Monday, February 18, 2008

Akos Birkás @ Eigen + Art

There was a great build up in my head prior to visiting the internationally known german gallery. Eigen+art is a gallery I associated as hosting a very particular style of new german art that I had grown to love and hate- usually pertaining to a lifeless, simplified melancholy, yet ultimately respected.
A little bit of history now. The gallery's founder and director, Gerd Harry Lybke, established the gallery in 1983 in its first location Leipzig. He gathered the growing movement of Leipzig schooled painters and began his marketing plan to draw attention to his new gallery of german artists. In 2003 he won the hearts of the well known collectors, the Rubells', who took home a hefty number of works from his gallery - enough to draw international attention and raise the prices/demand for german schooled artists. (Here's when I visited the Rubell collection)

I had discovered the gallery for myself, a few years back in a round about way of seeing one of the represented artists, martin eder, in a big ny show. It was horrible - giant puffy white kitties with young naked girls, or at least that was my first impression of disgust. I ended up leaving the gallery in ny, confused but changed. The paintings were everything that I hated in a painting - the overtlypainterly style to the grotesque, cutsy subject matter. But why do I love them now? The short, simple answer is that I look at art much differently now.

So one can see why I would be excited to visit the the gallery that I researched from Detroit. I might have been the luck of the draw but I was very disappointed. If there is one category that leaves me uninterested, it has to be a photo-realist, snap-shot show! Oh, well maybe next time....

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