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Gustav Sonntag: RESTRISIKO – CSR.ART | 25.04.-21.05.2024

Editors’ Choice

For Gallery Weekend 2024, the Contemporary Show Room CSR.ART presents from 25 April 2024 the solo exhibition RESTRISIKO with figurative paintings by the up-and-coming Leipzig painter Gustav Sonntag. The exhibition presents a haunting collection of works that deal with themes such as obsession, addiction, violence, resignation and homelessness. Gustav Sonntag shows himself to be an artist who does not look away, but looks closely with a remarkable emotional closeness and captures the dark sides of the human condition on canvas. RESTRISIKO is organised by CSR.ART, Berlin, in collaboration with Galerie Holger John, Dresden. The exhibition opens with a vernissage on 25 April at 7 pm at CSR.ART, followed by an after-show party (registration link below) at DEEDS.SALON from 10.30 pm in the basement of Galeries Lafayette.

Image above: Portrait Gustav Sonntag, Photo: Kai Späthe

Gustav Sonntag was born Felix Gustav Maximilian Steuer in Berlin in 1994. His artistic journey is rooted in a deep passion for art that originated in his family. With a potter for a mother and a painter for a father, as a child Gustav Sonntag walks through his studio on the third floor of the legendary “Tacheles” art gallery in Oranienburger Straße, a vacant department stores’ in Berlin-Mitte occupied at the time by artists from various disciplines, to prevent its demolition. As Holger Lippmann says in his personal impression of the pre-diploma exhibition: “If you know the family and, like me, have been able to follow Gustav’s development, you know that there are many favourable stars in the painting sky here.”

Sonntag’s career as an artist has been characterised by intensive academic training and personal dedication. The choice of Leipzig as a place of training was no coincidence. Sonntag greatly appreciated the figurative painting of the Leipzig School. And when the examination board asked him: “Why do you want to go to Leipzig?” he said: “I want to learn when to paint the tones in the skin greenish and when bluish or reddish.” The answer was an understanding nod. Sonntag began his studies in 2015. Under Professor Christoph Ruckhäberle, Sonntag perfected his painting skills in his main degree programme from 2017. Ruckhäberle’s influence is groundbreaking for Sonntag’s artistic development. In intensive painting performance sessions through the dense jungle of contemporary existence, Sonntag not only finds his themes, but also his technique. Ruckhäberle teaches him the speed factor against tenseness, provokes strongly, almost never praises: “Stop wanting to make art! Is painting really your path?” Sonntag works against frustration and things develop. Holger Lippmann recalls the productive dialogue between professor and student: “In February 2020, the knot seems to have burst.
”Sometimes just horizontally, not always upright. And on 2 × 3 metres, a multiple-figure scenario.” The first large picture is created. ” … That’s really good!” But after Gustav paints a picture for a very long time: “Who wants a hard-boiled egg like that?”
And then the crusher: “Why don’t you paint 15 large pictures within 2 months?”
Gustav paints 20 pictures. One week left: “… Ok, I’ll do 30.”

DEEDS NEWS - CSR.ART - Restrisiko - Gustav Sonntag - Foto Kai Spaethe - 2-min
Gustav Sonntag, Photo: Kai Späthe

The “RESTRISIKO” exhibition at CSR.ART in Berlin offers a unique opportunity to experience Gustav Sonntag’s captivating artistic journey and to be moved by his haunting works. His paintings are not only aesthetic objects, but also powerful messages that inspire us to reflect on the complexity of the human condition. The presentation is also unusual. Sonntag’s paintings are not usually stretched on stretcher frames, they are stapled directly to the walls. In the studio, he handles painted canvases as if they were carpets, stacks them, pulls them out of storage. If they stick to each other and rub off, he allows them to do so as part of the works’ own life.

DEEDS NEWS - CSR.ART - Restrisiko - Gustav Sonntag - Foto Kai Spaethe - 5-min
Foto: Kai Späthe

His works are an expression of an intensive examination of the human abyss and a critical reflection on social conditions. Sonntag’s path as an artist has been characterised by intensive learning and experimentation. He himself reflects on his artistic career: “You never know exactly where it will take you.” This openness to the creative process and the willingness to constantly try out new things characterise Sonntag’s way of working.

Gustav Sonntag’s works have already been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and China. His works can be found in institutions such as STEFFEN HILDEBRAND, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig and RENALDO FABER Kunstsammlung, Leipzig.


Exhibition dates:
Thursday, 25 April until Tuesday, 21 May 2024
open Tue – Sat 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Vernissage (at CSR.ART):
Thursday, 25. April 2024, 7:00 – 10:00 am

Aftershow Party (at DEEDS.SALON):
Thursday, 25. April 2024, 10:30 pm until open end
DJ Line up: Delirium Collective Leipzig & Friends (Opal, Al Aslan, Mental Carnival, Aaron Kubel, Julian Schwarz)
This way to register


Friedrichstraße 69
10117 Berlin

DEEDS.SALON (Aftershow Party only!)
Friedrichstraße 76-78
10117 Berlin
take the lift to the 2nd basement floor
This way to register


Aftershow Party: 10 EUR for the musicians

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