Siegen. As an internationally active artist, Thomas Kellner looks back on two very eventful and also exhausting years. Corona also challenges an artist to rethink, to be flexible and to look ahead in the hope that the perspectives will clear up again.
2020 was still very much marked by the shock of the pandemic with a multitude of applications and bureaucracy, where as 2021 seemed cautiously optimistic at first. At the beginning of 2021, Thomas Kellner was able to successfully present his new series The half-timbered houses of the Siegen industrial area today at Artgalerie. Subsequently, the FAZ reported full-page and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk reported in radio and television on all cultural programs also on the newly emerging series of the chapel schools. A catalog was published for the exhibition, as was a new catalog for the Tango Metropolis series published later in the year by Westlotto. In 2021, unfortunately, there were only three solo exhibitions in which Thomas Kellner could present his work. All in all, the number of exhibitions goes down slightly, but the number of international exhibitions and those where Thomas Kellner can be present goes down strongly. A highlight in 2021 was certainly the competition of the New York Klompching Gallery, which selected Thomas Kellner as one of five artists for the exhibition in New York. With the generous support of all Kellner fans and Siegerländer, it was almost enough to win the audience award, but Kellner was narrowly outdone shortly before the end.
Numerous solo exhibitions are already on the horizon for Thomas Kellner in 2022. In April, the trip goes to Hamburg to Visulex Gallery for Photography, for May, another exhibition of half-timbered houses in Düsseldorf is planned, in June, the exhibition genius loci in the Dutch sister city of Siegen in Katwijk will be seen in the DUNatelier and in July, Thomas Kellner is invited to present his series Flucticulus, which Kunstverein Siegen showed together with the Hees Bürowelt 2017, at the Kunstverein in Hildesheim. In November, Thomas Kellner plans to present his new series of chapel schools, which WDR WestArt already reported on, at Artgalerie with a new book.
So it goes on for Thomas Kellner in the new studio in Blücherstraße, even if he often misses the space and the logistical possibilities of studio Friedrichstraße. Artistically, he will initially continue with the chapel schools, for which he has already received two grants. At the same time, works from the Flucticulus series are still being finalized for presentation, and as early as February Thomas Kellner will start his new series Menschen des 21. Jahrhunderts (People of the 21st Century), a tribute to August Sander for the 60th anniversary of his death in 2024, at the same time as the Siegen city anniversary. The studio remains closed to the public. Nevertheless, Thomas Kellner is especially grateful for all the support he has received through grants from the federal and state governments, the Kulturwerk of the VG Bild-Kunst, the district, the city and many of his fans. Those who would like to see his works at the moment can find them in exhibitions in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Beijing, or iat Artgalerie in Siegen.