“My subject is life and death”, “my failure is my art”, says the internationally well known artist and recipient of several awards, Guenther Uecker (born in 1930) about his works. His work “Mistreated Man: 14 Pacified Implements” that Uecker created in his workshop in Düsseldorf, commissioned by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IfA), also lives through this contradiction.
In many of the works Uecker shows a kind of inner portrait of his visions of life and suffering, processes experiences, registers feelings and tries to reveal, in his sensitive setting of signs, basic human drives: aggression, injury, destruction, setting against them gestures of reconciliation. Uecker reacts to the “injury of human being by human being” in the language of form typical of him – with slats of wood, linen cloths, stones, ash, sand, pages of writing and of course nails (Uecker became famous as the “man of nails”). The actual background of these works created in 1992/93 was the violence against foreigners in Germany that continues even today. As Uecker says, “Thus my protest, my statement is an expression of my agitation, a portrait of an artist, so to speak.”
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), Deutschland and Goethe-Institute Bulgaria.