Arts & Culture » Arts

In the Galleries - Contemporary German Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Kemper Art Museum



This exhibition of sixteen artworks from post-unified Germany does not overtly speak to the political tumult of their cultural origins — and that may precisely be the point. Ranging in media from painting and sculptural installation to photography and fabric-based works, the artwork on view speaks more to a global era in which German artists have made a significant impact. Thomas Demand's trompe-l'oeil miniatures, made entirely of paper and photographed to astonishing verisimilitude, rewrote the conventions of the photographic still life, the wavering realities of documentation and notions of the handmade. Similarly, the frayed abstractions of Sergej Jensen's stitched works defy the procedural immediacy of traditional painterly expressionist practices while sacrificing little in their impossibly unfussy physicality. Franz Ackermann's arresting Condominium — a series of large-scale photographic prints that surround a tower-shaped handkerchief dispenser made of glass — is perhaps most literal in its content but no less broad in its commentary on contemporary urban architecture. Other artists whose work is on view include Thomas Bayrle, Cosima von Bonin, Isa Genzken, Andreas Gursky, Charline von Heyl, Ulrike Kuschel, Michel Majerus, Manfred Pernice, Wolfgang Tillmans and Corinne Wasmuht. Also showing: 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition (through July 19). Through September 7 at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Forsyth & Skinker boulevards (on the campus of Washington University); 314-935-4523 or Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (closed Tue., open till 8 p.m. Fri.).

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