Viewing Room Philipp Fürhofer

AURA

Philipp Fürhofer

Ludwigstrasse 7
11.07 — 29.08
2020

His art touches cutting-edge questions about transhumanism: How to combine our emotional body with artificial components? How to keep our humanism with this augmented mankind? Philipp Fürhofer stages an intimate, poetic but striking vision from his inside to our inside, questioning our animality-machine new identity.
( Nathalie Bondil, Montreal Museum of Fine Art )

Exhibition Views

Philipp Fürhofer chose Aura as the title for his third solo exhibition at Knust Kunz Gallery Editions and, here too, numerous dialectical moments can be found. For the presentation of his new works, Fürhofer has created a comprehensive staging of space: in the gallery's central room, a varnished floor reflects the viewer like a dark moor pond. Like church windows, the editions installed in the windows — panes of framed Plexiglas printed on both sides — generate coloured shadows and moods in the space; in the gallery during the day, and in Ludwigstraße at night. Such changing, iridescent situations of lighting that Fürhofer was able to study early on in the windows of prophets at Augsburg Cathedral, have essential significance for his creative artistic work.

The concept of aura is connected not only with our conception of nature but, since Walter Benjamin, also irreversibly with works of art. In his much-cited 1935 article, Benjamin tried to grasp aura as a "peculiar awareness of space and time: the unique appearance of a far-off, no matter how near it may be" (WB), characterizing it also as unapproachable, genuine and superbly unique. Lamenting the loss of the auratic effect of paintings in the age of technical reproducibility, he places at their side the trace as a "superbly unique appearance of nearness, no matter how far off it may be". Trace and aura form a dialectical unity since, "in the trace we are able to grasp the matter; in the aura it overpowers us". (WB)

Philipp Fürhofer was a musician, a former pianist, who opted for art school instead of the conservatory, but you realize that the musician never left the painter. You can sense his deep sensibility for music in the melodious and epical narration carried in his works, from his references to Wagner, he all makes them come into the 21st century with his own modern vision and contributes to keep them alive for eternity.
( Rufus Wainwright )

Whereas hitherto there were mainly on and off states in his illuminated boxes, the new works seem to breathe through a pulsating fading in and fading out. When the light fades in, the semi-transparent surfaces of these painting-hybrids open an illusion of spatiality and depth. Apart from the recurring motif of the forest, x-rays and computer tomography images of the human body repeatedly come to the fore. Meshes of arteries are superimposed on the branches and undergrowth of a forest; contours of trees come and torsos go; cell structures turn into the remains of leaves. Thoughts rush from romantic paintings of a Rousseau, a Friedrich or Courbet to the fragility and bizarre aloofness from our own body. Fürhofer underscores this interplay of the artistic topos of the forest with medical images through the titles of his works: Twilight, Circulation, Guerrilla Forest, EXCHANGE and Natural Beauty. Here the conceptual intertwining of the organisms, forest and body, is manifest that Fürhofer allows to coexist also visually.

His illuminated boxes are illusion machines that present to us the circulation between the inside and the outside. For a few seconds, they entice us with the long superseded idea of meaning and unity in order, only a few seconds later, to disillusion us through their rough construction out of everyday products and waste. Sunrises, rainbows, waterfalls and clouds are here made artificially out of cables and lamps; the sudden flash of the romantic idea of living in harmony with nature is rudely unmasked as kitsch.

Works

Freischützwald

2019
Acrylic and oil on acrylic glass, spy mirror, cables, LED-tubes and wood
230 x 80 x 65 cm

Passover

2020
Acrylic and oil on acrylic glass, LED-tubes, cables and controler box,
Fading lights on/off
232 x 122 x 10 cm

Natural beauty

2020
Acrylic and oil on acrylic glass, spy mirror, cables, LED-tubes
122 x 102 x 20 cm

Kreislauf

2020
Acrylic and oil on acrylic glass, spy mirror, cables, LED-tubes and controler box
Four-piece, 232 x 488 x 10 cm

Fürhofer’s boxes are triumphs of illusionism, of ingenuous visual staging. His assemblages allow him to combine various textures and to relate these spatially – in this he has surely been informed by his work as a set designer for the opera.
( Jurriaan Benschop, Art Forum )

Works

X-Rays of Sunshine

2020
Print and pencils on acrylic glass, hand painted
Edition of 6, double sided
each 72,8 x 47,8 cm

Beauty

2020
Acrylic and pencils on acrylic glass
32,9 x 24 cm

Circulation

2020
Acrylic, oil and pencils on acrylic glass
30,9 x 21,5 cm

Dawn

2020
Acrylic and pencils on acrylic glass
30,2 x 21,3 cm

Dreams in Dust

2020
Acrylic and pencils on acrylic glass
21,2 x 30,2 cm

Contact

2020
Acrylic, oil and pencils on acrylic glass
43,9 x 30 cm

Network

2020
Acrylic,oil and pencils on acrylic glass
27,9 x 29,5 cm

Orange, dpa II

2019
Acrylic and coloured crayons on acrylic glass, foto print
23,9 x 42,5 cm

Cruise Google

2019
Acrylic and coloured crayons on acrylic glass, foto print
49,6 x 28 cm

CNN II

2019
Acrylic and coloured crayons on acrylic glass, foto print
41, 8 x 29,5 cm

Ground

2020
Acrylic, oil and pencils on acrylic glass
30,7 x 53,7 cm

Amid so many recent efforts to create forms of contemporary painting that go beyond the canvas, Fürhofer`s work stands out for the way it accomplishes this without too much straining too much for effect. Instead, in a surprising way and with contemporary materials and technique, Fürhofer has renewed the tradition of Romantic landscape painting to reflect on human beings’ relation to nature in the present.
( Jurriaan Benschop, Art Forum )

Publication

His new publication, (Dis)Illusions, was published by nai010 Publishers in May 2020. Edited by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, this monograph is situating Fürhofer's artistic work both within art history and between performing art and fine art. The publication is available at the gallery.

Philipp Fürhofer – (Dis) Illusions
Hardcover | 23 x 29 cm | 176 pp. | 138 color ill.

Edited by Thierry-Maxime Loriot
With texts by Emily Ansenk, Ulrich Baer, Jean-Luc Nancy,Thomas Rogers, Denise Wendel-Poray, Sir Norman Rosenthal, and Rufus Wainwright

www.issuu.com

Stage designs

Since 2008 Fürhofer has been working in parallel as the stage and costume designer for the Royal Danish Theatre Copenhagen, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Finnish National Opera Helsinki, De Nationale Opera Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House in London, among many others. Simultaneously with our gallery exhibition, Philipp Fürhofer designed the two prelude rooms for the Thierry Mugler retrospective Couturissime at Kunsthalle Munich (until 30 August).

Bio

Philipp Fürhofer, born in Augsburg in 1982, lives in Berlin. He studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin, graduating as a master-class student of Hans-Jürgen Diehl. His works have been exhibited in solo exhibitions, among other places, at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum and at the Augsburger Kunstverein.








www.philippfuerhofer.de

I was always interested in German painters like Lovis Corinth, who crossed the boundaries of Impressionisms and Expressionism, for me he was inspiring to witness how he played with reality and deformed it through pure color. It changes according to what I read or what I see.
( Philipp Fürhofer )