Exhibition

Uwe Wittwer | The Spoils of Ward

29 Sep 2018 – 10 Nov 2018

Galerie Judin

Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Address

Save Event: Uwe Wittwer | The Spoils of Ward

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:

close

Wittwer sees the pre­senta­tion of this exten­sive group of works at Galerie Judin as an exam­ina­tion and updat­ing of muse­ums’ tra­di­tional forms of pre­senta­tion.

About

When Swiss artist Uwe Wittwer (*1954 in Zurich) vis­ited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford last year, he was fas­cinated by a par­tic­u­lar hang­ing: the 94 Dutch still lifes of the 17th century, all col­lected by the Wards, an Amer­ican cou­ple, and bequeathed to the museum in 1939. Accord­ing to the donors’ wishes, the col­lec­tion must be on view per­ma­nently and in its some­what overwhelm­ing entirety. This results in an inter­est­ing cross-sec­tion of this often over­looked genre: great mas­ters and sec­ond-league artists hang side by side, as do large-format elab­o­ra­tions on the life­less sub­ject-mat­ter and charm­ing cab­i­net pie­ces. The Ward Col­lec­tion exempli­fies that the history of art and cul­ture is always more than just the history of the great mas­ters and grand formats. It also brings to mind the enor­mous pop­u­lar­ity that art enjoyed in 17th-century: never before had so many paint­ings been cre­ated as in the Dutch „Golden Age“.

The encounter with the Ward Col­lec­tion inspired Wittwer to update his own artis­tic work. He set out to transfer each and every of the 94 works into his own artis­tic lan­guage, adopt­ing the orig­inal paint­ings’ dimen­sions, and pro­vid­ing these new paint­ings with an elab­o­rate artist’s frame—an interpreta­tion of the clas­sical Dutch ebony frame. In doing so, he inci­dentally achieved a complete­ness that no longer exists in the Ashmolean Museum: Wittwer also included a small paint­ing by Rachel Ruysch (one of only two female artists rep­re­sented in the col­lec­tion) that was stolen from the museum in the 1940s and has not been returned to this day. Wittwer’s se­ries also includes two paint­ings with which the Wards had strayed away from the still-life genre: the por­trait of two (liv­ing!) ducks and an inte­r­ior. The artist reflected their solitary sta­tus with an appro­pri­ate devia­tion from the se­ries style.

Wittwer sees the pre­senta­tion of this exten­sive group of works at Galerie Judin as an exam­ina­tion and updat­ing of muse­ums’ tra­di­tional forms of pre­senta­tion: fol­low­ing the clas­sical wall cov­er­ings of tra­di­tional Old Mas­ter gal­ler­ies—in col­ors ascribed to per­i­ods in art history—he has picked a differ­ent color for each wall of the gallery from Le Corbus­ier’s „Poly­chromy“ color sys­tem. The result is a refresh­ing jour­ney through the still-life genre and a col­lector’s obses­sion—and thus an encounter of two „Gesamtkunst­w­erke“: that of the Wards and that of Wittwer.

The exhi­bi­tion is accompa­nied by a comprehen­sive exhi­bi­tion cat­a­logue with a text by Dr. Lena Fritsch, curator at the Ashmolean Museum.

Art form Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Uwe Wittwer

Conversation

Have you been to this event? What do you think? Join the discussion here!
Remember, you can include links to your instagram pictures and to videos.