In view of the painterly work of Norbert Schwontkowski, born in Bremen in 1949, the fundamental question arises: What form of painting is still possible at all as a result of technological change and the associated losses of both one’s own worlds of experience and one’s own physical identity? Florian Waldvogel, director of the Kunstverein Hamburg, questions this connection in „Die Hölle in Zeitlupe“ (Hell in Slow Motion), his contribution as editor of this volume, which finally makes the work of the popular painter from North Germany accessible in book form, after the last publications have been out of print for some time. In addition, however, there is very much the „Schwontkowskieske,“ as Jens Hoffmann, deputy director at the Jewish Museum, New York, points out in his essay. This can be, on the one hand, the painted dry wit, which Richard Prince has already recently made ennobling. But on the other hand also the seemingly Kafkaesque, gloomy and impasto-painted doomsday scenario. Like the smog in the sculpture park, through which an avalanche of cars rolls, or a highway that loses itself in the sinking sun. It is this tragicomic trait of the canvases that possibly provides the colorful mood for the Last Day.
Anna Ballestrem, Jens Hoffmann, Florian Waldvogel
120 pages, 85 illustrations in colour
23.5 x 1.5 x 32 cm
The book was published as part of the homonymous exhibition at Kunstverein, Hamburg, (26.01–14.04.2013).
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