KATERNBERGER STRAßE 100
The exhibition HUMAN IS A FIVE LETTER WORD brings together eleven figurative artists who, in their collective selection, reveal disharmonies in order to create complex perspectives and to rethink the nature of figuration.
The title of this exhibition makes use of a contra-intuitive play on words. It aims to create a problematic binary form between the familiar and the ambiguous, in order to introduce cognitive dissonance into the exhibition from the very beginning. From one point of view, the title evokes expressions that typically describe "four-letter words" (aka "curse" words), thus presenting the title as both problematic logic and confrontational. From another perspective, it marks a simple fact: human is in fact only a simple five-letter word. By addressing more specifically how we think about the word, we can begin to creatively rethink the way we understand being human, humans and humanity.
The special feature of the exhibition is not only the choice of artists but also the material used. All participants show works on paper only, some of them are very minimal and roughly drawn, repetitive and abstract, highly refined and allegorical, others conceptual, dull and poetic. Brian Lotti, for example, shows the wonder and reverence of human existence in his painterly oil and acrylic drawings. He captures the lovely visions that define his very own environment in expressionist paintings. Jesse Mockrin, on the other hand, recreates some of the most famous fables of human history in order to put them into contemporary references and ultimately to renegotiate them. Denise Kupferschmidt uses rhythms and patterns of human movements and thoughts and draws them corresponding to the content, static or expressive, still or roaring. The simple stroke of Brent Holland Baker's graphic drawings, on the other hand, precisely brings out the humorous and abstruse nature of human existence.
Each of the artists in the exhibition uses the human figure in a way that aims to question what we think we know about ourselves, both as individuals and as a collective. For them, this means celebrating, lamenting, sensualizing, or radicalizing. The exhibition is about beauty and frustration, about negative cycles that need to be broken, about artistic effort as human effort. It is about humans being human and about thinking and doing about humans being human.
Artists: Lydia Maria Pfeffer (US), Loretta Mae Hirsch (US), Faris McReynolds (US), Jesse Mockrin (US), Chris Johanson (US), Devendra Banhart (US), Alida Cervantes (MEX), Denise Kupferschmidt (US), Brent Holland Baker (US), Brian Lotti (US), Louis M. Schmidt (US)
The exhibition HUMAN IS A FIVE LETTER WORD was curated in collaboration with the artist Louis M. Schmidt.