Galerie Francesca Pia is pleased to announce a retrospective exhibition of Hans-Peter Feldmann’s work. The artist’s fifth solo presentation in the gallery spans more than four decades of his artistic career, from his early conceptual photo series to his later objects and painting cycles.
Feldmann is considered one of the most significant conceptual artists of his generation. From the beginning, his work has focused on the exploration of the image, particularly the photographic image. Already in his first series, the “Bilderhefte,” which he self-published between 1968 and 1975, Feldmann’s preoccupation with collecting images was apparent: be it private snapshots, advertising images or illustrations from children’s books and the daily press. Feldmann’s interest lies less in the singular image than in the arrangement of his material in pairs, groups and sequences. With humor and conceptual acuity, in these groupings and repetitions the artist exposes the dreams, desires and memories we project onto such images and objects, thereby revealing the visual grammar of a collective subconscious. In doing so, Feldmann persistently upsets and undermines the categorical orders of sense and non-sense, of value and worthlessness. His collections are neither encyclopedic nor categorical, but instead adhere to seemingly absurd systems and private fetishes. This hierarchy-free juxtaposition of common objects and details creates an astonishing clarity and poetry in his work.
Feldmann does not present his works as exclusive or unique items, but as the found and collected consumer items they in fact are. They are never explicitly proclaimed to be works of art and are typically presented unframed, potentially unlimited, unsigned and undated.
Both open and consistent, this artistic stance made Hans-Peter Feldmann a key figure in conceptual art of the 1970s as well as an influential pioneer of appropriation art and a source of inspiration for a generation of conceptual artists of the 1990s. Like few other artist of his generation, Feldmann campaigned for the idea of a democratic value of art and the liberation of art from the genius of the artist.
Feldmann’s works have been exhibited internationally, including at documenta 5 and 6 in Kassel; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; the Fotomuseum Winterthur; the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; the Arnolfini, Bristol; the Louisiana, Copenhagen; the Musée d ́Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris; the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and at the Venice Biennale.