Friday 25 May 2012

"Recordings Rejected: Outsiders in Music" - Mingering Mike, Daniel Johnston, Wesley Willis, André Robillard and others

"Recordings Rejected"
Outsiders in Music
22. June - 28. July 2012
Opening: Friday, 22.06., 6 – 10pm

Mingering Mike, Daniel Johnston, Wesley Willis, André Robillard,
Bruno Schleinstein, Oswald Tschirtner, August Walla, Howard Finster and others

The fascination with Outsider Art in music has become increasingly visible in recent years and punctuates pop history with a long list of quotes and cross-references. For many musicians Outsider Art and Art Brut - terms that refer to art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill and other marginalized people, made without thought to imitation or presentation - embodies the recurring desire for radical authenticity, renegation and otherness. Bands are called Art Brut in an coquetry with Jean Dubuffet's term for the raw aesthetics of the self-taught beyond academia and dogma coined 1945. Or they name themselves Vivian Girls in a wink-of-an-eye homage to Henry Darger's bittersweet watercolour waifs from his 15.000-page magnum opus "In the Realms of the Unreal," discovered posthumously in 1973. Prinzhorn Dance School pay tribute with their band name to a German psychiatrist, who in the early 20s imploded the boundaries between psychiatry and the arts with his groundbreaking publication "The Artistry of the Mentally Ill." Examples range from the names of bands to song lyrics, from the album cover design to the video clip aesthetics.

The exhibition "Recordings Rejected" at Galerie Susanne Zander sets off here in search of further parallels and stumbles across surprising revelations: renowned Art Brut artists who have always made music, Outsider musicians who devote themselves to the visual arts and Outsiders on the verge between music, installation and conceptual art. 
  In this context, the gallery show will feature artworks by two seminal figures of the American underground music scene: Daniel Johnston and Wesley Willis (1963 - 2003), the latter for the first time in Germany. The exhibition will also present the weird and wonderful album covers from Mingering Mike's imaginary superstar discography, here in a limited archival print edition. Other featured artists are Bruno Schleinstein, forever immortalized by Werner Herzog as Kasper Hauser, and André Robillard with his fascinating arsenal of home-made rainbow-coloured guns (both were passionate accordion players), "Reverend" Howard Finster, whose work branded for years several iconographic Talking Heads' album covers and Gugging artist Oswald Tschirtner, to whom the Einstürzende Neubauten dedicated their 1983 album "Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T."

Galerie Susanne Zander will feature Daniel Johnston in a one-man show in the Fall 2012 / Spring 2013.
"Rejected Recordings" is curated by Monika Koencke.

The exhibition will be open until midnight on Saturday, 23. June on occasion of the c/o pop. 

Galerie Susanne Zander
Antwerpener Str. 1
50670 Cologne


Friday 18 May 2012

Morton Bartlett at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

Morton Bartlett -
secret universe III
Fri 11 May - Sun 23 September 2012
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin

The third exhibition of the "secret universe" series presents the work of the American artist Morton Bartlett (1909-1992). Central works of his oeuvre are fifteen semi-life-sized dolls, twelve girls and three boys. Having dropped out of Harvard in order to work as a commercial photographer, Bartlett began producing these dolls in the middle of the 1930s, attempting to make them seem as life-like as possible.

He studied anatomy books and costume history, learned to sew and work with clay. It took him up to a year to create each of the figures. Bartlett designed various costumes and wigs in order to stage the dolls in true-to-life situations. He inserted them into various moments from real life and thus he breathed life into his creations through photography.

His work was created for private use and was never exhibited during his lifetime. The dolls, approximately 200 black-and-white photographs, drawings, color slides and costumes were first discovered in 1993.

The exhibition in the Hamburger Bahnhof is the first solo museum show of Morton Bartlett's work in Germany. The "secret universe" series has been made possible by the 'About Change, Stiftung'.
This exhibition series is curated by Claudia Dichter and Udo Kittelmann

Hamburger Bahnhof - 
Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin)
Invalidenstraße 50-51
10557 Berlin