Preview

John Russell – CAVAPOOL

20.8. – 16.10.2022

Opening: Friday, 19.8.2022, 7 pm

Over the past twenty years, artist, writer and performer John Russell has created an extensive body of work consisting of video works, installations and performances, which will now be made accessible to a broad audience in Germany for the first time. As part of the artist collective BANK, Russell established a collaborative practice in the 1990s. In the discourse around the Anthropocene, he takes a pioneering position that explores current questions of identity, religion, and climate. For the Kölnischer Kunstverein he produces a site-specific vinyl print from digital renderings. In terms of an anti-aesthetic, his works are influenced by the genre of science fiction and trash: apocalyptic, post-humanist worlds in which abundant natural landscapes are transformed by techno-scientific developments.

Curator: Nikola Dietrich


John Russell (b.1963) studied History of Art at Goldsmith’s College of Art and Fine Art at Slade School of Art and Saint Martin’s School of Art. He was a co-founder of the artists’ group BANK, of which he was a member for ten years. Since leaving BANK in January 2000, Russell has worked both independently and collaboratively in producing exhibitions, curatorial projects, and artist books. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions including Bridget Donahue, New York (2021 and 2018); Gold, High Art, Paris, France (2017); Kunsthalle Zürich (2017) and in group exhibitions at Viborg Kunsthal, Viborg, Denmark (2018); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2018); Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris (2018); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2017); Artists Space, New York (2014); The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK (2013); ICA, London (2011); Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK (2011); The Grey Area, Brighton, UK (2011); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria (2011); Tate Britain, London (2010); and Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK (2009).


Supported by:

José Montealegre – Nervous System

20.8. – 16.10.2022

Opening: Friday, 19.8.2022, 7 pm

In his first institutional solo exhibition Nervous System at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, José Montealegre will continue his ongoing series of works begun in 2020 titled Páginas. The starting point for these sculptures is an extensive botanical archive of plant illustrations known colloquially as “Nova Plantarum” which was created in Mexico during the Spanish colonization. This archive saw the catalogization and re-systematization of hundreds of indigenous plants by Spanish colonizers. With great respect to detail, the artist translates these botanical illustrations into copper sculptures. In a site-specific installation, they are presented on the second floor of the Kunstverein in an indoor and outdoor space. In his artistic practice, which also includes writing, Montealegre tells stories that blur the line between origin and (mis)translation. Contrary to knowledge shaped by colonial powers, the artist allows marginalized perspectives to emerge thus challenging canonical history(ies).

The exhibition is followed by the first publication of José Montealegre.

Curator: Miriam Bettin


José Montealegre (*1992 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras) lives and works in Berlin. He studied philosophy and literature at the Universidad Centroamericana de Managua, Nicaragua, and with Willem de Rooij at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Klosterruine in Berlin, Mountains in Berlin (both 2021), Convent Art Space in Ghent (2019), The Fort in Brooklyn (2017) and in group exhibitions at venues including Lantz’schen Skulpturenpark Lohausen in Düsseldorf (2021), Städelmuseum in Frankfurt am Main, Natalia Hug in Cologne (both 2019), Futura Gallery in Prague, Gillmeier Rech in Berlin (both 2018), and Kunsthalle Darmstadt (2017, 2014).


Supported by: