Photo Credit

PRESS CONTACT

On this page, we have compiled all media-related information and press documents regarding exhibitions at the Fridericianum. Please contact us if you have any questions, require additional material, or would like to schedule an interview:

Press Contact:
documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH
Head of Communication and Marketing
Johanna Köhler
+49 561 70727-2520 / press@fridericianum.org

Communication Fridericianum
Naomi Deutschmann
+49 561 70727-2526 / press@fridericianum.org

Press Releases

  • May 7, 2020, Press Release
    Reopening

    The Fridericianum to reopen. Forrest Bess exhibition to be extended. New education formats and special projects go online. Karl Holmqvist starts realization of the artwork Existential Staircase/Existenzielles Treppenhaus.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2020, sees the Fridericianum open to the public again. Furthermore, in view of the positive feedback and international media response, the exhibition on the life and work of Forrest Bess has been extended until September 6, 2020.

    In order to further convey the work of this visionary painter, the Fridericianum is now offering live guided tours of the exhibition via Instagram on Wednesdays (5 pm / in English) and Sundays (3 pm / in German). The series FF – Live at the Fridericianum, which normally includes performances, concerts, and lectures, is also launching an alternative, digital program. Every month, the website (www.fridericianum.org) as well as the museum’s social networks will publish specially produced short films by international artists such as Juliette Blightman (Great Britain), Keren Cytter (Israel), Dan Bodan (Canada) and Yu Ji (Hong Kong), who have responded in a variety of creative ways to the current situation caused by the pandemic. Taking a similar approach is a special project by Swedish artist Karl Holmqvist. Following the museum’s reopening, Holmqvist will proceed with the realization of a site-specific work Existential Staircase/Existenzielles Treppenhaus in the stairwell of the building, providing legitimate space  for questions around meaning.

    Commenting on these developments, Director Moritz Wesseler said: “We are happy the Fridericianum can finally be opened to visitors again. Furthermore, we have managed to extend the much-acclaimed Forrest Bess exhibition and initiate a multifaceted, digital education program. Art and culture are important components of social life. We hope that through our activities we will be able to contribute to the development of alternative perspectives and new freedom of thought against the backdrop of the current discussion about the pandemic—in Kassel and far beyond.”

    In order to protect the Fridericianum’s audience from the coronavirus (COVID-19), certain safety rules apply during visits. These include limiting the number of visitors, respecting social distancing rules, and adhering to hygiene regulations. Separate information about the reopening of the café will be provided at a future date. Further information on these measures can be found on the website (www.fridericianum.org) and by calling the following information hotline: + 49 (0)561- 70727-20.

    Digital Tours: Wednesdays (5 pm / in English) and Sundays (3 pm / in German) via Instagram Live: @fridericianum
    FF – Digital: Currently: Juliette Blightman (Great Britain); May: Keren Cytter (Israel); June: Dan Bodan (Canada); July: Yu Ji (China).
    Karl Holmqvist Existential Staircase/Existenzielles Treppenhaus: Once the realization process is complete, the project will be presented at a press event, to which you will receive a separate invitation.

  • Jan 31, 2020, Press Invitation
    Forrest Bess at the Fridericianum

    Forrest Bess
    February 15 – May 3, 2020
    Opening: Friday, February 14, 2020, 7 pm

    Press Preview: Thursday, February 13, 2020, 11 am

    Speakers:
    Dr. Sabine Schormann, General Director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH
    Moritz Wesseler, Director of the Fridericianum

    We look forward to your participation. Please register under press@fridericianum.org.

    The Fridericianum presents the first exhibition of the work of American painter Forrest Bess in Germany for over thirty years

    The exhibition at the Fridericianum presents the remarkable and unusual work of Forrest Bess to a wider German audience for the first time since 1989. By featuring over seventy works from institutional and private collections, the artist’s development is mapped from his early conventional, figurative formulations through to his so-called “visionary” paintings—the biomorphic abstractions—that make up the main body of his work. Furthermore, by exhibiting selected correspondence and other archival material, Bess’s biography is carefully traced while at the same time providing a background to his art theoretical approaches, the handling of his homosexuality, and his theories of hermaphroditism. This insight into the life and work of an artist who has found a considerable following among contemporary artists, such as Tomma Abts, James Benning, Robert Gober, Richard Hawkins, Henrik Olesen, and Amy Sillman, strongly highlights Bess’s relevance to the present day.

