March 11–May 7, 2017
Installation Concert : May 2, 7–9pm, with Philipp Sollmann & Konrad Sprenger
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm,
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With Annette Kelm (*1975, Stuttgart), the Kestner Gesellschaft presents an important artist who emerged from the Düsseldorf School of photography pioneered by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Candida Höfer, and Thomas Struth. In her work, which includes still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and architecture photography, Kelm creates images of modern everyday culture using the techniques of object photography, which portrays things in isolation and uniform lighting, thus giving them a new meaning. The exhibition Leaves at the Kestner Gesellschaft features some forty works, most of them from the past four years.
Kelm arranges various subjects such as straw hats, flowers, musical instruments, patterned textiles, fellow artists, and architecture into balanced compositions. She questions the conventional, unspectacular, or simple by placing her subjects in new and unusual contexts. Often she reveals the artificiality and construction of a picture’s structure. The simultaneous deconstruction of composition is about analyzing our perception and our way of seeing. Kelm often works in series and uses strategies of repetition. With her interest in typologies and conventions of perception, she looks at the world of objects and reveals the historical, social, and societal contexts in which these things are embedded. Her conceptual approach is never rigid; there is always an element of poetry that echoes in the analytically composed pictorial constructions. Furthermore, Kelm continually refers to the medium of photography itself by focusing on the history of its aesthetics and techniques.
Annette Kelm graduated in 2000 from the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (2016) and the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2014), and group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2016) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York (2013). Her work is represented in important art collections, including the Center Pompidou, Paris and the Tate Modern, London. Kelm has been recognized with numerous prizes, including the Kodak Young Photographers Award (1999), the ART COLOGNE Prize for young art (2005), and the Camera Austria Prize for Contemporary Photography (2015). Annette Kelm lives and works in Berlin.
An exhibition catalog will be published in German and English by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König with texts Brian Dillon, Maren Lübbke-Tidow, and Christina Végh. A limited-edition work by Annette Kelm will be offered exclusively for members of the Kestner Gesellschaft during the exhibition.
The exhibition at the Kestner Gesellschaft is supported by NORD/LB Kulturstiftung and friends of the der Kestner Gesellschaft.
Curator of the exhibition: Christina Végh
Assistant curator: Elmas Senol
VG Award 2017
Since 1983, the Swiss Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation has traveled to Europe’s art institutions to award one of the most generously funded art prizes for young artists under 35. This year the Kestner Gesellschaft will host the award ceremony and the associated group exhibition VG Award 2017. Supporting local art scenes is an important priority for the Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation. Thus, the exhibition at the Kestner Gesellschaft will focus on artists with a link to north Germany. The 12 nominees from the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, installations, performance, and video art will present a broad cross section of the current north German art scene. With an award of 60,000 Swiss francs, the VG Award is one of the most generously funded prizes for young European artists.
Artists: Katja Aufleger (*1983, Oldenburg) / Malte Bartsch (*1984, Braunschweig) / Feminist Land Art Retreat / Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann (*1990, Friesoythe) / Toulu Hassani (*1984, Ahwaz, Iran) / Verena Issel (*1982, Munich) / Delia Jürgens (*1986, Hanover) / Annika Kahrs (*1984, Achim) / Lucas Odahara (*1989, São Paulo, Brazil) / Claudia Piepenbrock (*1990, Paderborn) / Max Schaffer (*1985, Santiago de Chile, Chile) / Timur Yüksel (*1986, Ochtrup)
Alongside the exhibition, the Kestner Gesellschaft also presents the exhibitions Alberto Garutti: this work is dedicated to all who direct their gaze upward and look.