HumlebækFocus: Feldmann. Works from the Louisiana collection
Works by German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (born 1941) have become an increasingly popular part of Louisiana’s collection over the past few years. It is obvious to see why, now that these works have been gathered in a presentation on show at the far end of the South Wing.
The warmth and humor that underlies the art of Hans-Peter Feldmann were, for many decades, not taken seriously by the art world. His production was considered as being somewhat banal and his name relatively unknown for decades. This has changed altogether in the past couple of years, Feldmann has become a “classic” not only in the Louisiana collection but in the history of the post-war avant-gardes.
Feldmann is interested in the images and thoughts the encounter with art gives rise to in us – and his working method is therefore often characterized by squinting, obscuring, turning upside down and short-circuiting, not only in the works – but preferably also in a wider sense.
All the works by Feldmann in the Louisiana collection are presented here. First one enters the installation 100 years – a series of photographs of people from either Feldmann’s family or his wider social circle from the age of 0 to 100 years. The suite narrates a century as left its traces in the faces of different individuals. In the following rooms we are met by a series of humorous and subtle modifications of older paintings. Feldmann strives to set the images free – in the sense of free of history, of their sublimity, and free of their originating social context, thereby inviting us to meet and think the artworks anew. Furthermore samples of early artist books, the so-called ’Bilderhefte’, are shown as well as a Louisiana Channel interview with the artist.
AN ARTISTIC TRADITION
In the 1990s Feldmann began making paintings of the type shown in the exhibition – in the beginning by pasting cut-out eyes over the paintings as in a rough notebook. Now he does it by making, or having someone else make the very simple changes, typical in older works that he buys at sales.
The Danish artist Asger Jorn and the circle around the Situationist International worked at the end of the 1950s with similar strategies for reworking existing pictorial material, but in that context the aim was more unambiguously an assault on capitalist consumption and image culture.
Feldmann’s modified paintings can be seen as a continuation of this artistic tradition. His art can in fact be described as political, but at the same time it plays very subtly with artistic conventions and the expectations we have of the encounter with art, not least in a museum.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)