    Forrest Bess: Life and Work

    The painter Forrest Bess, born in 1911 in Bay City, Texas, where he also died in 1977, is considered an outstanding yet little understood figure in American postwar art. Both his work and lifestyle conformed little to the conventions of the day. He thus led a rather secluded existence from the second half of the 1940s on the Gulf of Mexico where he worked as a catcher and seller of fish bait. During this time, Bess began to systematically produce small-format paintings which encapsulated “visions” that appeared to him on the threshold between waking and sleep. These works, which he exhibited fairly regularly from 1951, feature symbols, shapes, and spaces that are not clearly decipherable and which can be located in the field of biomorphic abstractions. For Bess, subconscious experiences and humanity’s collective memory manifested themselves in these pictorial worlds. Accordingly, he pursued the exploration of his visions like an intense piece of research. He studied texts on mythology, art history, psychology, and sexual science that he articulated in countless records and correspondence without ever unravelling the mystery of his creativity. Over time he came to the conclusion that he could attain immortality by uniting the male and the female. In the 1950s this belief ultimately led to personal medical interventions on his own genitals, through which he tried to become a pseudo-hermaphrodite.
    For Bess artistic work was closely related to life itself, which, conveyed with his intensity and specificity, can be seen as a feature distinguishing him from artists like Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, or Clyfford Still—who like him exhibited at the legendary Betty Parsons Gallery. However, it is not only from this perspective that we can discern a difference to these artists who are today considered the main exponents of Abstract Expressionism. The intimate format of Bess’s paintings is in direct contrast to the monumentality of his colleagues’ works. Furthermore, his work is neither marked by a recognizable style nor characterized by any form of stringent development. Even though Bess’s works, as abstractions, fit perfectly into the context of contemporary art history, his “visionary” pictures nevertheless tread their very own path. It is precisely this aspect that has played a considerable role in making him a point of reference for generations of subsequent artists.

    After his death Bess gained recognition in the form of various institutional solo exhibitions. Marking the start of this was a presentation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1981, followed by a touring exhibition in 1988 to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the San José Museum of Art in San José, concluding at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 1989. This was followed in 2013–14 by the exhibition Seeing Things Invisible which toured to the Menil Collection in Houston, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, as well as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Together with Robert Gober’s initiated juxtaposition of Bess’s writings and works in the context of the Whitney Biennial 2012, the tour formed a high point in the reception of this visionary painter. The exhibition at the Fridericianum follows on from these shows and, for the first time since 1989, updates the reception of Forrest Bess’s work in the German context.

    The exhibition is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

  • Oct 22, 2019, Press Release
    Press Release and -Invitation: Rachel Rose

    Exhibition: Rachel Rose
    October 26, 2019–January 12, 2020
    Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel, Germany

    Press preview: Friday, October 25, 2019, 11.30 am (the artist will be present)
    Opening: Friday, October 25, 2019, 7 pm
    Please register at: press@fridericianum.org

    In Rachel Rose’s first large-scale solo exhibition in Germany, the artist (born New York, 1986) will present a selection of her video installations and a new series of sculptures at the Fridericianum in Kassel.
    In recent years, Rose has quickly risen to prominence for her compelling video installations and films. This selective overview of Rose’s practice, which focuses on moving images, is comprised of five works: Sitting Feeding Sleeping (2013), Everything and More (2015), Lake Valley (2016), Autoscopic Egg (2017), and Wil-o-Wisp (2018). Complemented by a group of new sculptures, this makes the exhibition at the Fridericianum the largest presentation of the artist’s work to date. 
    Not only characteristic of Rose’s approach to art making, these works can be seen as individualized responses to subject matter particular to her interests. While these differ in each, she often explores how our relationship to landscape, storytelling, and belief systems are inseparably linked to one another. From supernaturalism in the modern era in Wil-o-Wisp to possible futures put forward by contemporary sciences in Sitting Feeding Sleeping, the artist reveals commonalities toward concepts of mortality. Meanwhile, works such as Lake Valley and Everything and More imagine alternate sensory experiences – from abandonment in children’s stories to zero gravity in outer space – that contribute to our understanding of what it means to be human. As such, this exhibition traces how Rose visualizes fundamentally existential concerns, using the past to address how present conditions shape our conceptions of impermanence.

