Robert KlümpenRobert Klümpen
Exhibitions 2002/03

Robert Klümpen

Exhibition view (entrance)


12 works from the years 2000 -2003

08 December 2002 to 2 February 2003

Introduction: Dr. Bernd Finkeldey, Düsseldorf.

"The painter Robert Klümpen (Düsseldorf, born 1973) appreciates large formats. Most of his previous pictures offer themselves to the viewer man-sized, "life-size", in the (apparent) ratio "one to one"... They usually meet the viewer as frontal tableaus, which grant a kind of braking top view, in order to develop spatial depth from the foreground of the painted surface in a central or lateral perspective. This view, however, only occasionally presents itself, where a local color seems to require it, so to speak, strikingly, in almost monochrome zones. Much more often, the colouring oscillates between light and dark tones, places mild or strong contrasts next to or even against each other, contours and vitalises this or that object, finally whole picture compositions with a sometimes surprising love of nuance and detail.  ... The themes that Klumpen depicts seem strangely familiar and unspectacular at first glance. 
After all, who doesn't know the columns of goods in the supermarket with their dangling praise and assortment? Who hasn't reached for a magazine, cigarette, beer or cola at the kiosk, who doesn't know the nearest "kiosk"? Who hasn't swayed in the face of the unfathomable filling, lined up in pairs, as a sign (in the picture) suggests: supposedly "delicious" sausages? Whose eyes and nose were left completely untouched by the horizontally rotating chicken trellis, sweating from fleshy pink to crispy golden yellow?  ... All this, so trivial and therefore easily decipherable it may seem, is of course presented in a manner that is not suitable for anything "realistic". Even if a viewer is familiar with this or that subject, he cannot recognize anything here. For as a genuine painter, Robert Klümpen takes up motifs from everyday life only to stage, by means of their small or large pictorial worlds, worlds that stand out from the familiar reality. In dealing with the elements of life, the artist's motto is: transformation, transformation, but not mimesis, imitation. "Reality" is at best faked, but never copied. The painted canvas offers a different foil than that which the reality of life creates for meaningful self-assurance. Where would you ever find such beautifully empty garbage cans, such clinical kiosk fronts, such a clean chicken grill as in Klümpen's paintings? No dirt, no waste, no dirt disturbs the viewer's enjoyment. Quite neat, quite hygienic, sometimes almost sterile, is the world of this painter, who thus simultaneously banishes the banal and aestheticizes its ugliness without suspending it. ... " (Excerpts from: Hans Peter Thurn, "Present absence" in: Robert Klümpen, Gloria. Exhibition catalogue Fuhrwerkswaage, Cologne 2002).

Catalogue ed. Kunstverein here

Supported by the galleries Tedden (Düsseldorf), Triebold (Basel) and Seippel (Cologne) as well as the city of Neuenhaus and the state of Lower Saxony.