October 21, 2016 - Museum Frieder Burda - THE CANDLE
October 21, 2016

Museum Frieder Burda

Dieter Krieg, Untitled, 1992. Private collection. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016.

October 22, 2016–January 29, 2017

Museum Frieder Burda
Lichtentaler Allee 8 b
76530 Baden-Baden
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 7221 398980
F +49 7221 3989830


In fall/winter 2016 the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden is mounting a major thematic exhibition on the motif of the candle. Gerhard Richter’s Kerze (Candle) (1982) has become a veritable icon of painting and is one of the most important pictures in the Frieder Burda Collection. The attraction this fascinating work exerts—the US band Sonic Youth used it for the cover of their 1988 album Daydream Nation—is the starting point of this show exploring the pictorial motif of the candle and its range of meanings.

The candle is a vivid symbol of life, transience, and death. It stands for grief and melancholy. It literally illuminates depictions of science and the arts. And it lends erotic scenes a subtle charge. The exhibition at the Museum Frieder Burda shows how artists in the 20th and 21st centuries break open and experiment with firmly entrenched pictorial traditions surrounding the candle motif, translating them into contemporary contexts of meaning.

On view are paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video installations by artists including Marina Abramović, Georg Baselitz, Christian Boltanski, Thomas Demand, Urs Fischer, Eric Fischl, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Jörg Immendorff, Karin Kneffel, Jeff Koons, Alicja Kwade, Markus Lüpertz, Nam June Paik, A. R. Penck, Andreas Slominski, Thomas Struth, and Gavin Turk. Surprising angles on the motif of the candle await visitors to the Baden-Baden exhibition, from dramatic candlelight installations to ironic candle objects and meditative wall works.

In addition to these pictorial approaches, the exhibition also examines the role the candle has played in cinema. A film compilation presenting “candle moments” from the history of film focuses on formal and thematic criteria as well as on the differences and tensions between pictures and films.

The exhibition catalogue brings together essays on the history of the candle motif, on the significance of Gerhard Richter’s candle pictures, and on candles as represented in film. Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Museum Frieder Burda
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York