Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Konrad Klapheck

This post will be again something a little different than usual :D A little more text.
So I was at this art lecture today, it was part of our art course for school. To be honest I would have never gone if it hadn't been compulsory but I think I did learn some interesting things which I thought might be interesting for you to.

So first about the lecture. It was basically the curator of a new exhibition which is going on in Düsseldorf at the moment which is a retrospective on the German artist Konrad Klapheck. He is from the area around Düsseldorf but apparently there hadn't been an exhibition about him here for quite some time so they decided it would be nice to have one.
Klaphecks works themselves are in my opinion not exactly spectacular. During is career as an artist he was very consistent in his choice of topics and the objects he drew often repeated himself. As an example for that-he drew over 40 typewriter and over 30 sewing machines in his roughly 300 works. Other objects he favoured were for example shower heads or shoetrees but recently he started drawing figures, women and jazz musicians as well. What I like about the drawings are that at least for nonschooled eyes very straightforward an uncluttered. His first signficant painting was simply a typewriter. Maybe I like that because it makes me feel better about myself when I simply draw trees-like yesterday :D I'm sure some art professor could interpret a lot into my trees XD
There are several things that bothered me though. Klapheck drew a lot of modern machinery, or machinery that was modern when he painted it. Now for me the medium he chose for that wouldn't fit-I don't associate oil painting with moderness at all. Also mainly the composition of his paintings make them look surreal, however he doesn't use bold color blocking to underline this feeling, but executes his paintings in a very naturalistic and lifelike style. Of course that adds contrast and all that-but I don't get it. And I don't think it looks nice either XD
The main thing that I didn't like was the lecturer though. Maybe this is because I'm a big fan of Hundertwasser though, who forbid the people who guide through is exhibitions to "explain" the paintings to the viewer. When I listen to a lecture like this, I ask myself-how the heck does he know that (this happens in my art class too by the way). Of course this curator knew a lot about Klapheck and talked to him about his works too, but I still don't like it at all when others "explain" what the artist was trying to say. If you can explain it in words, then where is the freakin point in painting or drawing it? And who knows whether the artist was actually explicitly trying to say one specific thing. The painting might mean something to him, which others cannot understand, but at the same time some one else might interpret it in a different way. Every viewer has different associations to a painting, so who is any lecturer or art critic to say that only one particular interpretation is right?
If anyone the artist himself is in the position to say something about the meaning of his paintings, but otherwise I think it is up to the viewer to decide what he thinks he sees or understands from it.
And I mean there is always the possibility that there is no meaning, right? People alway say, that a good painting or drawing has a meaning, but why is that good? It might be more satisfactory for the artist to create something that is not meaningless but what difference does it make?
Good night :) 
xoxo Alex

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