Angela Fette, Alexej Koschkarow, Matthias Lahme


January 18, 2019 – February 23, 2019


Curated by Katharina Fritsch

The exhibition FETTE/KOSCHKAROW/LAHME brings together the three individual positions of the artists Angela Fette, Matthias Lahme and Alexej Koschkarow, who live and work in Düsseldorf and New York respectively. For the curator Katharina Fritsch it is ‘the unconditional faith in the autonomous work of art’ that links the three selected positions to one another and ultimately to her own sculptural work. 

According to Fritsch, ‘the belief in one’s own free artistic work in the studio is a quality that distinguishes studies at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in particular.’ 

In the fantastical paintings by Angela Fette (b. 1970, lives and works in Düsseldorf), human and animal-like beings remain isolated in infinite nothingness. The painter comments on her technoid manner of representation in strange constructions that accompany the creatures. The cheerful colourfulness and abstract form make the folds appear dreamlike. With this, the artist quotes post-incunabula of art history. The polyhedron from an engraving by Dürer thus becomes the plaything of a robot-like dog (Melancholy Dog, 2018).

The idealised female figure Obscura (2017) also appears to be trapped in a space-time fold. A bright yellow flash of lightning issues from her necklace as if it were intended to lend stability within the unstable space-time continuum. It is not surprising that the minimalist abstractions are reminiscent of stellar constellations and their varying configurations. In the world of Angela Fette, they become no less than matters of judgement.

Alexej Koschkarow’s (b. 1972, lives and works in New York) sculptural ensembles possess a historical depth that casts focal points of history in symbolic materiality in a quotational and at the same time idiosyncratically interpretative manner. The Trotsky Chair (2018) is a cheerfully black homage to the Russian revolutionary and progressive thinker Leo Trotsky, who was assassinated with a pickaxe while in exile in Mexico.

Flanked by five-pointed ceramic stars in the form of bamboo sticks (Bamboo Stars, 2018), the view is directed towards communist China, whose financial market has long since trumped Western capitalism. The Rambo Teapot (2018), also comprised of bamboo elements, builds a bridge to the genre of American action film, which, with Rambo, epitomises the hero who can adapt to any situation to escape triumphantly.

In another room of the gallery, the viewer is suddenly confronted with the schematically delirious faces of the papercuts by Matthias Lahme (b. 1974, lives and works in Düsseldorf). His mysterious ‘portraits’ or ‘monsters’ consist to no small extent of immaterial pictorial substance, which reduces the watercoloured motif to a minimum. In these, Lahme places his artistic vocabulary of materials – papercut, watercolour and ink on paper – in a fragile balance of additive and subtractive elements.

These hypnotic large formats are juxtaposed with works from the series of ink-drawn Text Images (since 2006) and the intensively coloured Fantastic Flowers (since 2004). The material collages created specifically for the exhibition, all untitled and dating from 2018, combine elements of pop culture with religious symbolism. The rosary thus becomes the emoji-esque mouth of a face formed by a painter’s palette or two hands.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an introductory text by Heike van den Valentyn.


Installation images