Clemens Behr at Kanya&Kage
"Sperrmüllbilder" 10.02. – 09.04 2023 - shows a series of new wooden mosaics made especially for the exhibition at Kanya&Kage. These works are not, as the title suggests, made from old wood scraps and other waste, but share de-cluttering that the artist finds in urban space as a common motif. Views of old boards and pieces of furniture are slightly abstracted, but they attempt to reproduce the sculptures created by collaging the visual material in two dimensions, true to the material and to scale.
Working in public space is an integral part of Clemens Behr's practice. Installations, sculptures or material collages are created in situ and left open to the public or serve as a starting point for work in the studio.
Over time, Behr's interventions have developed from rearranging old furniture on the pavement to large-scale sculptural works conceived especially for the respective urban space. It is the play with what is found that serves as a starting point for Behr's work. The interest in the random arrangements of obsolete pieces of furniture - i.e. the way they are thrown away but at the same time displayed in an arbitrary composition - animate and inspire the artist for the subsequent work.
Following his earlier practice of reconstructing the found material on site and then documenting the sculptural result, today the artist reverses the process. The photo of the scenery is printed twice, collaged anew and then scanned in again to be reproduced as a wall piece true to the material. Or to put it another way: here, a piece of the city is cut out, turned inside out and reproduced as a simple abstracted still life. The refined refurbishment, if you will.
In his long search for motifs for painting (competing with his sculptural practice), these furniture portraits seem to Behr a coherent solution to choosing between the endless compositional possibilities of fragmented, architectural forms and the eternal jostling between two- and three-dimensional works. "Bulky waste piles are actually perfect, just as and where they were left. They just stand there and still do everything right," says Clemens Behr himself. With each of these arrangements, however, the artist asks himself what needs to be minimally changed so that when you look at it, it really is a sculpture and not just a random pile.
19:00 to 22:00
The opening is public.
Duration: 10.02. – 09.04 2023