1991... (Memorial Promenade)

July 9 − August 27, 2011

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Galerie Thomas Schulte is pleased to present the exhibition, 1991… (Memorial Promenade), showing the work of some of the most important artists in the gallery’s program from its early years. Not only did the exhibitions by artists like Rebecca Horn, Richard Artschwager, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, Allan McCollum, or Gordon Matta-Clark represent some of the most outstanding shows at the gallery, but also do these artists stand for a long term foundation for the gallery’s programmatic and artistic approach, from which new positions have developed and still continue to develop today. The exhibition opens on Friday, 8th of July 2011, between 7 and 9 pm.

From its very beginnings, the gallery – named Galerie Franck+Schulte from 1991 to 2001 – had a clearly conceptual mold. The artists of the first years of the gallery (for example Dennis Adams, Richard Artschwager, Alighiero e Boetti, Rebecca Horn, Alfredo Jaar, Sol LeWitt, Allan McCollum, Nam June Paik, Pat Steir) shared the aspect of a conceptual approach. In so doing, the idea of the work came to the foreground, with the goal of questioning customary ways of viewing the world. Key here was the artists’ openness to discourse and their substantial ability to generate an impact. Such, the sustainability of Nam June Paik’s formal approach is attested to by its importance for later gallery artists such as Pipilotti Rist. Gordon Matta-Clark and Alighiero e Boetti are until today vital influences for younger artist generations. And although the program of the gallery with an emphasis on conceptual art opened up in later years, the gallery’s basic position was continued with artists like Stephen Willats, Richard Deacon, Jonathan Lasker, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Juan Uslé. This tradition was complemented by numerous new approaches such as those of Fabian Marcaccio, Bernhard Martin, Idris Khan, or Michael Müller.

The exhibition, 1991… (Memorial Promenade), loosely combines positions from the gallery’s founding years, taking various points of reference. The wall installation, Memorial Promenade, by Rebecca Horn – a title borrowed as the subtitle of the exhibition – is not only a guidepost, but together with the works, Three Periods and Question Mark, by Richard Artschwager representative for many significant works placed in outstanding collections. Rebecca Horn also staged the first legendary exhibition in the gallery’s old quarters in Mommsenstraße in Berlin Charlottenburg. The group of rare drawings by Gordon Matta-Clark and Joseph Kosuth’s 1966 neon work, Self-defined Object, recall some of the gallery’s best museum-style exhibitions, while the major work, Fifty Perfect Vehicles, by Allan McCollum from the starting years of the gallery stands for relationship of more than twenty years with an artistic career and some of the first pieces on consignment to the gallery. Such personal references are expanded with the non-site work of Robert Smithson, which through its place of emergence and its exhibition history is closely linked to the biography of the proprietor. Nam June Paik’s work, Li Tai Po, from 1988 in contrast is a beautiful but eternally unsold work that has been with the gallery since its very first days, while Sol LeWitt with his notable solo shows belongs to the intellectual fathers of the gallery. He is represented in this show with his remarkable 1979 work, Tower.