologne presents KARL HANS JANKE

KARL HANS JANKE, Spielen Sonnen-Systeme Handball und Fußball?, mixed media on paper, 1959, Courtesy Delmes & Zander

 
 Delmes & Zander I Cologne presents

Karl Hans Janke

April 26 – June 17, 2017
Opening: Thursday, 26.04., 6–9 pm

By the time Karl Hans Janke died in 1988, he had produced hundreds of drawings and models of countless technical inventions, including highly detailed sketches of his visions of intergalactic travel and fantastic flying machines. In his own words, his inventions and ideas, which he had worked on continuously since 1948, were created ultimately "for the benefit of humanity and aimed toward propagating peace.” With his invention of the "German atom" and "space electricity" he was convinced that all of mankind's energy problems could be solved. In addition, Janke developed his own cosmology of the genesis of the earth, of life and of space , illustrated by his many drawings and described in-depth at lectures.

Karl Hans Janke made his designs in the seclusion of the Hubertusburg Psychiatric Hospital near Leipzig in the former German Democratic Republic, where he remained 39 years until his death. The hospital staff recognised the passion of the technically talented Janke for drawing and provided him with an office of his own. From here he drew and tinkered, gave lectures and corresponded with companies and public institutions. Janke saw himself as an inventor, an engineer, an artist and an original genius.
Karl Hans Janke was born in 1909 in the city of Kolberg in German Pomerania, where he grew up an only child into a middle-class family. After graduating from high school Janke enrolled at the University of Greifswald in 1932, where he began to study dentistry. He would eventually abandon his studies. In May 1940 he was drafted into the German army but was hospitalized after a series of breakdowns, and in 1943 he was finally discharged from military service on medical grounds.

Karl Hans Janke's works were to be rediscovered only in 2000, long after the iron curtain had come down. The imaginative legacy and originality of his visionary designs were finally recognized and acknowledged after his death. Karl Hans Janke was included in the 2003 Göteborg Biennial by artist Carsten Nicolai. 2013 he was shown at the Hayward Gallery in London. His works were last exhibited in 2014 in “Planning the Future”, the inaugural show at Delmes & Zander I Berlin.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Delmes & Zander at INDEPENDENT, BRUSSELS 2017

WESLEY WILLIS, CITY OF MANY DREAMS, 1991, mixed media on cardboard, 74 x 104cm, Courtesy Delmes & Zander

WESLEY WILLIS
ROCK'N'ROLL SUPERHIGHWAY

at Independent Brussels, April 19-23, 2017

At this year's edition of Independent Brussels, Delmes & Zander will present selected works by Wesley Willis (1963-2003) from the mid-80s in an exhibition entitled Rock'N'Roll Superhighway after Willis' song of the same name. The show's underlying theme of music was also at the heart of Disko Girls (Anonymous), the gallery's presentation at Independent New York earlier in the year.

For the two decades prior to his death, American artist and cult rock-star icon Wesley Willis rendered Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway and geometric skyline with lines drawn in ballpoint pen and felt-tip marker. Willis was a distinct presence within the Chicago music scene; well known to an alternative public for the energetic melodies from his Technics keyboard and his surreal lyrics that explore themes of his daily life, such as fast-food, bus lines, cultural trends and violent confrontations with super heroes. Amongst his biggest fans and advocates are Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, Die Goldene Zitronen, Urge Overkill and Foo Fighters, for many of which he also played as an opener. His music and drawings go hand-in-hand. They are intertwined and inseparable: "music is the willpower to my artwork", he sings in DJ Quik.

Willis' distinctive and complex works utilise drafting techniques learnt during his years sitting in on drawing classes at the Illinois Institute of Technology. With cars and buses in side and isometric views, his often soft coloured drawings explore the congested Freeway that connects Chicago's South Side with the city's Downtown. Artist Johannes Wohnseifer once wrote of Wesley Willis: "I would like to see Willis' work on paper in an exhibition with drawings by David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, Ed Ruscha and H.C. Westermann. It would be obvious to all that his works are on par with theirs".

Willis died at age 40 in Skokie, Illinois.

Delmes & Zander first showed Willis' work in Germany in 2013 and has presented works by the artist ever since. The exhibition Rock'N'Roll Superhighway at Independent Brussels will be accompanied by a new publication on Willis by Benjamin Sommerhalder's Zurich-based publishing house, Nieves.

www.independenthq.com