Since time immemorial, architecture has been praised at the, mother of all the “arts“. Already in ancient Egypt, for example, the temple complexes in Luxor or the sepulchres of the Pharaohs such as the Great Pyramids in Gizeh have been seen as being more than mere religious structures, but rather also and especially total works of art, which were quite literally “worthy of the gods”. In ancient Greece and Rome, but also in the spectacular
civil and sacred buildings of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance throughout Europe, the genres of architecture, sculpture and painting were virtually inseparable. Isolated examples from the Modern age, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the church of the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona or the “Merzbau” of Kurt Schwitters in Hanover carried on the tradition of the architectural “Gesamtkunstwerk”. At the very latest since the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna and the Bauhaus in Weimar (and later in Dessau and Berlin), the common bond between architecture and the visual arts has become coherent and logical for nearly everyone. It thus comes as no surprise that, today as well, visual artists – be they painters, draughtsmen, sculptors, installation artists or especially photographers – frequently take architecture as a point of departure for their own fascinating compositions.

“Just a Facade?” sheds light on the fascinating interrelationship between architecture and contemporary visual art. The title makes reference, on the one hand, to the architecturally based contents of the exhibition while it simultaneously attempts, with a certain sense of irony, to lead the viewer behind the surface of simple aesthetic stimuli in order to reveal the underlying contents and attitudes that drive the artists and their works.

On view are photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures and objects by nine artists, for whom architecture has been a recurrent source of artistic inspiration: Boris Becker, HélèneBinet, Tobias Grewe, Dong-Yeon Kim, Ola Kolehmainen, Heinz Mack, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Apostolos Palavrakis und Kris Scholz.

“Just a Facade?” is conceived as a conceptual investigation into the multifarious possibilities open to artists who analyse architecture at the dawn of the 21st century as a starting point for a new form of abstraction, which provides insight into the fascinating world of human perception and puts this up for discussion.

Exhibition opening on Thursday, 8th March at 7 pm. Gérard Goodrow, Director Beck & Eggeling Contemporary will provide a brief introduction.

Beck & Eggeling Contemporary 
Bilker Str. 4-6 D 40213 Düsseldorf