September 4, 2011 - Bielefelder Kunstverein - Beyond Gestaltung
September 4, 2011

Beyond Gestaltung

Franz Erhard Walther, “Xox,” 1957.
Pencil and tempera on paper, 50 x 69,7 cm.
Courtesy Franz Erhard Walther Foundation.

Beyond Gestaltung
10 September–6 November 2011

Friday, 9 September, 7 pm

Artist Talk:
Saturday, 10 September, 2 pmBielefelder Kunstverein
im Waldhof
Welle 61
D-33602 Bielefeld

With contributions by: Eva Berendes, Matthew Brannon, Manuel Graf, Aaron Koblin, Zak Kyes, Helen Marten, Metahaven, Riccardo Previdi, Lasse Schmidt Hansen, Bahia Shehab & Aissa Deebi, Danh Vo, Franz Erhard Walther / Will Holder, Jochen Weber.

Presenting recent works and new productions from fifteen international artists and designers the themed exhibition “Beyond Gestaltung” investigates the current interrelationship of art and design. It is being put on show in a city, which, with the foundation of a School of Design (1907) and with its links to industry, has traditionally been strongly influenced by the applied arts. Projects which shed light on the artistic development and the social significance of design form the centre of the exhibition.

Design is everywhere today. In the light of social, ecological and technological demands, design no longer restricts itself to classical fields of product concepts. Rather, design is understood as a formal intervention in the very structures of our culture. This means that other cultural fields, such as art, architecture, politics, society, and the production of knowledge generally are included as a matter of course. This development can be summarised under the heading of an extended concept of design, which is not only propelled by designers doing practical work, but is also accompanied by the theoretical work of scholars and philosophers.

Today, a lot of designers search for a form of design removed from its ostensibly functional character as commodity. That way, they are discovering new perspectives of design even when not commissioned by a client. Parallel to this development, artists seem to be interested in the everyday utilitarian character of design, as well as in social and creative ideas deriving from historical positions taken by designers.

Design positions, therefore, make up the starting point of the exhibition, and are supplemented by artists’ works. This doesn’t just involve various themes and forms of designing, but rather it is about the presentation of an attitude, as it manifests itself in a common interest of artists and designers in cultural knowledge, taking shape in objects and conceptions.

Curated by Thomas Thiel

Lecture program “Gestaltung – an Interdiscipline”, October 2011 – January 2012
In cooperation with the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld.

To mark the exhibition, a 32-page brochure will be published (German/English), followed by a publication at the beginning of 2012 that will document the lecture program at the University of Applied Sciences in addition to the exhibition.

The exhibition is kindly supported by:
Kunststiftung NRW (Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia) and Sparkasse Bielefeld

Further exhibitions in 2011:

Tintin Wulia
9 September–13 October 2011

Donna Kukama
14 October–17 November 2011

Luke Fowler & Toshiya Tsunoda
Gareth Moore

19 November 2011–5 February 2012

For press requests, please send us an email via or call us on + 49-521-17 88 06. High-resolution press images can be downloaded from our website:

Beyond Gestaltung
Bielefelder Kunstverein
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