Oral Heart: Lothar Hempel

November 16 - December 23, 2017

German artist Lothar Hempel named his recent exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery after a poem of his, “Oral Heart.” Like the poem that initiated an expanding body of the artist’s writing, the show is an amalgamation of image ideas. Paintings, sculptures and drawings are the sparkling fragments of a dynamic whole, like the prismatic reflections of a powerful sunbeam.


“Oral Heart” animates the intimate spaces of the third floor gallery with a multitude of materials: steel-framed paintings on Dibond aluminum, photo montages printed on cutout acrylic glass, steel masks, and pencil-and- ink drawings. Hempel further develops motifs of a practice that reflects his experience as painter, sculptor, musician, choreographer and filmmaker. The pieces on view materialize the artist’s distinct outlook on the interaction between art-making and being in the world.


Hempel choreographs faces, objects, bodies, and masks, mixes contemporary and archaic imagery, matches diverse materials and techniques, and arranges all into radiant and decisively shaped works of great aplomb. The notion of time stretches across the disparate materials, constantly re-contextualizing the elements’ inherent meanings and narrative possibilities. In conjunction with the exhibition, and as a suggestion of a parallel world to his show, the artist has created an online presence of “Oral Heart.” Please visit oralheart.nyc to read Lothar Hempel’s expanding and continuously transforming poem, and to view related images and texts. oralheart.nyc is like live-radio, like a shadow theater, inviting its audience to engage over time.


Lothar Hempel has exhibited continuously since the 1990s, most recently in solo shows at Casado Santapau, Madrid (2017); The Kitchen, New York (2014); La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporanea, Ceuti (Murcia), Spain (2012); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2008); and Le Magasin, Grenoble (2007). His work has been included in the 12th Biennale de Lyon and the 10th Kaunas Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, M. K. ─îiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania (both 2015); the Herzliya Biennial for Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel (2011) and group shows at Mus e d’art moderne et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva (2017); Sammlung Goetz Collection at Kunsthalle der Hypo Kulturstiftung, Munich (2016); Contemporary Art Andratx, Mallorca (2011); Louis Vuitton Cultural Space, Paris (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2010); MACRO Testaccio, Rome (2010); Beaufort 03, Ostend; Athens Biennale, Athens (both 2009). This is the artist’s eleventh show at Anton Kern Gallery. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.



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