Wolf Vostell is one of the most important German artists of the 20th century and is particularly known as a co-founder of the Fluxus movement. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, Kunsthaus Dahlem is dedicating an exhibition to him and his artist colleague Boris Lurie, focusing on his artistic reappraisal of the Holocaust and Germany’s recent past.
Image. above: Wolf Vostell, Shoah 1492-1945, 1997, Acryl und Beton auf Holz / Acrylic and concrete on panel, 270 x 660 cm. ESTATE OF WOLF VOSTELL. © 2022 VG Bild-Kunst Bonn
Two artists, one theme – when Wolf Vostell (1932-1998) and Boris Lurie (1924-2008) met in the 1960s, they were soon connected by more than a deep friendship. Both took a political stand with their art, both dealt with the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, both opposed war, cruelty and crimes against humanity with all their might. Their raw works defy easy consumerism, which seemed to them anathema to the art establishment. Today, the works of the two artists seem more topical than ever, relying on a kind of shock therapy to draw the public’s attention to the continuity of violence and contempt for humanity.
The choice of the exhibition venue is not accidental: in 1984, the city of Berlin granted the artist a working space for life in the former state studio of the Nazi sculptor Arno Breker, today’s Kunsthaus Dahlem. Breker had not only enjoyed numerous privileges as an artist, but had also actively attempted to translate the ideology and aesthetics of the Nazi regime through his works. This was the place where Wolf Vostell continued his examination of German history in the 20th century, which he had begun in the late 1950s. Vostell realised the reappraisal of the National Socialist dictatorship and the commemoration of the Holocaust as well as its aftermath in all creative phases and in all the materials he used, and thus in a density like hardly any other artist of his time.
In dialogue with Wolf Vostell are selected works by the artist Boris Lurie (1924-2008), with whom Vostell had been in intensive exchange since the 1960s. Boris Lurie, the Russian Jew who grew up in Riga and experienced the horrors of the Shoah first-hand, was immediately understood by Wolf Vostell, who wanted to recreate these traumatic experiences as a German. The two artist friends were also often of a similar mind stylistically and in terms of their handling of material. The exhibition at Kunsthaus Dahlem traces the numerous parallels in style and content in detail for the first time.
Curator of the exhibition: Eckhart J. Gillen
Sundays, 2 pm
18.09., Exhibition tour with Marian Fuchs (artist and art mediator)
In this dialogue-based exhibition tour, an art mediator will provide insights into the work of Wolf Vostell and Boris Lurie, their artistic manifestos as well as the history of the building and its use over the past decades. We take the artworks as a starting point for a joint conversation.
Sundays, 2 pm
Tour of the exhibition with Bazon Brock and Eckhart Gillen (please register at firstname.lastname@example.org as places are limited)
30.10. Curator:inside tour with Eckhart J. Gillen (curator of the exhibition) with Dorothea Schöne (Artistic Director Kunsthaus Dahlem)
Friday 8 July – Sunday 30 October 2022
6 euros, reduced 4 euros.