The beginnings of the connection between art and the reality of life in metropolises started in the 1920s. The novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) by Alfred Döblins and the film Berlin - the Symphony of the Big City (1927) by Walter Ruttmann are considered important works for the development and artistically showed the dynamics of the cities. Since Sunday, 25 July, the new Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V. has been presenting the exhibition Großstadt-Symphonie (Symphony of the Big City) in the Kunstlanding art museum. In it, three different contemporary approaches to this theme are presented: one painterly, one sculptural and one photographic.
The large towns in the focus of art
The urbans were already a major theme for artists at the beginning of the 20th century. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a painter born in Aschaffenburg and one of the most important representatives of Expressionism, depicted the bustling Potsdamer Platz in moving color in his chronicle Brücke. The famous street scenes were intended to capture and reflect the life and relaxed atmosphere of the city. In the further development of art, the focus was not only on life, but also on the architectural context in urbans. In this context, artists such as Ludwig Meidner chose the motif of tottering and collapsing architecture and used aggressive color and form to capture the phenomenon of the city. The exhibition at the Kunstverein Aschaffenburg takes up these ideas and aims not only to make the appearance visible, but also to convey the experience of a big city through contemporary art.
Three different artists and symphonies
For the exhibition, painter Tom Christopher (born 1952), sculptor Detlef Waschkau (born 1961) and fine art photographer Thomas Kellner (born 1962) provided their artworks at the KunstvereinAschaffenburg. Tom Christopher brings the scenery of New York's skyscrapers onto canvas and paper with bright colors. The painter, who works in an expressionist style, thus brings a dynamism to the big city and reflects the life of the people. Sculptor Detlef Waschkau adds a multi-perspective view of people and architecture to the painterly and sculptural wooden reliefs of the large towns of Osaka, Beijing and New York. The Siegen fine art photographer provides a black-and-white cubistic perspective on metropolitan landmarks by deconstructing the photographs and reconstructing them as composite photographs in a dynamic and sweeping manner. In this way, the three artists unite their conception of the metropolitan symphony and bring different insights into world-famous cities to the visitor and member of the Kunstverein Aschaffenburg.
30 years of Kunstverein Aschaffenburg
This year we can congratulate the new Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V. on its 30th anniversary. Since then, Kunstlanding has been a venue for numerous guided tours and events, opening up a lively space for encounters with contemporary and experimental art. The listed exhibition house always focuses on different materials. Diverse media such as photography, film, painting and acoustics convey art in different forms, which can also be found in the Big City-Symphony exhibition.
Talk to us on the blog!
The following exciting blog entries will offer in-depth insights into the exhibition. The first part will take a closer look at the significance of the exhibition house and Kunstverein Aschaffenburg. Then, in the next blog entry, Elisabeth Claus will explain the history and genesis of the Big City-Symphony in an interview. In the third part, the Siegen artist's black and white work will be presented in an essay by Michelle Hewett. The blog is rounded off with an introduction to the curator and chairwoman of the Kunstverein Aschaffenburg Elisabeth Claus. All readers are cordially invited to share their thoughts and impressions in the comments.
July 25 – September 12, 2021
Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V., Aschaffenburg, Germany
Participating artists: Tom Christopher, Thomas Kellner, Detlef Waschkau
Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e.V.
Landingstr.16, 63739 Aschaffenburg
+49 6021 299278
Tuesday 2–7 p.m.
Wednesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5p.m.