KRIWET – Yester’n’Today

KRIWET – Yester’n’Today

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

March 5, 2011

KRIWET – Yester’n’Today
19 February–1 May 2011

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Grabbeplatz 4
D-40213 Düsseldorf
T +49 (0)211 8996243
F +49 (0)211 8929168
mail [​at​]

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf holds the world’s first comprehensive solo exhibition of the collected works of Ferdinand Kriwet, who was born in Düsseldorf in 1942.

Ferdinand Kriwet is a pioneer of media art. Already in the 1960s he was creating exhibitions, theatre performances and radio plays examining how overstimulation from the mass media affects our viewing habits, and analysing the language of television, advertising and photography. Similar to the fine arts, which since the 1950s had been moving further and further away from traditional disciplines such as sculpture and painting, post-war literature was also searching for new, contemporary forms of expression.

Kriwet, whose roots lie in concrete poetry, describes himself as a poet. His main interest lies in language, which for him is as much about images as about words. When he was just 19 years old, the Cologne publishing house M. DuMont-Schauberg published his first work, Rotor. The texts in his Rundscheiben (circulars), a collection of works he produced in the early 1960s, are ambiguous and indeterminate and have neither beginnings nor endings. With no indication as to the direction the texts should be read in, readers are forced to produce meaning from the content themselves. In the years that followed, Kriwet’s neon lettering, wall paintings and signage increasingly featured in public spaces. Before he began gradually retreating from the art world in the late 1980s, he produced numerous radio programmes and designed a series of percent-for-art projects, including the coat of arms in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and his Super-Seh-Texte work for the refectory at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum.

The last time Kriwet’s work was on show in his home town of Düsseldorf was in 1975 in an exhibition at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen and in connection with the legendary Creamcheese club. Over 35 years later, the retrospective exhibition at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf will offer the world’s first comprehensive overview of the artist’s multifaceted work. In addition to the first Rundscheiben and Poem Paintings, the show will feature his audio and spoken texts, publications, film and television productions and neon works. It will also include new mixed-media installations, some of which Kriwet produced especially for the exhibition. Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is presenting the work of an artist who, right at the start of the mass media’s advances into our society, was exploring the meaning of media competence, and whose work today, in the age of the internet, is more relevant than ever.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first publication to feature a comprehensive overview of Kriwet’s works. It includes his early poems, numerous colour pictures and texts by Sven Beckstette, Konrad Boehmer, Gregor Jansen, Marc Matter, Helger Meister, Franz Mon, Klaus Schöning, Christoph Benjamin Schulz, Werner Ruhnau and Jan Wenzel.

The exhibition is funded by Kunststiftung NRW.

Further information and more images on

Press Contact
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf Dirk Schewe Grabbeplatz 4 40213 Düsseldorf/Germany
fon +49 (0)211 8996 256 fax +49 (0)211 8929 576

KRIWET - Yester'n'Today
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