It would be hard to find another artist who has shaped our current understanding of painting and the post-1980s cultural landscape as significantly as Jutta Koether (born 1958). Tour de Madame is the first in-depth survey show dedicated to her work, and will present the astonishing and spectacular scope of her paintings to the public for the very first time. In many respects the exhibition will be a journey of discovery, bringing together more than 150 paintings in a totally novel fashion. Many of the works have never been exhibited publicly, or have not been on display since their initial presentation. A highlight in the show is a new cycle of paintings, which responds, in both arrangement and format, to Cy Twombly’s monumental “Lepanto” cycle (2001) on the upper floor of the museum. The motifs, colors and the dynamics of Koether’s career resonate in these works, exemplifying her battle with painting and art history.
The exhibition offers a chronological overview of Koether’s multifaceted oeuvre. It goes back to her beginnings in the context of Neo-Expressionism in Cologne in the early and mid-1980s, and her subsequent exploration of the colour red as an expressive device – presenting a response to the cliché of male painters. After moving to New York in the early 1990s, Koether began making breathtakingly intense and colourful large-scale paintings that layer motifs from pop culture, literature and art history in dense painterly gestures. In the early 2000s, Koether’s approach became increasingly involved with performance and music, culminating in inky black canvases and assemblage paintings incorporating devotional objects from punk and noise culture. The final chapter of the exhibition is dedicated to Koether’s eccentric turn to history painting and her latest appropriations from art history’s visual memory.
The exhibition positions Jutta Koether as a central force and point of reference in the recent history of painting. Her work systematically presents painting as crucial to the discourses of alternative histories of Modernism and subjectivity. Tour de Madame reveals Koether’s role as a precursor to a conception of painting that exceeds its classical definition and the canon, while maintaining and amplifying its contradictions, intensities, expressions and references to the extreme.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive exhibition catalogue in a German and English edition, which provides the first ever systematic engagement with Koether’s artistic practice, and presents her entire oeuvre from 1983 through to her most recent works produced for this exhibition in a comprehensive series of images, with over 200 colour reproductions.
Museum Brandhorst is organizing the exhibition in collaboration with Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. It was initiated and curated by Achim Hochdörfer and Tonio Kröner, with the assistance of Kirsten Storz. It will be shown at Museum Brandhorst from May 18 to October 21, 2018. The presentation at Mudam Luxembourg from February 8 to May 12, 2019 is curated by Suzanne Cotter.
80333 Munich | Germany