Curated Art Walk #1 by Fiona Dinkelbach
Our tour starts near the Isar at Galerie Christine Mayer. Located at Liebigstrasse, this gallery hosts a joint exhibition of the works of US-American experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger and German painter Hans-Jörg Mayer. Six new paintings show dystopian figures placed in post-apocalyptic environments (inspired by prehistoric volcanic mountains). They are accompanied by four of Anger’s film stills, further highlighting Anger’s influence on Mayer’s work. Walking a few minutes further north, the tour passes Oettingenstrasse to reach Prinzregentenstrasse and Haus der Kunst. The museum highlights performance artist Joan Jonas, born in 1936, and presents the to-date most extensive retrospective of the New Yorker artist in Germany. The focus of her work has always been the continuous examination of and experimentation with performance, installation and video. Among others, the gallery shows her 1970s works of major historical importance, works of the early 2000s and her most recent work Rivers to the Abyssal Plain (2021). Afterwards, visitors might pop into Goldene Bar; the dark interior and wall paintings applied on leaf gold making it well worth the trip. Its lavish open terrace overlooking Englischer Garten is a perfect stop to enjoy simple classic dishes such as sardines in oil or rice pudding. The Singapore Sling comes as a personal cocktail recommendation.
A brief stroll through the Hofgarten leads to Kunstverein München. This institution, located in the Hofgarten’s historical arcades, collaborated with Haus der Kunst to present an extensive solo exhibition of American artist Tony Cokes. Cokes connects these two adjacent exhibition spaces through his new works of art. They are on show at both exhibition spaces as well as in the public space surrounding the Kunstverein and Haus der Kunst. Cokes developed his work Some Munich Moments, 1937-1972 especially for this show. It examines the connection of both places in terms of ideology and propaganda during the Nazi era and furthermore their role in terms of cultural policy surrounding the Olympic games in Munich in 1972. One street over, at Ludwigstrasse 7, Galerie Knust Kunz Gallery Editions (founded in 1982) presents works of British artists Paul Morrison whose black-and-white compositions focus on the plant kingdom. His botanical pictures explore the realms of children’s books and cartoons. For the first time and exclusively for Various Others, Knust Kunz presents new sculptures in the gallery’s outdoor area. Following this gallery exhibition, more exhibits will be shown in different public spaces all around Munich.
Next, the tour moves from Ludwigstrasse via Theresienstrasse on to Maxvorstadt and Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle. The inner courtyard of Amalienstrasse 14 features a solo exhibition of Japan-born American artist Kikuo Saito – an absolute highlight! On show are works from the artist’s estate, all of them deeply interwoven with the traditions of American Color Field painting, Lyrical abstraction and abstract expressionism. His gestural works emerge from an interplay of brushstrokes, cryptic signs, outlines of letters and fluid color varieties. Thus, they reference Saito’s biography and his initially limited English skills which led him to see language. A mere two minutes on foot away, Françoise Heitsch and Zoumboulakis Gallery Athen collaborated to present works of Esra Ersen and Evanthia Tsantila. Ersen, whose artistic creations revolve around examining social issues through culture and myth, shows an installation that illustrates history repeating itself. Tsantila’s Suburbia work of golden ink depicts a propped tree – a symbol of both earthly and otherworldly narratives of the past.
Back to Ludwigstrasse, the way leads via Odeonsplatz towards Maximilianstrasse and to Espace Louis Vuitton Munich. The Parisian fashion house’s cultural institution devotes temporary exhibitions to the exchange of local and international artists, collectors and the public. Its current exhibition revolves around two South African artistic positions. From South Africa displays a series of colorful landscape photographs which correspond with two other series – one of portraits, one of self-portraits – by Zanele Muholis. Following Maximilianstrasse in all its splendor, the tour moves to Herzog-Rudolf-Strasse and max goelitz. Currently on show there is Mexican artist Gabriel Rico who combines natural materials and industrial products in his sculptures and installations, interrelating and recontextualizing them in new ways. The works composed from collected objects and gathered materials reach their suspenseful completion in contrasts of color, shape, material and even period of creation. when there were more donkeys than icosahedrons is Rico’s first solo exhibition in Germany.
The tour concludes at Kunstraum München. The way there leads via Hildegardstrasse towards the Tal and further across Westenriederstrasse to Viktualienmarkt and ends in Glockenbachviertel’s Holzstrasse. Along the way, Weinbar Grapes is well worth a quick stop, as is French bistro Buffet Kull Bar for its Tatar and bouillabaisse. The tour’s final stop is at Kunstraum München. Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader developed an extensive installation particularly for this exhibition space, exploring the complex processes of communication, social inclusion and exclusion as well as power structures. Attention – a collaborative work of drawings, performance, sound and video material.