November 28 - March 2, 2013

Katharina Grosse

The Circle Walked Casually Sammlung Deutsche Bank

KunstHalle by Deutsche Bank, Berlin

With 132 works by 50 artists, the exhibition “The Circle Walked Casually” opens up a whole new perspective on international works on paper of the Deutsche Bank Collection from modernism to the present day. 

“The Circle Walked Casually” marks the beginning of a new series of exhibitions that enable visitors to experience the Deutsche Bank Collection with different eyes and recurring to diverse exhibition strategies and narratives. Renowned international guest curators are invited on a regular basis to develop thematic exhibitions at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle that feature innovative and experimental formats to provide a look at previously undiscovered aspects of the collection.

On this occasion, we have invited Argentine curator Victoria Noorthoorn, who has focused on the Bank‘s collection of drawings and prints and has designed a new platform to approach the collection together with the Brazilian exhibition architect Daniela Thomas. The images appear to float in an open, seemingly endless space. On view are drawings of Classic Modernism by Joseph Albers, Hans Arp, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Vassily Kandinsky, Käthe Kollwitz, Oskar Schlemmer and Kurt Schwitters; drawings and prints of major historical figures of the post-war era such as Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Lucian Freud, and Richard Buckminster Fuller; and works by contemporary artists Erick Beltrán, Marina De Caro, Marlene Dumas, Jiří Kolář, David Koloane, Laura Lima, Anna Maria Maiolino, Gerhard Richter, Kara Walker and Jakub Julian Ziółkowski, among many others from around the world.

In this exhibition, Victoria Noorthoorn is not only concerned with showing the broad range of masterpieces and new discoveries the Deutsche Bank Collection has to offer: “The Circle Walked Casually” follows the imagination of artists all around the globe while developing a discourse on image-making that intends to trust the power of images and to embrace their intrinsic, centrifugal excess. The works in the exhibition propose an imaginary narrative of images that develops through a dialogue between the drawings themselves. The viewer can follow this history like a meandering line through the show. Among the various ideas that generated this exhibition, the short story “Genealogy” by the Uruguayan author Felisberto Hernández (1902–1964) also inspired Noorthoorn to curate “The Circle Walked Casually.” In this story a circle and a triangle fall in love and take a trip along a horizontal line. This notion of an imaginary journey, of a kind of personal relationship developing between the diverse images in the collection, fed into the construction of the show: „How could a mere line, casually developing, unfolding, growing, speak of our contemporary existence as human beings, of our loneliness, introspection and need for love, of the twists and turns of art as it opens the door to continual movement, transformation and social change?“ This is one of the questions that Victoria Noorthoorn wishes to answer with this exhibition, one that dispenses with chronology, and that trusts, instead, the dynamics proposed by each of the pictures themselves as they hover in space.

The cosmos that Daniela Thomas and her partner, the architect Felipe Tassara, put together for the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle was inspired, in part, by the exhibition installation that the famous architect Lina Bo Bardi designed for the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in the 1950s’: In the museum’s lightfilled modernist halls, she implemented glass shafts to make dozens of paintings float. Thomas‘s proposal also finds echoes in the groundbreaking modernist exhibition experiments, including the 1942 show “The First Papers of Surrealism” in New York, for which Marcel Duchamp spanned thousands of meters of string like a spider web connecting walls and pictures, to the point that it became impossible to move inside the space. On this occasion, Thomas’s presentation at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle finds inspiration in these and other predecessors yet enacts a statement of its own: The modular architecture, which deletes spatial references, knocks the viewer’s perception of distance and dimension to stage the works on view. In the connection between imagination, physical and intellectual experience, “The Circle Walked Casually” offers a unique perspective on one of the most important collections of drawing after 1945. At the same time, it helps us experience drawing with all our senses, and to understand it as a fundamental medium of contemporary art.

Victoria Noorthoorn 
Curator of the exhibition 
Director, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires

Installationsansicht
im Bild Werke von: Jonathan Monk, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Bernardo Ortiz, Alejandro Cesarco, Katharina Grosse, Wassily Kandinsky, Gerhard Richter

Foto: Mathias Schorman, Berlin

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