14. September 2017

Winfried Muthesius and Georges Rousse at art berlin

At art berlin, the fair for modern and contemporary art, over 100 national and international galleries are represented from more than ten countries. In their midst – at the Galerie Springer stand –  Winfried Muthesius, Aitor Ortiz, Edward Burtinsky und Georges Rousse.

Winfried Muthesius in conversation with Robert Springer, art berlin, 2017

Winfried Muthesius with his pittura oscura, entitled “Angelus Novus”. Bathed in red, with its great depth and powerful radiance, it catches the attention.

The title has a history to it. It recalls the watercolour by Paul Klee,that was once owned by  Walter Benjamin.

Benjamin wrote about it: “This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it at his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.” While he is doing this, a storm approaches. Muthesius builds on this. He has placed a picture of a skull under the Angel of Peace, in Munich. The Angel, as a symbol and a messenger of peace, encounters a picture of death. As with Benjamin’s storm, which represents progress, so the skull picture is for Muthesius that essential something that alludes to the fragility of prosperity and beauty, to their reverse side. As he so often does, Muthesius also shows here, very subtly, that which is not a part of the Bel Etage, in the big city that typifies well-being and attractiveness. He wishes to sensitise us, to sharpen our eye for the pictures behind the screen.

Right next to this picture at art berlin, and just as striking, hangs the work of Georges Rousse. He plays with the themes of architecture, painting and photography. Using elements of colour, light and architecture, he transforms the three-dimensionality of a room, an abandoned basement, into the two-dimensionality of an eye-catching photographic visual landscape. He lights the staircase leading upward using a brilliant silver spotlight. It is exciting to see how vision and reality become blurred for the viewer, although the rooms depicted by the artist are absolutely real.

Reims, 2017
Georges Rousses (right), Reims 2017