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Dieter Krieg, Untitled, 1992. Private collection. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

Dieter Krieg, Untitled, 1992. Private collection. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

The Museum Frieder Burda is mounting a major thematic exhibition on the motif of the candle. Gerhard Richter’s Kerze (Candle) (1982) has become a veritable icon of painting and is one of the most important pictures in the Frieder Burda Collection. The attraction this fascinating work exerts—the US band Sonic Youth used it for the cover of their 1988 albumDaydream Nation—is the starting point of this show exploring the pictorial motif of the candle and its range of meanings.

The candle is a vivid symbol of life, transience, and death. It stands for grief and melancholy. It literally illuminates depictions of science and the arts. And it lends erotic scenes a subtle charge. The exhibition at  shows how artists in the 20th and 21st centuries break open and experiment with firmly entrenched pictorial traditions surrounding the candle motif, translating them into contemporary contexts of meaning.

On view are paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video installations by artists including Marina Abramović, Georg Baselitz, Christian Boltanski, Thomas Demand, Urs Fischer, Eric Fischl, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Jörg Immendorff, Karin Kneffel, Jeff Koons, Alicja Kwade, Markus Lüpertz, Nam June Paik, A. R. Penck, Andreas Slominski, Thomas Struth, and Gavin Turk. Surprising angles on the motif of the candle await visitors to the Baden-Baden exhibition, from dramatic candlelight installations to ironic candle objects and meditative wall works.

In addition to these pictorial approaches, the exhibition also examines the role the candle has played in cinema. A film compilation presenting “candle moments” from the history of film focuses on formal and thematic criteria as well as on the differences and tensions between pictures and films.

Museum Frieder Burda
Lichtentaler Allee 8 b
76530 Baden-Baden


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