Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present a new solo exhibition with the influential German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann. The exhibition follows the success of Feldmann’s recent travelling solo survey at the Serpentine Gallery in London and BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna (both 2012), which is currently on view at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg.
Feldmann has had a life-long fascination with, and an obsessive attitude towards, collecting everyday images and ephemera which he often assembles in the form of books, posters, postcards, paintings and installations. His works present a blend of readymade material and minimal artistic intervention, achieving unexpected, humorous outcomes that often verge on the absurd and challenge our aesthetic sensibilities.
For his solo exhibition at the gallery, Feldmann will offer an exploration of his latest collections and a survey of the imagery that he frequently engages through found paintings. The works on display feature nudes, portraits, still lifes and seascapes, which, placed against both burgundy and blue walls reminiscent of a National Gallery display, suggest a classical painting exhibition.
Nevertheless, the minor alterations within each of the paintings quickly reveal Feldmann’s subversion and his readiness to play with this traditional aesthetic. Within his found canvases, seated portraits, once tokens of wealth passed down in families from generation to generation, have been disrupted with cross-eyes, red noses and black eyes – giving new identities to these now forgotten figures. Nudes, frequently bestowed with mythological status in the western art tradition, have had their eyes, breasts and genitals covered with black bars, recalling state censorship devices and highlighting how radical the images would have been at the time of their making. Still lifes, which often serve as vanitas images, have been covered by giant X’s, taking away their initial power to signify and rendering them redundant.
The exhibition also features the multi-part painting installations Seascapes and A story. Mined from auctions, second hand shops and markets, these simply grouped works open up a space for viewers to make connections and associations between otherwise individual images, creating a disjuncture between intention and reception, while simultaneously bestowing them with new life and narrative meaning. In the lower gallery, Feldmann will display one of the world’s largest single collections of historical paintings of the female nude. Installed in a row, the display presents one hundred and fifty stamps, each bearing a different art historical image of a female nude.
Hans-Peter Feldmann (b. 1941) lives and works in Düsseldorf. Recent exhibitions include a major travelling survey at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg (2013), the Serpentine Gallery in London and BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna (both 2012), solo exhibitions at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid (2010), the Malmö Konstall (2010), the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2010), and the Arnolfini in Bristol (2007-2008). Feldmann has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the São Paulo Biennial (2012), the Bass Museum of Art in Miami (2012), the Venice Biennale (2009), and Museé d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2008). Feldmann was honoured with the 2010 Hugo Boss Prize, recognizing his significant achievement in contemporary art. For his Hugo Boss Prize exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Feldmann chose to display his monetary prize in entirety, pinning one-dollar bills to the museum walls.
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