Opening on 28. September 2023, 6 pm Speeches from 7 pm, by Thomas Waldschmidt (Chairman), Valérie Knoll (Director), and by Jan Fischer (Sponsor of the exhibition and the Kunstverein) and Susanne Imhoff (Chairwoman Imhoff Stiftung).
With Marie Angeletti, Monika Baer, BLESS, Vittorio Brodmann, Jakob Buchner, Milena Büsch, Merlin Carpenter, Hamishi Farah, Fischli Weiss, Hansi Fuchs, Sophie Gogl, Matthias Groebel, Jacqueline Humphries, Dozie Kanu, Nora Kapfer, Morag Keil, Emil Michael Klein, Maggie Lee, Lorenza Longhi, Alan Michael, Kaspar Müller, Vera Palme, Gunter Reski, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Dennis Scholl, Nolan Simon, Lucie Stahl, Megan Francis Sullivan, Alfred d’Ursel, Amelie von Wulffen, Jie Xu, Barbara Zenner, Damon Zucconi
Where I come from, “hoi” is what people say when they greet each other in the street. I’ve come to Cologne because I love painting, and can think of no better place to engage seriously with this medium. That’s why I’m welcoming my first exhibition here with an overview of the current state of one of visual art’s oldest genres. Painting is especially exciting right now, and this has nothing to do with my own passion for it; it is rather that a lot of people are painting again and that art’s questions are again up for negotation. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy for painting to find its way forward. Its own history casts a long shadow over its current flowering like an implacable judgement. However, its difficulties lie not so much behind as ahead of it. Since painting develops slowly, it needs to be able to imagine an enduring future, one where it can eventually hope to arrive by creeping along at its own modest pace.
Right now, it is not just that the future is clouded over – it has become hard to imagine at all. Are people painting in the hope that the future, currently hidden behind a fog of dystopias and disaster scenarios, will eventually reappear? To keep on painting while everything familiar seems to be crumbling around you could be seen as an expression of the “principle of hope,” a way of resisting a world that has embraced darkness through the determination to see a light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, painting would be a way of going against the grain, of rising above social conventions with a wan smile.