Andreas Exner Red trousers and a yellow skirt hang on a wall. The openings at the waistline, which surrounded a female body, are covered with colorful fabric that matches the color of the clothing. The material on the wall is reminiscent of a painter’s canvas and the projecting threads are like drops of paint. In the 1960s, painters like Frank Stella tried to burst picture frames asunder by letting aspects of the painting extend into the surrounding space. This was also a reaction to gestural painting, which asserted the autonomy of the world of pictures and which claimed to create a world of art within the picture frame that was totally independent from the reality of the living world. The picture «that doesn’t fit in the picture» became an object in the space occupied by the everyday world of the spectator. This has been a subject of discussion since the 1920’s, when El Lissitzky—who considered architecture to be the highest form of art—challenged artists to turn away from painting tableaux and enter real space. Lucio Fontana, for example, slit canvases open and brought the dark depths of real space into the surface of his paintings (1958). Conversely, Charlotte Posenenske bent the painter’s cardboard (1966). On the one hand, Exner’s clothing refers to a certain tradition of painting—which is why they hanging on the wall. On the other hand, they are «soft sculptures». Whereas Claes Oldenburg enlarged hard objects (typewriters, light switches, etc.) to soft and grotesque sculptures, Exner restricts himself to the inconspicuous manipulation of fabric as a soft material . The gentle act of sealing the open waistline does not permit the thought that the work is about clothing to vanish completely. The relationship to everyday life remains; this skirt-like work of art makes one imagine a woman, especially because the «skirt» is a used skirt, which must have belonged to a particular woman. The folds in the cloth remind us of a body and its movements; but in a way completely different from Christian Boltanski, who thematically turned used clothing into gloomy representatives of the dead. With Exner’s work, one thinks of life; a thought which is enhanced by bright colors. His work is two-fold-on the one hand it is painting and on the other hand it is sculpture. It obviously refers to practicality and its role in understanding art. Andreas Exner was born in 1962. He usually works with fabric, which either flows down a wall like a curtain or hangs from a ceiling and he fulfills an age-old pretension of painting: paint is not brushed on, but materialized, substantiated, rendered independent. It is the paint itself which makes the sculpture. Burkhard Brunn

  1962 geboren, lebt in Frankfurt/Main
1988 Studium an der Städelschule bei Raimer Jochims und Jörg Immendorff / 1991 Kunstpreis Ökologie / 1993 Kunstpreis des Bundesministers für Bildung u. Wissenschaft / 1994 Fr. Künstlerhilfe Stipendium / 1995 Kunstfonds, Bonn; DAAD Stipendium Florenz / 1998 Hessisches Arbeitsstipendium / 2002 Hess. Kulturstiftung

2003 Horst Schuler, Düsseldorf / 2000 »Monochromes«, University Art Museum, Brisbane / 1999 Konstantin Adamopoulos, Frankfurt/M. / 1998 Horst Schuler, Düsseldorf; Goethe Institut, Rotterdam / 1996 David Pestorius, Brisbane / 1995 »Am Rande der Malerei«, Kunsthalle Bern / 1994 Franz Paludetto, Turin / 1993 »Menschenwelt«, Portikus, Frankfurt/ M.; Hotel Carlton Palace, Paris

Rock, 2003