One of my big pleasures when spending a week in another city is to explore the local art scene – stroll aimlessly through the streets and do some gallery hopping, if possible get in touch with local artists, and of course explore the variety of museums.

While in Frankfurt, I managed to see 3 group exhibitions: I AM A PROBLEM at Museum of Modern Art, DIORAMA – INVENTING ILLUSION at Schirn Kunsthalle and PERCEPTION IS REALITY at Frankfurter Kunstverein.

Like most group exhibitions there were things that i really loved and some things I didn’t care much about. The artworks that resonated most with me were the ones playing with our perception or the ones trying to engage the viewer physically and emotionally at the same time. Among the works that piqued my interest were Jürgen Teller’s photography, Thomas Ruff’s portrait series ANDERE PORTRAITS, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series DIORAMAS, Richard Barnes series ANIMAL LOGIC, Jeff Wall’s THE GIANT and Marnix de Nijs’ installation RUN MOTHERFUCKER RUN.

I also saw Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel’s beautiful solo exhibition THE MAMMAL AND THE SAP at Portikus, where they combine contemporary themes with traditional manufacturing processes.

Since all art is relative and subjective, go ahead and check out any of these exhibitions if you’re around Frankfurt and you got some free time. They are definitely all worth it.

MMK 2: I AM A PROBLEM

I AM A PROBLEM at Museum for Modern Art is a show dealing with today’s selfie hype, veggie boom, plastic surgery, fitness mania and the generally grotesque dimensions of self-optimization. Theatre director and set designer Ersan Mondtag presents a scenic parcour inspired by a legend about Maria Callas. The story goes that she swallowed a tapeworm with a gulp of champagne in order to achieve her dream figure. With the parasite’s aid she quickly lost around 50kg. Have a look at the exhibition video to get an idea about Mondtag’s concept:

Featured Artists

Kader Attia, Vanessa Beecroft, Will Benedict, Marlene Dumas, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, On Kawara, Plastique Fantastique, Teresa Margolles, Bruce Nauman, Thomas Ruff, Dayanita Singh, Elaine Sturtevant, Jürgen Teller, Rosemarie Trockel und Andy Warhol and more…

Schirn Kunsthalle: DIORAMA – INVENTING ILLUSION

With DIORAMA – INVENTING ILLUSION the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents a whole exhibition dedicated to the idea of staged vision. It focuses on the diorama, which is used to reconstruct and realistically stage events, stories, and habitats with the aid of various means, not without influencing and perpetually challenging the viewer’s perception. 

The exhibition presents the early forms of the diorama in religious art and its beginnings in the playhouse and showman art of the nineteenth century, and considers the diorama as the preferred form of presentation for museums conveying natural-historical and anthropological knowledge. The deconstruction of the diorama in today’s art is illustrated by large-scale installations, contemporary dioramas, sculptures, photographs, and films by a variety of artists.

Featured Artists

Richard Baquié, Richard Barnes, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Mark Dion, Diane Fox, Isa Genzken, Patrick Jacobs, Caterina De Julianis, Mathieu Mercier, Kent Monkman, Hiroshi Sugi­moto, Jeff Wall and more…

Frankfurter Kunstverein: PERCEPTION IS REALITY

The group exhibition PERCEPTION IS REALITY examines the new conditions of human perception in relation to technically constructed realities. Frankfurter Kunstverein presents a range of analogue and digital works, virtual reality works from recent artistic production, conceptual photography, installations, technical forensics applications as well as innovative games. The viewers are invited to experience both analogue and virtual spaces with their senses and try to gauge the limits of expectation, illusion, and reality in these constructed visual worlds.

Featured Artists

Thomas Demand, Alicja Kwade, Marnix de Nijs, Hans Op de Beeck, David OReilly, Manuel Roßner, Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt, Christin Marczinzik & Thi Binh Minh Nguyen, and Toast

Portikus: THE MAMMAL AND THE SAP

THE MAMMAL AND THE SAP at Frankfurt’s Portikus is the first institutional solo exhibition by the artist duo Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, who have been working together since 1997. Within their oeuvre they deal with traditional, handcrafted techniques in addition to their interest in classical sculpture. Dewar and Gicquel taught themselves various skills that are considered traditional, even though they don’t necessarily employ the original techniques of the craft in the artistic production of their various works.

The show at Portikus exclusively displays works of oak and plane trees, combining freestanding works with massive wall reliefs. Every work is preceded by a long process of discovery and planning, made by hand, and with the assistance of mechanical or digital machinery. 

Featured Artists

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel

Photos by Diana Pfammater © Courtesy the artists and Portikus, Frankfurt 

Header Photo by Norbert Miguletz / Frankfurter Kunstverein

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