Curated Art Walk by Madeleine Freund
The building at Liebherrstrasse 8 with its magnificently ornate façade was built in 1904 and remains largely in its original condition – a rarity in Munich’s Lehel area. Its ground floor has been hosting beacon exhibition space for two years, powered by Paulina Caspari, who is also the newest member of the executive board of Various Others. In cooperation with Berlin-based Galerie Société, beacon currently presents a solo exhibition of US-American artist Trisha Baga. Her installation shows a cozy living room, resembling the movie set of a typical American sitcom. A teenage love drama runs on the TV, shot in the form of a series in four seasons from 2005 to 2007 in which Baga herself plays every character. The artist reflects on how gender stereotypes and clichés surrounding traditional families are being reproduced in popular TV shows – and she confronts these issues in a humorous way
Crossing Thierschstrasse and passing the Isartor, the tour leads to Baaderstrasse and Galerie Jahn und Jahn which hosts all of three partner galleries this year. Together with dépendance, Cristea Roberts Gallery and Victoria Miro, they present the solo exhibition “Fragmente einer Sprache des Körpers” with works of Paula Rego, who passed away earlier this year. While her works already proved to be a successful rediscovery at the current Venice Biennale, her sketches and prints from the late 1990s and 2000s are now on view in Munich. The Portuguese-British artist explored feminist subjects in intense ways, ranging from abortion to female genital mutilation as well as gender-specific attributed behavior in societal and relational structures. Her occasionally very political works often have an air of theatrical staging to them and depict psychologically charged scenes.
By bike and along the Reichenbachbrücke, it only takes ten minutes to reach Nir Altmann on the other side of the Isar, at former working-class neighborhood, now-gentrified Giesing. At Alpenstrasse, gallerist Altmann, in cooperation with Sundy from London and LC Queisser from Tbilisi, displays text works by Paris-residing Ndayé Kouagou in a dialogue with drawings of Emmanuel Awuni and collages of Won Cha. His painted-over portraits with serial numbers of nail polish colors constitute a personal examination of the working conditions of immigrants like Cha’s mother, who worked at a nail salon. Furthermore, they can be seen as a direct reaction to the shooting spree that occurred at a spa in Atlanta on March 16, 2021.
The tram runs from Grünwald along Tegernseer Landstrasse (or as locals say “Tela” for short) into town, past Ostfriedhof and to Regerplatz where Sperling currently hosts Berlin-based gallery KOW. German-Albanian artist Anna Ehrenstein and Scottish artist Andrew Gilbert developed the exhibition together and examine postcolonial historical narratives. Ehrenstein’s large-scale digital prints hang in the space suspended from chains and criticize technocratic and neocolonial systems from a collective Black perspective. Gilbert’s works on paper hanging on the other side reflect on the colonialism of the British Empire and its impact on the present.
Following Franziskanerstrasse via Rosenheimerplatz, the walk leads to Haidhausen and Lothringer 13 Halle. The group exhibition “Exzentrische 80er” (“Eccentric 80s”) withTabea Blumenstein, Ergül Cengiz, Philipp Gufler, Hikka Nordhausen, rabe perplexum and Angela Stiegler focuses on the subjects of subculture, queerness, performative and collaborative ways of working. A few minutes’ walk away is GiG Munich’s exhibition space at Milchstrasse. In collaboration with Cologne-based Temporary Gallery, paintings by Hannes Heinrich and drawings by Buket Isgören are currently on show there. Since many of the good restaurants at Franzosenviertel (the French quarters) only open in the evening, such as Chez Fritz or Rue des Halles, Wiener Platz is perfect for an extended break from the busy art program. Around noon, the queue in front of Fisch Häusl is long and an autumnal wind blows the leaves of the chestnut trees across the square.
The tour continues along the gardens of Maximiliansanlagen through Maria-Theresia-Strasse on to Villa Stuck, where an exhibition of Munich designer Bernd Kuchenbeiser will open as part of Various Others in early October. Heading north straight ahead via Ismaningerstrasse and Oberföhringerstrasse, it takes another ten minutes by bike to reach Sammlung Goetz. After a number of restorations on Herzog & de Meuron’s exhibition building, it is now ready to celebrate its reopening with two major retrospectives. Circa 40 exhibits, among them fiberboard pictures and his newest paintings of acrylic on aluminum, exemplify Imi Knoebel’s vocabulary of forms, grown over the course of five decades. The comprehensive exhibition on US artist Barbara Kasten focuses on her abstract geometric works of color photography.
After one last detour to Mauerkircherstrasse, Deborah Schamoni’s gallery marks the final stop of this tour. She is hosting O-Town House from Los Angeles and together they present “The exhibition formerly known as ‘trace image’”, with works by Juliette Blightman, Owen Fu, R.IP. Germain, Constantin Nitsche, Elizabeth Ravn, Adam Stamp and Sarah Szczesny. To end a long day full of art, it is recommended to go back to the city center, for drinks and good conversation at the bar of Schumann's.
Madeleine Freund is an art historian, independent editor and curator in contemporary arts and PhD researcher at VALIE EXPORT Center.