Portraits | Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle 2021

Devoted entirely to the portrait, this exhibition gathers a wide variety of creative expressions offered in this genre. To this day, the portrait has remained one of the most important, ever reinvigorated artistic forms of representation. It is a recurring figure in countless creative concepts. In light of the current lack of face-to-face encounters, it was with great pleasure that we delved into the subject of portraiture.


Portraits | Mar 4 – Jun 26, 2021

Installation views by Wilfried Petzi
The exhibition is sponsored by: NEUSTART KULTUR and Stiftung Kunstfonds

Sophie Reinhold
Basic portrait of a very young woman, 2017

77 x 60 cm
Oil and marble powder on canvas

Installation view

Not only the paintings of Sophie Reinhold themselves play with contrasting display and dominance to the reserve and incompleteness on the canvas. These forces are also active within humans and can therefore be understood on both a mental and a physical level. The willpower of the ego and its striving to expand its position while simultaneously desiring to hide, to conceal, and to isolate is a common phenomenon. Reinhold presents us with this game, this grappling, in a wholly idiosyncratic way. And her images bear witness to a deep love of vulnerable creatures – people who at once fight and flee, scream and fall silent, reveal themselves and hide, who love and hate. With reduced means and without putting their full physicality on display, she gives them an ominous platform, full of wit and charm. And sometimes, all that is left of these creatures is an aura, an echo of their energy – as here in Sophie Reinhold’s “Basic portrait of a very young woman” from 2017.

Florian Süssmayr
Die Frauen vom Finanzamt München IV, Deroystrasse, 2021

100 x 80 cm | 39 1/3 x 31 1/2 in
oil on canvas

Florian Süssmayr
Die Frauen vom Finanzamt München IV, Deroystrasse, 2021

100 x 80 cm
oil on canvas

Helene Appel
Brotscheibe, 2020

10.50 x 9 cm | 4 1/4 x 3 1/2 in
Oil on canvas

Janis Avotins
Peter Schjeldahl, 2021

40 x 30 cm
oil on canvas

Installation view
'Portraits' - group exhibition - at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle on the 1st floor

Leiko Ikemura
C.H.R., 2019

40 x 30 cm
Tempera on untreated cotton

Leiko Ikemura
C.H.R., 2019

40 x 30 cm
Tempera on untreated cotton

Leiko Ikemura
Cindy, 2015

70 x 50 cm
Tempera on untreated cotton

Florin Mitroi
30.VII.1987

55 x 42 cm
Tempera on canvas

Installation view

For our portrait exhibition, using his inimitably strong, abstract-leaning style of painting, Czech painter Jan Merta has created a haunting portrait of the writer and poet Daniil Charms. Merta expertly ties his work in with the Russian avant-garde, as if he himself were a member of the artist collective OBERIU, or Union of Real Art, which Charms co-founded. It shows Charms' characteristic appearance, based on a photograph depicting Merta "inverted", which means "obrácený" in Czech and at the same time means "converted". A play on words that raises the question of the nature of Charms' conversion, who did not agree with the policies of the Soviet government, demanded freedom of the press, free cultural creation and atoned for this with arrest. Merta portrays people who are important to him and his painting, recalls them and initiates red-hot discussions. “I work in the field of literature. I am not a politically minded person, but the question that is close to me is: literature. I declare that in the field of literature I do not agree with the policy of the Soviet government, and as a counterweight to the measures existing on this point I wish freedom of the press, both for my own work and for the literary work of the literary men close to me, who form with me a literary group of their own.”

Jan Merta
Obrácený Daniil Charms / Daniil Charms – Inverted Portrait, 2012-2020

110 x 90 cm
Oil on canvas

“I work in the field of literature. I am not a politically minded person, but the question that is close to me is: literature. I declare that in the field of literature I do not agree with the policy of the Soviet government, and as a counterweight to the measures existing on this point I wish freedom of the press, both for my own work and for the literary work of the literary men close to me, who form with me a literary group of their own.”

more information

Alex Katz
Mel, 2005

36.8 x 53.3 cm
Charcoal on paper

Steven Claydon
Hebdomeros, 2010/2013

76 x 76 cm
Etched and enamelled patinated bronze
unique

"A.O.: R" is the title of the new sculptural portrait by Thomas Zipp and stands for Abstract Object, on whose shoulders the artist places an aggressive rolling "R" like an angry pet, in the spirit of Dadaism: as if the work reflected our current situation.

