Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present an online exhibition of works by German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann.
Since the 1960s, Düsseldorf-based Feldmann has amassed a prolific collection of photography, painting, postcards, knick-knacks and everyday ephemera. With the majority of his work untitled and undated, he gives away as little empirical information as possible to his audience, instead encouraging an unbiased viewing experience, unbound by context.
With surprising humour and subtle intervention, Feldmann systematically reconstructs existing images and objects to reflect on representation and the construction of ideologies. In doing so, he challenges the boundaries of high-art and disrupts long-held assertions of the artist’s role as a unique creator. In One Pound of Strawberries thirty-four colour-photographs of individual strawberries demonstrate the artist’s urge to document, and thus celebrate, the ordinary.
The engrossing Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities, presents three glass vitrines in which Feldmann has laid out, with great intent, an assortment of object, all apparently unrelated, aside from their ability to spark Feldmann’s curiosity: a Magritte-esque pipe, an old telephone, a tap, a hipflask, a shaving brush, an open lipstick, children’s shoes, a microscope, dentures, a large silver spoon, a bulldog clip, folding spectacles, boxing gloves, a mousetrap, a perfume bottle, handcuffs and a lightbulb. Wunderkammer opens up the artist’s private, encyclopaedic world: an anthology of objects or visual impressions of biographical significance.
The exhibition also features the multi-part painting installations, Seascapes and A Story. Mined from auctions, second-hand shops and markets, these simply grouped works open up a space for viewers to make connections and associations between otherwise discrete images, creating a disjuncture between intention and reception, while simultaneously bestowing upon them new life and narrative meaning. These form part of a consistent strand of the artist’s practice, involving the appropriation and modification of historic oil painting. This creeping nostalgia for a life that never was is supplanted by uncanny alternative narratives, reminding us of the power of images in the creation of personal mythologies.
Press release courtesy Simon Lee Gallery.