Friedrich Kunath: I Remain Exhausted

Friedrich Kunath: I Remain Exhausted

Tim Van Laere Gallery

Friedrich Kunath, We Hold On As Long As We Can, 2023–24. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 251.5 x 304.8 x 3.8 cm. Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp—Rome.

May 13, 2024
Friedrich Kunath
I Remain Exhausted
May 16–July 6, 2024
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Tim Van Laere Gallery is pleased to present I Remain Exhausted, the third solo show of Friedrich Kunath with the gallery.

The title of the show I Remain Exhausted is a poetic statement about the western current way of living. We are constantly in motion, going from one place to the next, we have access to an overload of information, and have infinite options on how we can direct our own lives. We believe we have to be aware of everything, that it’s part of our responsibility and we don’t want to miss out on anything, not even the latest nonsense. It’s the ultimate paradox where freedom presents us with endless choices, where we are forced to create our own limitations as time is imminent in every equation.

Friedrich Kunath’s oeuvre is built on this kind of paradox and irony. Fascinated by the things that find their way to each other, even though it doesn’t make sense for them to correlate. You could even state that dichotomies have shaped the artist himself. Kunath grew up in Karl-Marx-Stadt, a district of East Germany that no longer exists, and emigrated to Los Angeles in 2007. This move presented Kunath with a wide variety of source material ranging from the canon of Art History and German philosophy to the idiom of pop culture and the make-believe world of Hollywood and Los Angeles. Unconsciously it left a trace of melancholy, but it also shaped him in a very unique way: he thinks like a philosopher, has the soul of a poet or musician, the work ethic of a composer and the focus and strive of a tennis player. Like a film director, he isn’t afraid to shape his narrative and follow the path of his greatest passion. One of these passions even led to his first encounter with Tim Van Laere, which was enveloped in an unexpected meeting of like-minded souls. This shared love of art and tennis also forms the core of this exhibition. “Tennis gives us a certain freedom in the head to cope with the art world. Without thinking about it, it allows things to just come to you and see clear truths. It’s the magic of intentionlessness. You can’t reproduce this in the studio or the gallery. It’s what I call the psychology of two worlds. To live in the current world you need the other world where you can recharge”, says the artist.

By placing a clear division between the two exhibition rooms, Kunath emphasizes the importance of dualities. In the first space, Kunath sets the stage with his bright landscapes, that feel like nurturing dreamscapes. They are composed of Kunath’s usual ingredients where he deals with such universal themes of human existence such as love, loss, optimism, vulnerability, and melancholy through the use of humor, art historical references, and the application of his usual pop cultural library and grammar. In almost every work, there is a tangible realization that the world is a spectacle of unfulfilled dreams in which one can only escape the rawness of life through the parallel universe of pop culture. While his entire language is at play in this first room, it retracts in the second room. Here Kunath presents a more contained version of his universe, which presents itself like a fever night dream where the overall tone is more inward and reflective.

Friedrich Kunath was born in Chemnitz, Germany (1974). He lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited widely and is featured in prominent public and private collections, such as CAC Malaga, Malaga; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Francois Pinault Foundation, Paris; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others.

Tim Van Laere Gallery​ Antwerp—Rome

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Tim Van Laere Gallery
May 13, 2024

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