Potsdamer Str. 81 B, Berlin, Germany
Der Tagesspiegel is a broadsheet German daily national newspaper with a circulation of approximately 126,000. Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Berlin, the newspaper is published by Der Tagesspiegel Verlag GmbH and has a readership which is mainly located in the Western part of Berlin. Der Tagesspiegel is associated with The Wall Street Journal.
23 July 2011
HINTER DEM SCHEIN (BEHIND THE APPEARANCE)
A solo exhibition displays Luther’s ‘light’ works
Christiane Meixner describes the earliest Luther work in the exhibition, ‘Material Painting Black’ 1959 consisting of broad brush strokes in a color mass made up of chalk and pigment, a technique which was intensely used in Germany after 1945. It may look somewhat static now but it already did fifty years ago to Luther, who soon after giving up his profession as a judge, starts to explore new ways of creating art. His search focuses on creating works that are ‘all’ surface, art totally and solely at the service of light and its reflection. In order to achieve this, he uses materials such as glass, metal, reflecting sheeting or acrylic. Combined with the play of light in space, these elements create constantly changing constellations that never cease to fascinate. Luther is a contemporary of the ZERO movement and although he cooperated with artists such as Mack and Piene, he is a much more peripheral figure to the world at large. Gallerist Ralf-Otto Hänsel and the Adolf Luther Foundation have come forward to fill this void and this first solo exhibition of Luther’s work in Berlin since the artist’s death in Krefeld in 1990 presents work from all different phases in his oeuvre and include ‘shattered glass’ objects, lenses, mirrored objects and installations. Luther’s fascination with the visualization of light is poignantly expressed in the unsalable ‘Laser Space’, 1970, a space in which ruby red laser beams fall are projected onto swiveling mirrors that break the rays and cast them further onto fixed mirror objects in the room.
A stunning spatial experience that also serves to illustrate Luther’s pioneering role and his impact on subsequent generations of artists. Last year Hänsel organized an exhibition with work of Berlin artist Alicja Kwade which was exhibited side by side with Luther and in February he invited Das Numen, an artist collective from the Olafur Eliasson class, to show their work, demonstrating the Luther influence once more. “There is a world behind the appearances that can also be visualized,” writes Luther in a 1952 diary entry. He started working, knowing full well that it was a first step in a perpetual process.