Andreas Schulze at Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to present for the first time an exhibition by Andreas Schulze in Berlin. It follows upon the large survey exhibition INTERIEUR. Werkschau Andreas Schulze at the Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg during the early summer of 2010 which will be shown from September 5 at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum in Düren. At Sprüth Magers Berlin, Schulze is presenting the installation Untitled (Dresden), 1997, and new paintings.
At the center of the installation is the model of a miniature city from Schulze’s collection of model trains. The walls of the exhibition room are covered with wallpaper and surround the model like a landscape; posters advertise the tourist attractions of Saxony and Dresden. With this model, however, it is a matter not of a true-to-reality representation, but of a fictional cityscape which is drawn from personal and narrated memories, information conveyed by the media, and associational set-pieces.
Similarly as in other works, Andreas Schulze is concerned here with an approach to reality, with the possibilities of its representation and the emphasizing of the artificiality of this depiction. Harald Falckenberg offers the following comments upon the significance of Andreas Schulze as an artist of our era:
The art of Andreas Schulze, aged fifty-four, was and is uncontemporary in the best sense of the word. He has never paid attention to the trends in the operating system of art. Schulze paints things, strangely large-formated, color-intensive motifs with ornaments, globes, square and rectangular forms, mostly with a perspectival orientation. And he designs spaces, living rooms with furniture, lamps, carpets and dinnerware. These are views into an old-fashioned and naive world of German gemütlichkeit, a design quite removed from modernist concepts.
Andreas Schulze was of no concern either to the theory-oriented art of the nineteen-seventies, with its focus on social relevance, or to the politically oriented Context Art of the nineteen-nineties. His time as the inventor of new pictorial worlds seemed to have come during the nineteen-eighties when, under the slogan ‘hunger for pictures’, there was a renaissance of painting. It was a matter of the Mülheimer Freiheit, of the Jungen Wilden and, on an international level, of the art of the Transavanguardia. Andreas Schulze collaborated with the artists of the Mülheimer Freiheit and participated in their exhibitions. But artistically he remained an outsider, and personally a maverick. The Neo-Expressionist attitude of those years, with its inclination towards hedonism and self-dramatization, was not for him. All the way to today, he has remained true to ‘things’, to his convictions, also with regard to the Neo-Romantic tendencies of the painting of the last ten years. People have no place in his oeuvre.
Andreas Schulze stands in high esteem as an artist’s artist among colleagues from George Condo, Fischli & Weiss, Thomas Grünfeld and Gary Hume to Gert and Uwe Tobias, as well as with exhibition organizers such as Lynne Cooke, Zdenek Felix, Robert Fleck, Udo Kittelmann, Kasper König and Ralph Rugoff. His spaces recall the Merzbau, the refuge which the artist Kurt Schwitters described as the cathedral of his erotic misery. The Merzbau has become a model for young contemporary art from Jonathan Meese to Gregor Schneider. It is a matter of forms for the conduct of life which do not oppose society but instead create alternatives which are ultimately models of escapism.
The exhibition in Hamburg was entitled INTERIEUR. This stands for the inner viewpoint of an artist who creates art in order to provide himself with both furnishings and orientation, and it designates the peculiar, ludicrous objects of his surroundings. Andreas Schulze has created for himself his own scurrilous world, an artistic house for his personal life. With its references, so typical for postmodernism, to such artists of the avant-garde as Donald Judd, Richard Long, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol, his art has for a long time been considered to be painting in the traditional sense. But this searching after clues, particularly when it is conducted with seriousness, does not lead any further. Andreas Schulze deconstructs interconnections with the intention – expressed sometimes in playful merriness, sometimes with ill nature – of winding back to normality the exalted significance of his renowned predecessors. Avant-gardist art, according to Andreas Schulze in an interview, oscillates between the extremes of refined intellectuality and coarse banality. He himself is instead concerned with ‘bourgeois averageness’, with Meissner porcelain instead of the Brillo box or the Campbell’s can.
It is time to reconsider and to comprehend Andreas Schulze as a conceptional painter engaged in the design of a dadaistically marked program for living. From his model Kurt Schwitters, born like he himself in Hannover, comes this observation: “I evaluate sense with regard to nonsense. I prefer nonsense, but that is an entirely personal matter. This formulation also stands for the attitude of Andreas Schulze” (Harald Falckenberg, 2010)
Andreas Schulze was born in 1955 in Hannover, he studied at the Gesamthochschule Kassel and at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he is active as a professor for painting. In 1983 Monika Sprüth opened her gallery with a solo exhibition by Andreas Schulze. Important group exhibitions could be seen at the MoMA in New York (1984), at the Tate in London (1987), at the Kunstforeningen in Copenhagen, and at the Triennale in Venice (1997). Works of the artist are to be found in numerous private and institutional collections.
A publication on Andreas Schulze’s work will appear in September 2010 with essays by Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, Margit Brehm, Susanne Rennert / Michael Trier and Harald Falckenberg, an artist’s conversation with Heinz-Norbert Jocks, along with statements about the artist by such artists as George Condo, Fischli & Weiss, Thomas Grünfeld, Gary Hume as well as by Lynne Cooke, Zdenek Felix, Robert Fleck, Udo Kittelmann, Kasper König and Ralph Rugoff

Artist: Andreas Schulze
Venue: Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Date: July 2 – August 21, 2010


Text (press release) and images provided by the event.

© Sprüth Magers, Berlin