29. February – 12. July 2020
In times of crisis we would like to give you insights to our exhibitions online. Please find descritpions below, that you could actually read as a handout during your visit. And experience our new series DIGITAL & VIVID on Instagram. Here we regularly provide fresh insights - so that you don't have to miss your visit to the museum altogether.
The extensive body of work of Swiss artist Christine Streuli (*1975, in Berne) appeals to viewers with colourful, mostly monumental allover paintings, which draw on a rich vocabulary of symbols, quotes, patterns, motifs and ornaments. The vividly coloured and energetic works and installations attract the audience, but also raise important, contemporary questions about nature and the craft of painting, as well as the examination of the flood of images surrounding us all.
As tools, the artist uses not only brush and canvas but also defines with each painting her own technical language of form. Streuli is a virtuoso at zapping back and forth between the classic paintbrush, a spray can and various printing techniques. She composes and collages monumental canvases, pictorial wallpapers, floor pieces and small-format works on paper, which together unfurl a dense web of imagery and an overpowering orgy of colour.
The exhibition Lange Arme, kurze Beine offers a comprehensive experience of Christine Streuli’s various working methods. Different levels and timeframes interact here. In the process, the new works provoke questions regarding original versus copy, and raise issues of value, valuation and revaluation.
The time the artist has spent, the physical, manual and spiritual experiences she has gained during years of processes originating in her head and carried out by her hands are rendered vividly tangible.
«An arm’s length away from perishing. A leg’s width away from persisting. For twenty years now, I have been predominantly painting. For this purpose I use my body, my arms, my legs. I pace out spaces with my legs, stretch myself long and get down on my knees. Again and again. I raise and lower, shift, touch, grasp hold of walls, ceilings, floors and picture carriers. Again and again. I have been working with my body for twenty years, and in turn it always works in dialogue with its vis-à vis, today in collaboration, tomorrow in opposition. What I paint is supposedly splotches and gestures. It is a matter of paint that is spread, poured, shaken, smoothed, sprayed and flung. It is all about the body, about movement. Coloured surfaces, greasy splotches, oozing paint-noses and dripping tears. Nevertheless: I can’t bear that much coincidence; it doesn’t interest me. I am an observer in search of grounds and backgrounds, I am a measurer of fields whose dimensions I like to define myself; someone who must feel, smell, see and touch in order to understand what is happening or has happened.» (Christine Streuli)
«With the tip of my finger, I move along the contour of a splotch so that I comprehend its materiality and form. During a drying process, I use a damp sponge to wash out the liquid paint in order to understand what traces have been left by a brush or a spray pistol. I trace dripping tears of paint in order to preserve and copy their contours. These are tears which henceforth are no longer actual tears, splotches which from now on are not any longer random, expressive splotches, not an annoyance on the blouse or on the floor but instead reflected, outlined form which becomes an assertion. A signifier for painting. A gesture: to give expression to an inner attitude – at least to the inability to convey this complex, constantly ambivalent attitude: that is my endeavour and my offer. The discovery and invention of possibilities, of handling pictorial
material and paint, with its sheer energy for seduction, illusion and repulsion. To recognise valid gestures, to learn to allow them to occur in order to interpret them, to analyse and repeat them, again and again to repeat them. Assimilation. Gestures which can be relevant in painting, at least
as an opposing presence.» (Christine Streuli)
«I raise questions regarding the subjects in the picture and their preconditions in experimental painting. What happens here is a seamless and vague back and forth between the various surfaces, between what is illusory and what is real, between endeavour and failure with regard to being able to assert one’s existence overall – to create something valid, to confront incalculability, to be alert and to pay attention to my actions, to what lies opposite me and to my surroundings.
Paying attention means taking care, awareness, observation as well as a profound feeling of freedom. Carefulness means attentiveness which is naturally accompanied by care, solicitousness and affection. All this requires great sensitivity. We are all sensitive with regard to our own yearning or our psychological wounds; we are also sensitive towards a certain person whose wishes and needs we seek to perceive and either fulfil or contradict. Painting is encounter
and empathy, a risking of one’s own neck, a full utilisation of arms and legs. Painting is getting to know and coming to value one’s own sensitivity and that of one’s counterpart, in order to forget all that and to renegotiate it once more. Contemporary issues involving surface and depth, original and copy, inquiries into colour, form and medium, into materiality and the loss of the same are investigated and questioned here in a playful and concentrated manner. An arm’s length away from perishing. A leg’s width away from persisting.» (Christine Streuli)
Christine Streuli, born in 1975 in Bern and raised in Zurich, Chicago and Langenthal, currently lives in Berlin. She has worked as a freelance artist since earning degrees from Zurich University of the Arts and the University of the Arts in Berlin. Shortly after her studies, she had already achieved international recognition. Streuli designed the exhibition for the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 in conjunction with Yves Netzhammer, and in 2014 she exhibited at the Biennale of Sydney.
Solo exhibitions: Berlinische Galerie (2017), Museum Folkwang, Essen (2017), Kunstmuseum Luzern (2013), Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2013), Kunsthaus Aarau (2008). Group exhibitions (selected): Kunst Museum Winterthur (2019), Helmhaus Zurich (2009), Centre PasquArt, Bienne (2010). The artist has been living and working in Berlin since 2008, where she has been a professor at the University of the Arts since 2015. She has received numerous awards: Fellow of the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York (2001–02); Artist-in-Residence of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in Cairo (2003); Swiss Art Award (2004, 2005, 2006); Kiefer Hablitzel Prize (2005), nominee for the Dorothee von Stetten Art Award with exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2005); Fine Arts Fellowship of the City of Zurich with studio in San Francisco (2005); residential fellowship in London studio awarded by the Landis & Gyr Foundation, Zug (2009–2010); Fred Thieler Award for Painting, with an exhibition at the Museum Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2017) and 2020 the BEWE Art Award. Streuli’s work is shown in prominent galleries such as Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich; Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg/Beirut; Monica De Cardenas, Milan; Galerie Filomena Soares, Lisbon; Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco.
A catalogue (DE/EN) accompanying the exhibition will be published. The date of the book launch and conversation with the artist will be communicated asap.