Bernd Berner

Area space

Painting on canvas and paper, drawings

Vernissage 23. September 2022

Ausstellungsdauer 23. September to 02. November 2022

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Can looking back also be looking forward? Are contrary opposites compatible with each other? These and similar questions arise almost by themselves with our new exhibition. Can art, as far as possible, find an answer to them?
The exhibition Bernd Berner - Flächenraum is a follow-up to our Informal Exhibition in the autumn of 2020, when we had planned to pursue the theme of Informal Painting further. With Bernd Berner (1930 - 2002) we are exhibiting an artist who used the gestural painting of Informel throughout his life without being one of its inventors and who is therefore also counted among the Informal painters in the broader sense.
However, there is another reason that prompted us to hold this exhibition. As early as 1994, Bernd Berner said almost prophetically: "We are more and more covered by optical and acoustic harassment, we are affected, we are hurt. Our existence is threatened by mendacity...; not only politically are we manipulated. Our lives are increasingly determined by obscure media, by interest groups. Art is also political, but it would be an illusion to think that art can bring about social change. But art also involves forethought, conveys food for thought and sometimes also the ability to criticise. What seems more important to me is that art offers a contemplative "counterpart" to all the (also optical) overfeeding of our time. Art also unsettles, disturbs, hurts, but - in the best case - leads people to themselves. Since I distrust the loud, I am concerned with silence - which sometimes shows itself to be apparent." - Bernd Berner 1994
In this sense, looking back at the works of Bernd Berner is also a look into our present, even a look into our possible future. But it is precisely here that it depends on how much we allow of the different positions. And just as Berner unites extreme opposites in his "surface spaces", the name of which is almost a contradiction in itself, art can lead us to reconcile the extremes of our digital life through the silence of contemplation and engagement with art. And yes, art can help to reconcile contradictory opposites. What an exciting topic.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject and talking to you about it when you visit the gallery on opening night or in the weeks that follow.

Jenny Geißler and Bernd Bentler

Bernd Berner - Untitled - 1975 - Gouache on cardboard - 65 x 50 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

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