The Song of the Bird is NONSENSE: Lothar Hempel

April 4 - May 10, 2003

Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present The Song of the Bird is NONSENSE, the fourth solo show of German artist Lothar Hempel in New York. His intricate installations supplant viewers into scenarios that evoke literature, theatre and cinematic narrative.


Hempel’s artwork question the confines between the experience of the work and the process of art making while his staged scenarios offer multiple vantage points, permitting viewers to shift roles. Geometric forms, a muted color palate and the theatrics of Oskar Schlemmer collectively recall the Bauhaus tradition.


A romantic landscape populated by wood paneled birds, sculptures resembling giant leaves and an angelic wall relief comprise The Song of the Bird is NONSENSE. Along with film and text, the artist combines tangible references to popular culture with personal, penetrating memorabilia. This introspective set offers fertile terrain to explore the function of narrative in the politics of representation - a means of moving beyond formalist categories of "open" and "closed" endings.


By disrupting universal expectations, the artist offers an alternative to a shared experience. Along narrative's fractured line, these minimal shifts interfere with any preconceived conclusion, making each story linger as a mere proposition, an episode among myriads.

Installation Views