10/03 - 07/07/2013
This spring the Langen Foundation is presenting the most extensive exhibition by Pae White (b. 1963, lives in Los Angeles) to ever be shown in Europe. The exhibition focus lies on the artist’s large-format tapestries and mobiles – including a new “mirror mobile” specially made for this show – as well as on couch sculptures. Also included are the exhibition poster and advertisements, which Pae White designed herself.
Pae White harnesses the synergies between visual arts, applied arts, design, and architecture. Her oeuvre is distinguished by its hybrid character: surface and space, graphic and object, everyday item and artwork all enter into states of surprising symbiosis in her works. Accordingly, the artwork created by this American artist is polymorphic, ranging from posters and exhibition catalogues to sculptures and space-encompassing installations.
In absence of any thought of hierarchy, Pae White drafts adverts, designs exhibition catalogues, crafts large mobiles made of painted and glued swathes of paper, makes furniture sculptures, or has giant tapestries woven. The unique aesthetic allure of her playfully light work arises through subtle shifts in medium, material, and motif. Her wall tapestries, for instance, display crinkled aluminium foil or billows of smoke, while her couches resemble rumpled sheets of newspaper.
Although the hybrid character of Pae White’s work is readily apparent, she emphasizes that she is not concerned with the blurring of boundaries but instead – in a positive sense – with the hidden possibilities inherent to things: “I like the idea that everything in the world has the potential to be reintroduced as an artwork – even if only as a motif.”
Vital to the artist is the relation her works have to the surrounding space – for instance when she stages her mobiles as flickering clusters. Pae White tailored her presentation to the high Langen Foundation exhibition rooms, enabling the tapestries to be installed as space-consuming objects rather than lying flush with the wall.
Pae White was born in 1963 in Pasadena, California. She graduated from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine, in 1990, and from MFA Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, in 1991, where she studied under Stephen Prina, Mike Kelley, and Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe.
Solo exhibitions (selection):
Pae White, South London Gallery, London (2013); Vienna 1900/Ollegro, Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna (2013); Material Mutters, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe (2011); The Power Plant, Toronto (2010); Smoke, 1301PE Los Angeles (2010); Too Much Night, neugerriemschneider, Berlin (2008); Mr Baci e abbraci, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan (2008); Another cherry blossom, greengrassi, London (2005); Pae White, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004).
Group exhibitions (selection):
International Orange: Artists Respond to the Golden Gate Bridge at 75, San Francisco (2012); Print Out, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), Paradise Lost, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2011); Thessaloniki Biennale (2011); Contemplating the Void, The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Whitney Biennale, New York (2010); Biennale Venedig (2009); Armory 21th Exhibition, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2009); Notation, Calculation and Form in the Arts, ZKM/Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe (2009); Skulptur Projekte Münster (2007); Hyper Design, Shanghai Biennale (2006); Glas, Material, Matters, LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2006).
Manfred Kuttner entered the art-world stage together with his artist friends Gerhard Richter, Konrad Lueg, and Sigmar Polke. The four artists jointly organized the Demonstrative Ausstellung (Demonstrative Exhibition) of 1963 in Düsseldorf, which was conceived to convey their radical rejection of all established art venues and to simultaneously position themselves in the art scene. This exhibition saw the founding of so-called German Pop Art and the coining of the term Capitalist Realism, which would later write art history. Kuttner, who in 1961 had left Dresden to join the Düsseldorf Art Academy, contributed abstract pictures and painted objects. In both cases he employed newly developed fluorescent Plaka paints in neon hues that otherwise tended to find application in advertising graphics. He thus associated the aesthetics of Pop Art with non-objective painting in his pictorial works.
Kuttner’s pieces occupy a special place within the art of the early 1960s in that they can be clearly classified neither within a formal context (Op, Zero, Minimal) nor a figurative one (Pop, Nouveau Réálisme). Kuttner shared with Lueg, Polke, and Richter an interest in exploring painting and its potential for integrating reality into the image. Yet in contrast to his fellow artists, Kuttner placed less emphasis on figurative and representational works with motifs taken from popular culture than on the method of engendering his own connection to reality through the act of painting. Paul Cézanne’s special approach to painting light, on the one hand, and Yves Klein’s use of colour, on the other, influenced Kuttner’s main interest: painting moving colour.
Manfred Kuttner concluded his career as an artist before it could even truly begin: in 1964 he withdrew from the art world due to economic considerations. Thanks to the individuality of his works, Kuttner’s oeuvre is still highly topical today and touches on topics of a younger generation of artist, such as Tauba Auerbach, Günter Förg, Laura Owens, Anselm Reyle, Thomas Scheibitz, Sue Williams and Christopher Wool.
On the occasion of the exhibition, the first monograph on Manfred Kuttner will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, featuring essays by Christine Mehring, Birgit Hein, Thomas Scheibitz, and Franz Erhard Walther, an introduction by Andreas Baur, Christiane Maria Schneider, and Marcus Weber, along with a catalogue raisonné and an extensive chronology compiled by Sabine Sense and Marcus Weber.
Manfred Kuttner, born 1937 in Greiz, Thuringia, died 2007 in Erkrath near Düsseldorf. 1956–61 Studies at the Dresden Art Academy; 1961–64 Studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy under Karl Otto Götz. 1962 Galerie Junge Kunst, Fulda (with Gerhard Richter); 1963 Demonstrative Ausstellung (with Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter), Kaiserstrasse 31 A, Düsseldorf; IV. Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, San Marino; 1964 Neodada, Pop, Decollage, Kapitalistischer Realismus, Galerie René Block; 1995 Kuttner, Lueg, Polke, Richter, Galerie M.+ R. Fricke, Düsseldorf; 1996 Farbe flieg, Galerie M.+ R. Fricke, Düsseldorf; 2005, 2008, 2010 Galerie Johann König, Berlin; 2007 The Artist’s Dining Room (with Thomas Scheibitz and Anselm Reyle), Tate Modern, London; 2008 westlondonprojects, London.