The galleries Michael Haas Berlin and Contemporary Fine Arts have joined forces for the exhibition ABSTRAKT, a joint presentation that makes the attempt to have various post-war generations of European abstraction enter into a dialogue with abstract works by contemporary artist, thus mixing the classics of younger modernism with today’s abstraction. One hundred years after Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square – whose status as the first abstract work has recently been challenged by Hilma af Klimt, who completed the first non-figurative work as early as 1906 – we want to show a wide variety of abstract works since the so-called second modernism.
With works by Willi Baumeister, Hans Hartung, and Emil Schuhmacher, our exhibition starts with the Informel. Without wanting to trace genealogies, the presentation is intended to inspire visitors to observe for themselves how much a painting by Albert Oehlen might have to do with, say, a work by Willi Baumeister, and what Frank Nitsche might perhaps have in common with Hans Hartung.
What happens when works by Anselm Reyle are hung next to those of Victor Vasarely, one of his role models? Does Katja Strunz take the work of Hans Uhlmann and Imi Koebel as her point of departure? Does Carol Rama‘s development from her erotically-pornographically charged works, rich in allusions, towards a more abstract, open, and classic visual vocabulary, perhaps have something to do with Sarah Lucas’ artistic genesis?
At Galerie Michael Haas, questions like these are posed: How deep are the black fields of Richard Serra, Jordi Alcaraz, or Arnulf Rainer? Which work wins the fight for the beholder’s attention, the colourful Op Art of Bridget Riley or the bright neon stripes by Günther Fruhtrunk? In the exhibition, Hans Arp’s delicate bronze sculpture is positioned in this contested field of tension between these two works, and with its organic form holds its ground effortlessly. Closer examination is required to understand the quiet dialogue between nature and art, or the natural structures and the human play with perfection with reference to repetition. This dialogue opens up between Fritz Klemm’s lines, Michael Conrads’ triangles, and Alastair Mackie’s small cuttlebone pieces.
To demonstrate these connections und to have the individual works enter into a dialogic correspondence – that is the shared goal of these two exhibitions.