GALERIE NIERENDORF

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In our exhibition named Aus drei Zyklen a small selection of paintings is on show, which has already been published in the catalogue of the touring exhibition named New Empire and, additionally, there are etchings collected to 70 prints each in the portfolios called Ödland and Metropolis. Besides, our catalogue shows paintings, which have never been published before - some of Maxim Kantor’s works of art dating back from his earliest creative period and other works which have been produced during this recent year 2005 only.

Maxim Kantor produced 4 lino-cuts of which the original prints are included in all catalogues. Even the poster has been printed from these plates as an original graphic work of art.

How does it come that our old and experienced gallery, which has been founded as early as 1920 and started to specialise on German Expressionist Art and the Art of the Twenties, shows works of art by the young artist, Maxim Kantor, who was born in Moscow in 1957?

This exhibition is the high-water mark of a long story. The beginning of this story is to be found in my friendship to Eva-Maria Lüpfert, who, up to her early death, had quite a prestigious gallery in Isernhagen near Hannover. Very soon after Henri Nannen had discovered Kantor she started to exhibit the works of art by Kantor and his friends. On November 4, 1991, she visited Berlin on account of the vernissage of the second Kantor exhibition at the Eva Poll gallery.I attended the opening together with Eva-Maria Lüpfert and met Maxim for the first time when sitting together for quite a while in an Italian restaurant being Mrs. Poll’s invitation.

The following morning Eva-Maria and Maxim visited our gallery. Maxim was very enthusiastic about the large number of Expressionist art, the works by the artists belonging to the artist group BRUECKE (Bridge) as well as the socially committed works of art by Otto Dix and George Grosz. I, for my part, was very touched by his art which is very close to Expressionism and expresses his critical attitude towards society.

Just like this - an intense and personal relationship has developed. Once Maxim asked for paper to draw my portrait insisting it should be as big as possible.

At the same time I drew a small portrait of him - as kind of an exchange, so to speak. His drawing is to be seen at our exhibition for the first time. Since then we have a friendly relationship. For some years now Maxim has uttered the wish to show an exhibition at our gallery. I refused to do so concerning the circumstance that until recently Maxim had a long and very good relationship to the Eva Poll gallery. But as things are sometimes a subject to change this former relationship broke up and we complied with Maxim Kantor’s wish. We really do appreciate to show his very impressive exhibition. Moreover, we are happy all the more because we also intend to celebrate a special jubilee: 50 years ago, my wife and I took the opportunity to revive the gallery with our first exhibition in Berlin-Tempelhof.

Kantor’s works of art don’t meet the fashions of the present spirit. All the more they do justice to the problems of today. Kantor’s works deal with current problems, abuse and crime. They aren’t pleasant decorations but uncomfortable accusations of society.Especially with regard to his graphic works of art we recognise a direct connection which leads from Goya’s Desastres de la Guerra, over to the etchings Der Krieg by Otto Dix and then to the cycles Ödland and Metropolis. And, this connection is not only obvious when one takes a close view of the topics but also of the quality itself.

Berlin, September 2005                                                                               Florian Karsch

 

 

 

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