Thursday 9 January 2014

"artist unknown #1: Martina Kubelk" at GALERIE SUSANNE ZANDER, Cologne

Martina Kubelk, untitled, Polaroid (8,3 x 12,5 cm) from the photo album "Martina Kubelk. Kleider - Unterwaesche" (MartinaKubelk. Dresses - Lingerie), 1988 - 1995, consisting of 365 Polaroids and 23 Vintage Prints, 32 x 27 x 8 cm, Courtesy Delmes & Zander / Galerie Susanne Zander

artist unknown #1:
Martina Kubelk

17. January - 8. February 2014
Opening: Friday, 17.01., 6 - 9 pm

A photo book containing over 380 photographs, mostly Polaroids. On the cover the following title to be read: Martina Kubelk: Clothes – Lingerie. Shown are images of a man in women’s clothes, photographed between January 1988 and July 1995. These self-portraits grant insight into the private world of Martina Kubelk. Ruffled dresses, Latex underwear, a portrait of the parents on the wall, a cat poster, leather couches, 1970s wallpaper, and the focus on Martina, who photographs herself over a period of seven years in various outfits with a self-timer. That is all that is known about the artist.
With this show Galerie Susanne Zander opens an exhibition trilogy that presents works by artists about whom little or nothing is known. Here, the quality and autonomy of the artistic work itself is the focus. There are no artists’ curricula vitae, the viewer is solely and immediately confronted with the work.

Anonymity is no novelty in art history: In pre-history, the anonymous artist was the rule. Works were rarely signed. In the case of the Old Dutch Masters artists were given representative “emergency names” and assigned to catalogs of works based on their style alone. It was the first attempt to give the artist who formerly was considered anonymous an individual personality and to acknowledge his autonomous mastership and style. The “Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece” (Alte Pinakothek, Munich) or the “Master of Flémalle” (Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main) are well-known examples. Not until the modern age with the emergence of a bourgeois society, liberated from church and nobility, was the identity and role of the artist newly defined. The personality cult, characterized by the term genius, began to be cultivated as a brand name; biography became an integral part of the myth of the artist.

With the exhibition trilogy “artist unknown” the gallery probes new borderline areas of art and underscores the conceptual approach of so-called outsider art.

In the context of the exhibition, Philipp do Brito will present a lecture under the title “Martina Kubelk – A Life in Days” on 7 February 2014 at 7 p.m. at the gallery.

Martina Kubelk, untitled, Polaroid (8,3 x 12,5 cm), Courtesy Delmes & Zander / Galerie Susanne Zander

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