    Rose uses a wide range of filmic techniques to realize her work. From collaging footage to, most recently, narrative filmmaking, she draws from and contributes to a long history of cinematic innovation. Yet, irrespective of these different approaches, the artist has developed a consistent method of projection and installation to immerse and affect the viewer’s physical and psychological experience of moving image and sound.
    Alongside her moving image works, a new series of sculptural objects made from glass and various minerals will be shown at the Fridericianum. These originate from the egg form, which often appears in Rose’s work; most recently as physical manifestations featured in Autoscopic Egg and the glass-blown lenses Optical Eggs (2018–19) that accompany the video installation of Wil-o-Wisp. From the collectively titled series Born (2019–), nine specially produced pieces will be displayed in a separate oval-shaped room designed specifically for this exhibition. While the symbol of the egg is typically regarded as a sign of fertility, reproduction, and transformation, these sculptures nevertheless encapsulate Rose’s working methodology since they are derived from and connect to several key aspects of her recent practice, namely the history of glass, topography, and the collaging of materials – subjects and techniques she often revisits.

  • May 28, 2019, Press Invitation
    Fridericianum kicks off exhibition program with Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle

    Exhibitions
    Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
    Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
    June 6 to September 8, 2019

    Press Preview: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 11.30 am
    Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel

    Speakers:
    Welcome address: Dr. Sabine Schormann, Director Genaral documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH
    Introduction: Moritz Wesseler, Director Fridericianum
    Exhibition tour with Moritz Wesseler
    We look forward to your participation.
    Please register under press@fridericianum.org

    The Exhibitions:
    The exhibitions “Deserto-Modelo” by Lucas Arruda and “Euphoric Recall“ by Ron Nagle mark the beginning of the program put together by the new Fridericianum director Moritz Wesseler.
    With Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle, the Fridericianum is presenting two artists who represent very disparate aspects of current art production and who are at decidedly different phases in the development of their artistic/intellectual voices.
    Whereas the former’s chosen path is painting, he hails from South America and by the time he had reached his early 30s had already formulated a remarkably lucid oeuvre, one which is now starting to receive international attention, the latter is a sculptor, has his roots in North America and with a consistent oeuvre spanning six decades can be considered a master of his métier. What they have in common is a passionate and even obsessive devotion to their chosen themes and areas of work, which accounts for the singularity of the art they produce.
    The presentation of the work of Arruda and Nagle will be followed, in October 2019, by a comprehensive show of the oeuvre of artist Rachel Rose, who was born in 1986 and works with time-based media and sculpture, and in February 2020 by an exhibition of the work of painter Forrest Bess, who died in 1977. It will be the largest European show on Bess’ work in over 30 years. As such, with his new program for the Fridericianum Moritz Wesseler is on the one hand focusing attention on those artists who have to date been denied a platform in Germany in the institutional context, and, on the other, offering everyone an opportunity to rediscover historical positions that were for a long time obscured, despite having great relevance for current discourse.

    Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
    “Deserto-Modelo” is the title of the Fridericianum’s presentation of the first larger-scale institutional solo show by the artist Lucas Arruda, who was born in São Paulo in 1983.
    Arruda’s work comprises paintings, prints, light installations, slide projections and films. It reflects his intensive, dedicated examination of a wide spectrum of subjects, ranging from the conceptual framework of the genre that is painting to the existential conditions of life itself.
    A particular feature of Arruda’s praxis is his portrayal of landscapes and seascapes, although his work never references specific locations. On the contrary, he is concerned with capturing those imaginary places evoked by thoughts of landscapes and seascapes, and with looking into the light conditions, atmospheres and emotions connected with them.
    However, many of his works are characterized by such a degree of abstraction that the reference to a landscape is only suggested by the horizon lines that are present to varying extents.
    Independent of the degree of their legibility, his visual formulations give rise to a moment of deceleration and concentration, which, in these increasingly fast-paced times we live in, takes us by surprise and, with its insistent yet peaceful power, raises not least the question as to which rhythms life follows in this globalized world.

    Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
    For more than six decades now, Ron Nagle has been producing works characterized by the fact that they manifest a maximum height of 20 cm. Despite their limited heights, these works, made among other things of ceramics, plastics, glazing agents and car paint, boast a presence and an effect which could hardly be more impressive.
    This accounts for the unique status of Nagle’s work within the sculpture genre and results from his works’ interplay of unusual shapes, diverse colors and tactile surfaces. Accordingly, in his objects, shapes with an organic feel to them meet architectural elements, brightly gleaming colors are confronted with unobtrusive, restrained hues and rough, porous surfaces contrasted with high-gloss ones.
    His work is not only uncommonly fresh, soulful and sophisticated; it is also mysterious and sometimes surreal. Nagle moreover provides his work with additional levels of meaning by furnishing it with elaborate titles which are usually characterized by a great propensity for wordplay and humor.
    “Euphoric Recall“ at the Fridericianum is the first solo show in Germany by Nagle, who was born in San Francisco in 1939. An artist book is being published to mark the show, which is being realized in cooperation with the Vienna Secession.

  • Apr 30, 2019, Press Release
    Fridericianum kicks off exhibition program with Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle

    Exhibitions
    Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
    Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
    June 6 to September 8, 2019

    Press preview: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 11.30 am
    Opening: Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 7 pm

    The exhibitions “Deserto-Modelo” by Lucas Arruda and “Euphoric Recall“ by Ron Nagle mark the beginning of the program put together by the new Fridericianum director Moritz Wesseler.

    With Lucas Arruda and Ron Nagle, the Fridericianum is presenting two artists who represent very disparate aspects of current art production and who are at decidedly different phases in the development of their artistic/intellectual voices. Whereas the former’s chosen path is painting, he hails from South America and by the time he had reached his early 30s had already formulated a remarkably lucid oeuvre, one which is now starting to receive international attention, the latter is a sculptor, has his roots in North America and with a consistent oeuvre spanning six decades can be considered a master of his métier. What they have in common is a passionate and even obsessive devotion to their chosen themes and areas of work, which accounts for the singularity of the art they produce.
    The presentation of the work of Arruda and Nagle will be followed, in October 2019, by a comprehensive show of the oeuvre of artist Rachel Rose, who was born in 1986 and works with time-based media and sculpture, and in February 2020 by an exhibition of the work of painter Forrest Bess, who died in 1977. It will be the largest European show on Bess’ work in over 30 years. As such, with his new program for the Fridericianum Moritz Wesseler is on the one hand focusing attention on those artists who have to date been denied a platform in Germany in the institutional context, and, on the other, offering everyone an opportunity to rediscover historical positions that were for a long time obscured, despite having great relevance for current discourse.

    Lucas Arruda “Deserto-Modelo”
    “Deserto-Modelo” is the title of the Fridericianum’s presentation of the first larger-scale institutional solo show by the artist Lucas Arruda, who was born in São Paulo in 1983. Arruda’s work comprises paintings, prints, light installations, slide projections and films. It reflects his intensive, dedicated examination of a wide spectrum of subjects, ranging from the conceptual framework of the genre that is painting to the existential conditions of life itself.
    A particular feature of Arruda’s praxis is his portrayal of landscapes and seascapes, although his work never references specific locations. On the contrary, he is concerned with capturing those imaginary places evoked by thoughts of landscapes and seascapes, and with looking into the light conditions, atmospheres and emotions connected with them. However, many of his works are characterized by such a degree of abstraction that the reference to a landscape is only suggested by the horizon lines that are present to varying extents. Independent of the degree of their legibility, his visual formulations give rise to a moment of deceleration and concentration, which, in these increasingly fast-paced times we live in, takes us by surprise and, with its insistent yet peaceful power, raises not least the question as to which rhythms life follows in this globalized world.

