Evelyne Axell and Tal R

Evelyne Axell and Tal R

Kunstverein in Hamburg

Evelyne Axell, “Le Joli Mois de Mai,” 1970.
Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende.
VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2011.

May 21, 2011

Evelyne Axell

La Terre est ronde
Until June 13, 2011

Tal R

The elephant behind the clown
Until June 13, 2011

Der Kunstverein, since 1817
Klosterwall 23
20095 Hamburg

Evelyne Axell (1935–1972), a key figure in Belgian pop art, is among the artists whose work is just emerging from the shadow cast by male pop heroes for reassessment. She experimented with various contemporary materials, combining plexiglas with enamel, with synthetic fur, foils, etc. to create substantively and visually seductive pictures. Her unusual material aesthetics combines mass-produced materials previously in advertising and industry rather than in the arts, which to some extent required considerable manual crafting. Axell used half-transparent plexiglas, painting sometimes on the front and sometimes on the reverse side in staggered compositions producing an interplay of transparent and opaque surfaces. The Kunstverein Hamburg shows a selection of later works from her very brief artistic career, which ended with her accidental death in 1972. Influenced by the 1960s and the social and political events of that period, her works penetrate taboo zones, compensating a new freedom that escapes all constraints imposed by the role of home-maker and by the stylization of woman as the object of male desire. Axell appropriates the image of the seductively denuded woman in order to incorporate it into her own desire. For her time, Axell treated materials with remarkable freedom and had addressed feminist topics even before the advent of feminism. In times when the self-image is determined externally by advertising and other medial representations, her policy of self preoccupation is of enduring relevance.

The visual compositions by the Israeli-Danish artist Tal R (*1967, lives in Copenhagen) unite cultural references from foreign cultures, myths, and our everyday world, and open up a broad spectrum of interpretation. Not everything can be learned in detail, much is merely hinted at and points in various directions. In recent works, for example, motifs from the circus, the theatre, or oriental tales repeatedly appear. Places and situations are associated with the dream worlds of earliest childhood, which give much scope for one’s own fantasy and for playing with identities. The formal discourse always takes place in relation to the canvas. Tal R sees himself quite consciously as a painter who plays with the variations and possibilities that painting offers. For the current complex of works from the past two years that are on show at Kunstverein Hamburg he has used a mixture of rabbit-hide glue and various pigments, which, sometimes supplemented by crayon, he applies directly to the canvas. The paint is applied very thinly and flatly, brushstrokes are not apparent. The works lack the special style, the aura of oil painting owing to the dry and rough surface. The Kunstverein Hamburg is presenting the some 20 works in a newly erected pavilion on the first floor. This creates a “space in space” situation, which intensifies the meeting with the works. Presenting them so closely side-by-side produces a vortex that captivates viewers, releasing them only when all puzzles have been prospected and mazes explored. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with an interview between Tal R and Florian Waldvogel.


Plamen Dejanoff
Opening: June 18, 2011 

Henning Bohl and Charley Harper 

Opening: June 24, 2011

The exhibition of Tal R is funded by Danish Arts Council. The Kunstverein is funded by Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg – Kulturbehörde.

RSVP for Evelyne Axell and Tal R
Kunstverein in Hamburg
May 21, 2011

Thank you for your RSVP.

Kunstverein in Hamburg will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.