May 20, 2013 - Museum Morsbroich - Thomas Grünfeld
May 20, 2013

Thomas Grünfeld

Thomas Grünfeld, misfit (lamb/bulldog), 2011. Taxidermy, 50 × 70 × 35 cm. Courtesy Massimo de Carlo, Milano / London. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013. Photo: Lothar Schnepf, Cologne.

Thomas Grünfeld
Homey: Works dating from 1981 to 2013
26 May–8 September 2013

Museum Morsbroich
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen

Spongy ochre-coloured puddles ooze around the floor, a whiff of 1950s fustiness has become entangled in the spiky plant, colourful felt collages decorate the walls, and the room is populated by strange animal creatures: Welcome to the untameable realm of collective memories. This is the first museum retrospective exhibition of works by Thomas Grünfeld, who was born in Leverkusen and teaches at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Grünfeld’s extraordinarily diverse oeuvre, presented here for the first time in a survey exhibition, is characterised by strictly separate work groups.

Grünfeld may be best known to most people for his animal collages, or misfits, yet the fascinating aspect of his oeuvre is its enormous diversity: 16 different work groups that oscillate between painting and sculpture, art and (furniture) design, naturalness and artificiality, functionality and absurdity, the homely and the disconcerting.

Bourgeois contentment and its craze for the decorative, the longing for the home of the ugly and eccentric: by irritating the viewer with his works and their hybrid mixes, subverting expectations and shattering conventions, Grünfeld points up the delicate balance between art and life.

The idea behind the exhibition is to present Grünfeld’s early passe-partout works, his wall and furniture objects (Tabletts / Shelfs and Polster / Upholstery Objects), his textile and rubber sculptures (Röcke / Skirts and Gummis / Rubbers), his stuffed animals (misfits) and Augenbilder (Eye Pictures), photographs (Dyes) and Filze (Felts) in different constellations. From felt used sculpturally to the collage picture, from painted plane with three-dimensional sprinkles to sculpture that seems to flow: the point of departure is always the minimal form in its different art-historical manifestations, which Grünfeld continues to develop, with a touch of irony, until it becomes an object charged with individual memory and emotion.

In close collaboration with the artist, a scenographic presentation form has been found that combines the works, and their interplay with the atmosphere of the historical rooms, in a dialogue about the themes of privacy and homeliness (‘homey’).

Thomas Grünfeld homey will open on Sunday, 26 May, at noon, in the Spiegelsaal of Museum Morsbroich, where it will run until 8 September. In Spring 2014, the exhibition will then be shown at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Genoa.

The curator of the exhibition is Fritz Emslander.

To accompany the exhibition an extensive catalogue in German and English is being published by Verlagshaus Kettler, containing an interview with Thomas Grünfeld and a literary text (Zoo Story) written especially for the catalogue by the New York author A.M. Homes. A comprehensive picture section and a survey of Grünfeld’s most important solo exhibitions combine to produce a vivid presentation of this multifaceted oeuvre (pp. 256, more than 240 colour illustrations).

As of 26 May, continued in the Works on Paper Galleries of Museum Morsbroich:
Hans Salentin. Collages with Paper and Metal
26 May–8 September 2013


Thomas Grünfeld at Museum Morsbroich
Museum Morsbroich
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