Hans-Peter Feldmann, a conceptual artist whose difficult works composed of seemingly banal photos that gained him a cult following in Europe, died at 82 on Could 30.
His eight galleries—303 Gallery, Martine Aboucaya, Mehdi Chouakri Berlin, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Simon Lee Gallery, Galerie Francesca Pia, Projecte SD, Galerie Barbara Wien—collectively introduced his dying on Saturday.
“His distinctive persona and his creative understanding of the world we live in will keep alive within the artwork he has left behind,” the galleries wrote of their assertion. “Our hearts and ideas are along with his beloved spouse Uschi, with whom he shared artwork and life for a few years.”
A lot of Feldmann’s artworks would have been thought-about stunts in the event that they have been completed by lesser artists. In 2011, when he turned the oldest artist to win the Guggenheim Museum’s $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize, he pinned that quantity in $1 payments to the establishment’s partitions. In 1999, he had grasp craftsmen produce a plaster reproduction of a Neoclassical sculpture; Feldmann then painted it brilliant pink.
However critics noticed these works as extra than simply pranks. His works, lots of them composed of images he’d collected over time into a large archive, are at this time thought-about vital, if under-known, forerunners to appropriation artwork of the ’80s. Some have even grouped his artwork in with the pressure of Pop that could possibly be discovered in the course of the ’60s in Germany, his house nation.
A few of Feldmann’s earliest notable works contain groupings of appropriated photos that appear banal. Often known as “Bilders” (“Photos”), these booklets, produced between 1968 and 1976, have been made accessible totally free. 11 Bilder, for instance, consisted of fewer than a dozen footage of ladies’s knees. Divorced from their authentic contexts, these pictures took on new, unusual meanings within the fingers of Feldmann, who circulated them in methods their creators might not have supposed.
Feldmann’s photographic works grew extra expansive in the course of the course of his profession. He produced two books, each titled Voyeur, in 1994 and 1997, that featured a big selection of photos, from documentation of aircraft crashes to nudes. On the P.S.1 Up to date Artwork Middle in 2004, he confirmed 100 Years (2001), a piece whose title instructed a survey exhibition, solely to subvert that logic. As a substitute, the set up was composed of 101 footage of individuals aged 8 months to 100 years outdated that Feldmann had sourced from his household and buddies.
Whereas these works might’ve been written off as unserious endeavors, Feldmann was clear that they have been, actually, rooted in one thing severe: his expertise in postwar Germany.
“After World Struggle II, there have been very, only a few footage in Germany,” he informed Artwork in America in 2011. “It was nothing like at this time. And it was really the truth that there was such a small amount of photos round that made me so excited about them. The few I might get, I actually wished to see.”
Hans-Peter Feldmann was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1941, and would stay in that metropolis for a lot of his profession. He studied portray on the College of Arts and Industrial Design Linz in Austria, solely to depart that medium behind in 1968.
In the course of the ’70s, Feldmann appeared in two editions of Documenta, the famed recurring German artwork present in Kassel, cementing his status within the nation’s artwork scene. Till his 2011 Guggenheim Museum present, Feldmann’s fame remained largely confined to Europe.
Along with his profession on the rise, Feldmann had a museum survey in 1980 in Ghent, Belgium. Then he give up art-making for roughly a decade, working at a thimble store, creating tin toys, and serving to to function a mail order service. It wasn’t till 1989 that he returned to art-making; his pal, the curator Kasper König, had urged him to take action, and later organized a present of his artwork at Portikus in Frankfurt.
Some exhibitions by Feldmann felt extra like junk retailers than artwork reveals. One 1992 exhibition at New York’s 303 Gallery consisted of postcards of the Eiffel Tower, chintzy image frames that held photos of individuals like Greta Garbo, and photocopied footage of issues like washing machines. “Trafficking in banality unredeemed by glamour, Feldmann produces work that’s modest to a fault—extra F. W. Woolworth Co. than Saks Fifth Avenue,” critic David Rimanelli wrote of that present.
His idiosyncratic behavior of accumulating seemingly random objects reached its apex with 9/12 Entrance Web page, a room-size 2001 set up composed of the entrance pages of 117 newspapers, all from September 11, 2001.
In the course of the course of his profession, Feldmann appeared in two editions of the Venice Biennale, one version of the Bienal de São Paulo, and one version of the Gwangju Biennale. He had a retrospective on the Museum Ludwig in 2003, and in 2007, he was included in Skulptur Projekte Münster, the general public artwork present based by König, the place Feldmann’s contribution concerned the redesign of a public lavatory facility that was lent a brand new paint job and high-quality ceramic furnishings.
The toilet work was a becoming one for Feldmann, who appeared most fascinated by issues individuals contemplate boring or undeserving of consideration. “I’m not within the excessive factors of life,” he as soon as mentioned. “Solely 5 minutes of on daily basis are attention-grabbing.”