June 10, 2011 - Kölnischer Kunstverein - Stephen Prina
June 10, 2011

Stephen Prina

Poster of the exhibition Stephen Prina “He was but a bad translation.” at Kölnischer Kunstverein, 2011.
Design: Manuel Raeder.
Image: Tom Walker/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images.

Stephen Prina
11 June– 24 July 2011

Die Brücke
Hahnenstraße 6
D – 50667 Cologne


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The entire 1950s building by architect Wilhelm Riphahn, which houses the Kölnischer Kunstverein, will be engaged by the forthcoming Stephen Prina exhibition. Nine triptych paintings—Blind No. 9‒No. 17—will be mounted from the ceiling beams, framed by the nine windows running the length of the main exhibition hall. In addition, Prina shows works from the cycle The Way He Always Wanted It, including a series of twenty watercolours, a video installation and a 35mm film on the American architect, painter and composer Bruce Goff at the in-house cinema at the Kunstverein as well as a performance that will be realized for the first time in cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (School of Music and Dance Cologne) and the Institut für Neue Musik. A Dolby Surround System will provide a constant chromatic-scale drone during the entire performance. In addition, using different instruments, two musicians will perform a duet based on a melody that Goff programmed for player piano (pianola).

Translation processes between various artistic disciplines are key issues for the American artist who in his work continuously refers to other artists, architects, composers or filmmakers of modernity and pop culture. He frequently uses methods of conceptual art in his contemplation of architecture and music or draws on musical and pop-cultural means and perspectives for painting. Herein he anticipates misunderstandings and disappointments, which flawed and incomplete translation processes of cultural codes trigger in the audience. At the same time he firmly involves the spectator by his fascination with visual details, rhythm, deliberate omissions while leaving open individual space for projection.

Due to his incessant development of conceptual and pop-cultural working methods Stephen Prina has since the 1980s become a pulse generating artist for the international art scene, and especially for Cologne, where for the first time he will be honoured with an institutional solo show at the Kölnischer Kunstverein. Stephen Prina was born 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois. He lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Angeles.


Stephen Prina and the Ensemble Garage
Concerto for Modern, Movie, and Pop Music for Ten Instruments and Voice
Wed 29th June 2011, 8 pm

A cooperation project by ON ‒ Neue Musik Köln and the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Stephen Prina and the Ensemble Garage will present the Concerto for Modern, Movie and Pop Music by Stephen Prina in the theatre hall at the Kölnischer Kunstverein.

Beside his artistic career Prina received a musical education and has since the 1990s been a member of the experimental pop music band The Red Krayola. The Concert for Ten Instruments and Voice which premiered in 2010 in St. Louis is based on the Concerto OP24 by Anton Webern but interjects the individual movements of the concerto with pop songs and compositions by Stephen Prina. Prina himself will sing and play the guitar.

Composed of students and graduates of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln the Ensemble Garage was founded by Brigitta Muntendorf and Rodrigo López Klingenfuss in 2009. The Ensemble focuses on cooperations with solo artists as well as on performances of their own compositions and works by other young composers.

The exhibition is realized in cooperation with Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and the Institut für Neue Musik.

The Concert is realized in cooperation with ON ‒ Neue Musik Köln.

Kölnischer Kunstverein likes to thank Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln, Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, Till Kniola, Brigitta Muntendorf & the Ensemble Garage, Manuel Schwiertz, Prof. Johannes Schöllhorn, Prof. Reiner Schuhenn, Prof. Christine Stöger, Thomas Schwagers, Johannes Becker, Paul Köser, Werkladen Cologne, Koellefolien, Filmclub 813 and Gaffel Kölsch for their kind support.

Stephen Prina
Kölnischer Kunstverein
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