Although the art production of the Kiënders, who lived in the Rhineland, ended around 1973, they left behind a highly diverse body of work, which is nearly forgotten today. Their œuvre includes Art Informel and monochrome paintings, Op Art and Pop Art, and also media and process art. An element significant in the 1960s common to all the works is the »exit from the image« (Laszlo Glozer); that is, expanding into the surrounding space, movement, and audience participation, as in the three-dimensional »Raumbild« [Space picture] (1961), which was one of the first German environments that visitors could enter.
The Kiënders’ most conspicuous trademark was the roll. Cut-up rolls of canvas (1961/1962) developed into a wide and diverse variety of roll-objects, as well as film – a medium whose carrier is wound on reels. From the end of the 1960s the artists created action machines like the rolling space »Laufrolle« that visitors were invited to use. The Kiënders’ last group of works was serial photo panels that engaged with social »roles« and patterns of behavior. The topics they addressed, like the status of women or social adaptation, are issues still on the agenda today – nearly forty years later.
After 1968, the ZKM Karlsruhe is now presenting Ed Kiënder's first solo exhibition with around 60 works from all of his creative periods, which for the first time also takes Urs Kiënder's role into account.