I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Zeno X Gallery is pleased to present Hell I Am, the new solo exhibition of Johannes Kahrs (b. 1965, Bremen).
The paintings of Johannes Kahrs are always based on photographs or film stills. For years already he has been collecting images from magazines, newspapers or films, and he himself sometimes also picks up a camera. The flatness of his paintings suggests, as it were, the intermediary intervention of the screen. Through painting, Kahrs emancipates in a sense the image from its original context or frame of reference; anecdote and narrative are avoided. Thanks to interventions such as zooming, fragmentation and the shifting of perspective, he fictionalises his ‘found images’ drawn from pop culture, advertising and (political) history. Reality is questioned by being recorded once more in an entirely new way. In addition, Kahrs problematises the status and value of the image in contemporary visual culture.
The portraits in the exhibition thematise watching and being watched. The subject is confronted with a camera and has to assume a pose; while one stares into the lens, the other timidly tries to look away. Kahrs here sees a double parallel between the camera and the painting. On the one hand, the visitor to the exhibition is confronted with paintings and must answer the question as to how to deal with this medium. On the other hand, painting, like photographing, can have an invasive effect; the artist not only asks himself how he can picture the subject, but also how close he can get to it.
Various people portrayed are in a state of ecstasy, of physical pleasure or suffering. These emotional extremes lie beyond the possibilities of the medium of painting. For this reason, it is a challenge for Kahrs to try to bring these emotions to life. Works such as Untitled (dancing) and Untitled (j - back) rather show figures that want to withdraw from the gaze of the other. The result is an almost voyeuristic tension between the ecstatic men and the women who don’t want to be scrutinised.
Johannes Kahrs has had solo exhibitions at, among others, FRAC Île-de-France in Paris (2016), Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2014), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden (2013), Art Centre Pasquart in Biel (2012), GAMeC in Bergamo (2007), Parasol Unit for Contemporary Art in London (2006), Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2002), FRAC Pays de la Loire in Carquefou (2001), Kunstverein München in Munich (2001) and S.M.A.K. in Ghent (2001). His work has featured in exhibitions in Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, SFMOMA in San Francisco, National Portrait Gallery in London, Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Hayward Gallery in London, Bozar in Brussels, and many more.
The work of Johannes Kahrs is in the public collections of Centre Pompidou in Paris, MOCA in Los Angeles, MoMA in New York, UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, S.M.A.K. in Ghent, FRAC Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, SFMOMA in San Francisco, FRAC Picardie in Amiens, FRAC Pays de la Loire in Carquefou, Fundaçao de Serralves in Porto, and others.
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.