    Ron Nagle “Euphoric Recall“
    For more than six decades now, Ron Nagle has been producing works characterized by the fact that they manifest a maximum height of 20 cm. Despite their limited heights, these works, made among other things of ceramics, plastics, glazing agents and car paint, boast a presence and an effect which could hardly be more impressive. This accounts for the unique status of Nagle’s work within the sculpture genre and results from his works’ interplay of unusual shapes, diverse colors and tactile surfaces. Accordingly, in his objects, shapes with an organic feel to them meet architectural elements, brightly gleaming colors are confronted with unobtrusive, restrained hues and rough, porous surfaces contrasted with high-gloss ones. His work is not only uncommonly fresh, soulful and sophisticated; it is also mysterious and sometimes surreal. Nagle moreover provides his work with additional levels of meaning by furnishing it with elaborate titles which are usually characterized by a great propensity for wordplay and humor.
    “Euphoric Recall“ at the Fridericianum is the first solo show in Germany by Nagle, who was born in San Francisco in 1939. An artist book is being published to mark the show, which is being realized in cooperation with the Vienna Secession.

Press Images

Please use this material only in the context of current reporting on the Fridericianum and include all captions and copyright information provided upon publication. A maximum of 72 dpi is allowed for Internet publications.

Forrest Bess
February 15 – September 6, 2020

Forrest Bess: Untitled (No. 5), 1949 © The artist and Collection Mickey Cartin

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (#6), 1957 © The artist. Privatsammlung / Private collection, Courtesy Modern Art, London, Foto / Photo: Robert Glowacki

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (#11), 1957 © The artist. Privatsammlung / Private collection, Courtesy Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, Foto / Photo: Kent Pell

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (The Spider), 1970 © The artist. Privatsammlung / Private collection, Courtesy Modern Art, London, Foto / Photo: Robert Glowacki

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (No. 13), 1950 © The artist. Privatsammlung / Private collection, New York, Foto / Photo: Stewart Clements

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (No. 7), 1957 © The artist. Privatsammlung / Private collection, Courtesy Modern Art, London, Foto / Photo: Robert Glowacki

Download

Forrest Bess: Untitled (No. 31), 1951 © The artist. Courtesy Andrew Masullo, Foto / Photo: Wilfred J. Jones

Download

Richard Hawkins: Proposal for a monument, 2019 © Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York, Foto / Photo: Marten Elde

Download

James Benning: After Bess, 2014 © James Benning. Courtesy the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Download

Photo of Forrest Bess, 1956 © Kirk Hopper

Download

Forrest Bess, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation view, © Fridericianum, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Forrest Bess, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation view, © Fridericianum, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Forrest Bess, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation view, © Fridericianum, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Forrest Bess, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation view, © Fridericianum, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Forrest Bess, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation view, © Fridericianum, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Rachel Rose

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

© Fridericianum, Ausstellungsansicht / Installation View „Rachel Rose“, Foto / Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Download

Rachel Rose: Lake Valley, 2016, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome

Download

Rachel Rose: Sitting Feeding Sleeping, 2013, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome 

Download

Rachel Rose: Sitting Feeding Sleeping, 2013, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome

Download

Rachel Rose: Everything and More, 2015, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome

Download

Rachel Rose: Everything and More, 2015, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome

Download

Rachel Rose: Autoscopic Egg, 2017, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome, Foto / Photo: Lance Brewer

Download

Rachel Rose: Autoscopic Egg, 2017, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome, Foto / Photo: Lance Brewer

Download

Rachel Rose: Wil-o-Wisp, 2018, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome 

Download

Rachel Rose: Wil-o-Wisp, 2018, Still, © Rachel Rose, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London und / and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome

Download

Rachel Rose, Foto / Photo: Landon Nordeman

Download

Fridericianum

Foto / Photo: Nils Klinger

Download

Moritz Wesseler, Köln 2018, © Albrecht Fuchs, Köln

Download