051112: Christine König Galerie Curated_by_vienna 2012: Thomas Kilpper, Jimmie Durham – curated by_Marius Babias

Christine König Galerie Curated_by_vienna 2012: Thomas Kilpper, Jimmie Durham – curated by_Marius Babias 21.09.2012 – 10.11. 2012 The deep layers of things past By Susanne Rohringer In the front rooms of the gallery, Thomas Kilpper displays large-format canvases dangling from the ceiling and printed with woodcuts. The prints show well-known faces, such as that of Rosa Luxemburg or Georg Elser pictured at a Gestapo hearing. The roughly drawn lines of the pictures are partially printed on coloured strips of material. These large woodcuts are also to be seen as panel paintings – canvas on wood. We discover Jean Paul Sartre, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault and other, mostly well-known intellectual and political activists. Understanding Thomas Kilpper's art is essentially linked to knowing the genesis of the individual woodcuts. Some of the works shown here were carved into the floor of the former Ministry of State Security of the German Democratic Republic in Berlin. Kilpper searched for such history-charged locations, "occupied" and earmarked them. He literally stripped them and carved his view of the location into the historic ground. This also happened in London in the so-called "Orbit House" where he engraved the history of this location into a 400m2 woodcut. Once a chapel, furniture store and cinema, Orbit House in Southwark, London, is the perfect example of English living over the past three hundred years. Kilpper created a location-specific mythology, which dealt critically with the building's past and this image can also be seen in the gallery on a large-format picture with Sigmund Freud. The tenor of the pictures - which should definitely lead the viewer to questioning the political aspects - has motivated Thomas Kilpper since his youth. At that time, he was a sympathiser of the RAF and political activist, and also served time in prison. Notwithstanding, he learnt his artistic handiwork in Nuremberg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main and this can be seen in this refreshing exhibition. The themes are gloomy but the form of the depiction is not always violent. In particular, the picture of Rosa Luxemburg is carefully composed. In style and content, Thomas Kilpper sometimes reminds one of the American painter, Leon Golub. A political activist for many years, in particular a champion for the causes of the Indigenous peoples, is the American artist, Jimmie Durham. Himself belonging to the Cherokee tribe, he was UN Representative for Indigenous Peoples and has, for many years, lived in Berlin and Rome. For Christine König's exhibition, he created the eight-part work "1948" of which four framed works can be seen in the gallery. In his flat in Berlin, Durham found the remains of newspapers from 1948 and annotated them by writing his own reminiscences on the paper. This is both reminiscent of political happenings such as the founding of Israel, the Nakba WHATTY THATY????? or the founding of Hell's Angels, as well as the remembrance of familial happenings, such as his mother moving into a permanent residence. In Christine König's exhibition, Durham, a master of making references convinces through his still and poetical works. The crumpled paper behind glass reminds one of continents that expand and contract. It's the directness of the encountered that inspires Durham to think. All in all, a very successful example of an exhibition of the "curated by" series that without doubt, in addition to the artists, can be attributed to the curators Marius Babias and Christine König. Christine König Galerie 1040 Vienna, Schleifmühlgasse 1a Tel: +43-1-585 74 74 Fax: +43-1-585 74 74-24 email: office@christinekoeniggalerie.at http://www.christinekoeniggalerie.at Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 11:00 - 19:00 hours, Sat: 11:00 - 15:00 hours

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