Bernd Berner - Surface Space

Vernissage on 23 September 2022

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Can looking back also be looking forward? Are contrasts 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 in the wake of our Informal Exhibition in the autumn of 2020, when we set out 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 annoyances, we are affected, we are hurt. Our existence is threatened by mendacity… it is not only politically that we are 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, provides food for thought and sometimes also the ability to criticise. What seems more important to me is that art offers a contemplative »counter« to all the (also optical) &uquo;tters 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 the silence – which sometimes reveals itself as 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 „Flenräumen“, whose name is almost a contradiction in itself, art can lead us to express the extremes of our digital life through the silence of contemplation and engagement with art. And yes, art can help us to reconcile contrasting opposites. What an exciting topic.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic and talking to you about it when you visit the gallery on opening night or in the weeks after.