ANDREAS GRIMM MUNCHEN is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by Kurt Benning at the gallery. On view will be collages and sculptures from the 1970's to the 1980's.
The title of the collages „Quelle Komplex“ (6 panels, 1978-79) refers to the German mail order store „Quelle“, the catalogue from which Benning took the material for this series.
Its color printed pages, the product of designers, advertisers and editors, exerted an aesthetic pull on him, suggesting accidental art works, not the least due to the immediate coexistence of printed photographs of goods and numerically described prices. Of course, the intention of these catalogue pages is to seduce customers, while relating practical value and information. In these works, Benning is interested in the speciously inexhaustible pool of goods and the suggestion of the purchasability of everything in a total cosmos of consumption.
Benning began the series by cutting out several pictures of the catalogues, which appeared to him as interesting, strange or simply trivial. The generative idea for the collages came to Benning during this technically accurate handiwork in its almost meditative manner. On panel 1, the selection and arrangement of the cut-outs is intuitive. On the five other panels, the positions of the objects are altered as they themselves are replaced and substituted by other objects from the initial panel.
The rope sculptures (1979) deal– although in a different manner –with the motif of the circle and can therefore be understood as various interpretations of the “perfect form”. This subject is linked with the philosophy of ZEN, which influenced Benning’s work. His perception of the rope’s being as a line in space, which by manipulating it, displays its plastic quality, is especially explicit in “Knaeuel” (“knot”) or “Kreisspirale” (“circle helix”). His formerly nearly exclusive examination with drawing is amplified through the “translation into the spatial, into the third dimension” (Dr. Gottfried Knapp, opening speech for the exhbition at studio f, Ulm, 1983). “Doppelspirale” (“Double helix”) as well as “Kreisnaht” (“circle seam”) construe the circle in a varying, nearly contrary way. “Kreisnaht” contradicts the concept of the ideal circle without origin and end by – as in a Japanese ink drawing – indicating an origin and endpoint, even though this movement from right to left can also be read in the opposite direction. In “Doppelspirale”, a rotation is ensued in reverse directions and its core is constituted by the reversal point as well as by the Yin andYangsymbol.