Thomas Zipp
A.O.: R, 2020

64 x 54.5 x 17 cm
Acrylic, oil, aluminium, rubber, lacquer on linen, frame
Signed on reverse

Martin Creed
Work No. 299, 2003

56.7 x 85.3 cm
Photographic print
Ed. 8/10

Installation view
Left: Thomas Helbig / middle: Ma Ke / right: Stephan Balkenhol

Thomas Helbig
Grosses Mädchen, 2009

250 x 205 x 6 cm
Lacquer and oil on wood

Stephan Balkenhol
Alice in Wonderland / Rabbit , 1989

154 x 104 x 64 cm | 60 2/3 x 41 x 25 1/4 in
Wawa wood
Unique

Stephan Balkenhol
Alice in Wonderland / Alice, 1989

230 x 138 x 84 cm | 90 1/2 x 54 1/3 x 33 in
Wawa wood
Unique

Ma Ke
Game 2, 2012

109 x 79 cm
oil on cardboard

Goshka Macuga
International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, Configuration 16, First Man: Yuri Gagarin, 2016

34 x 37 x 205 cm
Bronze heads and poles

Goshka Macuga
International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, Configuration 19, End of Systems: Ada Lovelace, 2016

142 x 147 x 200 cm
Bronze heads and poles

Installation view
Group exhibition "Portraits", 2021

Leiko Ikemura
Sleep, 2020

15 x 27 x 18 cm
Glass
4/4

Leiko Ikemura
Kitsune, 2020

20 x 32 x 13 cm
Glass
4/5

Installation view
'Portraits' - group exhibition - at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle

Stephan Balkenhol
Lola Montez, 2021

76 x 60 x 3 cm
Wawa Wood
Unique

Stephan Balkenhol
R.W. Fassbinder, 2021

76 x 60 x 3 cm
Wawa Wood
Unique

Thomas Struth
The Felsenfeld / Gold Families, Philadelphia, 2007

140.2 x 179 cm
C-print
Edition 5/10
Signed and titled on the reverse side

The family portrait, as treated by Thomas Struth in his impressive series, takes on a special significance in this time of the pandemic. In our portrait group exhibition, which has been extended until the end of June, we are showing “The Felsenfeld / Gold Families, Philadelphia” (2007) by Thomas Struth. The “Family Life” cycle, in which Struth deeply concerns himself with processes of development and perception, represents a significant part of the artist's photographic œuvre.

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Installation view at the gallery

Struth has been taking photographs of families in the widest variety of countries and cultural environments continuously since 1985, including Germany, Italy, England, the United States, Peru, Japan and China. His photographs are taken mostly in circles of people to whom he closely relates, either privately or professionally. A whole multitude of negatives is exposed in one sitting and a selection is then made later together with the family. Only a few photographs are finally enlarged. Captured with enormous sensitivity, Thomas Struth's portraits reveal much of the emotional and social structures as well as cultural backgrounds of the families. They tell us about their living circumstances, about the way the individuals relate to and behave towards each other within their family circles and especially in this time of the pandemic, the images call to mind just how important family ties are to us all.

Thomas Ruff
Porträt (A. Zeitler), 1998

210 x 165 cm
C-print
Edition 1/4
Signed, dated, numbered on the reverse side

Thomas Ruff approached the subject in the 1980s, opting for a neutral representation of a frontal halflenghts free of any semblance of emotion, gesture, or facial expression. He showed the surface—but not the individual features—of the depicted person in large-format works, thus questioning the original intent of portrait photography. In contrast, Thomas Struth portrays individuals, couples, and families with a plate camera and long exposure. His images attest to the empathy with which he deals with his models; they evoke psychological depth and present the subjects in private and intimate surroundings, like 2007’s The Felsenfeld / Gold Families, Philadelphia, shown in this exhibition.

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Thomas Ruff
Porträt (T.Djordjadze), 1999

24 x 18 cm
C-print
Unlimited
Signed, dated on the reverse side

Thomas Ruff
neg◊india_14, 2014

71 x 61 cm | 28 x 24 in
C-print
Edition 2/8
Signed, dated, numbered on the reverse side

Alex Katz (born 1927 in New York; lives and works in New York) is known the world over for his Pop Art-like portraits, which he has continued to make since the 1950s. Recurring figures in these portraits are family members and friends from his close environment, such as his wife Ada. Katz has also continued to make drawings in conjunction with these paintings, which have served as first approaches to his subjects before they were eventually captured in oil. While the drawings’ swift style bespeaks a rather intuitive perception of the portrayed individuals, the oil paintings captivate us in their intensely colorful two-dimensionality and abstraction on monochrome backgrounds, which allow the portraits to appear like icons.

Leiko Ikemura
Joseph, 2015

60 x 50 cm
Tempera on untreated cotton

Alex Katz
Red Hat (Tarajia), 2013

55.88 x 40.64 cm
Charcoal on paper

Installation view
'Portraits' - group exhibition - at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle on the 1st floor

Installation view
'Portraits' - group exhibition - at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle

Eberhard Havekost
ohne Titel (K), 2018/2019

60 x 34 cm
Oil on canvas

Alex Katz
Ada, 2012

127.1 x 101.6 cm
Oil on canvas