SCULPTURES AND DRAWINGS

HANS ARP, ANTONIUS HÖCKELMANN, PER KIRKEBY, MARKUS LÜPERTZ, ERNST WILHELM NAY, A.R. PENCK, SIGMAR POLKE, DON VAN VLIET

21 January – 18 March 2017

The Michael Werner Kunsthandel is delighted to start the new year with an exhibition of sculptures and drawings. The selection starts with works from the 1960s. The show establishes a fascinating dialogue between Hans Arp’s organic forms and Ernst Wilhelm Nay’s later works in paper. Despite their very different creative origins, these mature works reflect a common interest in the interplay between figurative representation and the freedom of abstraction. More surprisingly, we can also discover how A.R. Penck’s early works appear to be informed by Arp’s sculpture maquettes. Similarly, Markus Lüpertz’ drawing „Deutsches Motiv“ („German motif“) demonstrates how this artist was influenced by earlier artisitic traditions from the outset of his creative work.

The exhibition does not try to establish spurious links where none are justified. Some of the artists in the show worked more or less closely together for decades, while others never even met. It does however present a fascinating juxtaposition of common forms from works originating from a period of several decades. Don Van Vliet’s drawings from the late 1970s reveal close formal similarities to A.R. Penck’s early sculpture „Großer Bahnhof“ („Big Station“) from 1979. Neither artist was familiar with the other’s creative work at the time. Their respective ways of life and working could hardly have been more different and yet their work shows clear signs of spiritual affinity.

The exhibition presents this open network of formal conceptions, productive imagery and artistic idioms and provides a demonstration of how art does not first and foremost involve the invention of new ideas but rather the ability to imbue new life from a contemporary perspective into existing traditions.