220609: Kunsthalle Mannheim, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum: Anton Henning – Antonym

Kunsthalle Mannheim, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum: Anton Henning – Antonym There has never been so much Henning! Two museums are currently devoting a joint one-man-show to the Berlin-born artist Anton Henning (born 1964) with more than 140 paintings, drawings, sculptures and video works. This is the largest solo exhibit ever accorded to the artist. And there is another sensation: the cities Mannheim and Ludwigshafen have not cooperated for more than 10 years - although they are only separated by the Rhine River. The “Antonym” exhibition is currently presented both at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen and at the Kunsthalle Mannheim - until August 16, 2009. While the museum in Ludwigshafen takes a retrospective look at Henning’s oeuvre dating from 1990 to today, the Mannheim show concentrates on his sculptures, lighted paintings with heavy massive wooden frames and the new Quadrinomes. Those are large four-sided wooden creations in a case, with four paintings on each side and the entire case set on one leg. Along the top ledge there is fluorescent lamp, which lights the respective painting. Hulky and ever-present they stand-alone and faintly remind of advertising columns or billboard cases in public space. Henning successfully created a unique and convincing nexus between painting and sculpture. For the presentation of his works in the Kunsthalle the exhibition space was painted in dark gray and only minimally lit, thereby allowing the paintings to unfold their own light and to mediate a pleasant and warm atmosphere. Henning is a wayfarer between the worlds - or rather between art historical styles and eras – without loss of his own style. Without effort he cites Velasquez, Picasso or Gerhard Richter, cheerfully and buoyantly transforms works by Mondrian, Arp or the abstract Matisse in his series “Jazz” and with his style of lightness bestows them with a colourful and fresh currentness. Without the slightest effort he portrays cows or Bauhaus chairs, such as the cantilever chair, over which he casually hangs a noose and, clamps a cigarette and a brush between its loops – a hidden self-portrait? In any case, there is an abundance of self-portraits at this exhibit. Repeatedly, Henning presents himself: e.g. as a nude at the beach with large clouds in the background – to be seen at the Ludwigshafen exhibition. It seems as if he wants to make sure that he exists as a painter and wants to set a sign of life – for good. His international success proves his presence to himself, and so do his multifaceted and cheerful accomplishments under the sun. By Ulrike Lehmann Kunsthalle Mannheim 68165 Mannheim, Friedrichsplatz 4, until 16.08.09 www.kunsthalle-mannheim.de Wilhelm-Hack-Museum 67059 Ludwigshafen, Berliner Strasse 23, until 16.08.09 www.wilhelmhack.museum
Mehr Texte von translated and summarized by: Liz Wollner-Grandville


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Kunsthalle Mannheim
68165 Mannheim, Friedrichsplatz 4
Tel: +49 621 293 6423
Email: besucherservice@kuma.art
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 10-18, Mi 10-20

67059 Ludwigshafen, Berliner Strasse 23
Tel: +49 (0)621 504 3045
Email: hackmuseum@ludwigshafen.de
Öffnungszeiten: DI, MI, FR 11.00 - 18.00 Uhr
DO 11.00 - 20.00 Uhr
SA, SO 10.00 - 18.00 Uhr

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