Internationally acclaimed German artist Jürgen Partenheimer holds his first solo UK exhibition at Ikon. Comprising new and recent painting, works on paper and sculpture, Partenheimer's work alsoembraces poetry, music and literature, to assert a continuity between them and an experience of daily life. His artistic proposition is philosophical, encouraging us to challenge the distinction normally made between reality and imagination.
Partenheimer's work is essentially abstract. The drawings and paintings shown here, caught seemingly on the verge of dissolution, are remarkable for their fragile beauty, whilst sculpture and ceramic work, suggesting some usefulness, remain elusive with respect to any specific function.
Such 'aspiration to the condition of music' 'abstraction, in other words ' is signified by the artist's collaboration with Irish composer Kevin Volans, resulting in a new piece of music entitled The Partenheimer Project. A recorded version will be incorporated into a sculptural installation located in the gallery. Premiere live performances by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group will take place at Ikon with a 10-player ensemble of strings, woodwind and brass taking cues from Partenheimer's practice and that of the interconnected galleries, creating physical displacement that provides exciting and surprising opportunities within the overall musical structure.
Ikon will also show Jürgen Partenheimer's work off-site, at one of Birmingham's most historic landmarks, Perrott's Folly. Built in 1758 by John Perrott, this building supposedly inspired local resident JRR Tolkein's Two Towers, the second book of The Lord of The Rings trilogy.
For Partenheimer, the tower operates as 'axis mundi', a vertical extension between heaven and earth, also giving rise to a consideration of architecture as sculpture. By climbing the long spiral staircase, viewers encounter six rooms, each containing a single work, pervaded by the sound of Kevin Volans' specially composed music.
Entry to Perrott's Folly is free and the Folly is open Thursday ' Sunday, 1'5pm. Perrott's Folly is located 15 minutes walk from Ikon and 5 minutes from Hagley Road.
Ikon Family Day at Perrott's Folly Saturday 10 May