8 June - 10 September 2016
On Wednesday 8 June, 2016, an exhibition of work by Gregor Schneider will open in the Guido Costa Projects gallery in via Mazzini 24, Turin. The exhibition showcases a selection of the most representative works of his production in recent decades. All pieces, patiently and passionately collected from inside and outside Europe, are part of a private collection rightly considered to be the most important in the world dedicated to the artist.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see small- and medium-sized artworks alongside a detailed photographic documentation of the famous HAUS u r project realised in Rheydt in the second half of the 1980s. This project was awarded the Leone d’Oro for best national contribution when rebuilt in the German pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. It is still considered to be the artist’s opus magnum and one of the most important German works of art since World War II.
The Rheydt house, a sort of contemporary version of the famous Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters, is a unique synthesis of painting, sculpture, installation and architecture. This vertiginous, kinaesthetic experience leads visitors into an emotional labyrinth where they feel surprise, fear, pleasure and disgust, whose combined energy exposes the voyeuristic nature of the relationship between art and user.
Over the years, Gregor Schneider’s widely discussed house has attracted as many supporters as it has equally staunch detractors. It has assumed iconic proportions in his own personal history as an artist as well as profoundly influencing a very fertile period in recent art history where passive observation on the part of the public became fully-fledged interaction and participation.
Although it is impossible not to be moved by the work of Gregor Schneider, you may find yourself eager to move away from its claustrophobic influence - either way, it forces you to take a stance. Work of this kind poses a huge challenge and risk for the artist, who has dealt with both by making creator and artwork one and the same. Schneider overcame the danger inherent in this way of working brilliantly by embarking on a long and prolific career that has seen him escape from the house-trap via a series of equally powerful works, created over the last fifteen years in different parts of the world.
The Turin exhibition rekindles the atmosphere in the Rheydt, Unterheydenerstrasse house with the help of a series of key fragments from the original (simple furniture and decorations, anonymous sections of walls and a series of photographs documenting the construction and assemblage of the original environments) that take us back to the earlier, agonising descent into the artist's nightmares. Looming over the whole scene in this genuine dramatis personae is the uncanny presence of the inhabitants, closely bound by Christian and surnames, and their shared history. In this instance, Schneider skilfully doses the level of ambiguity in his spaces, exposing our imagination little by little to complex details of family histories, changes of ownership and mysterious acts of violence. Playing as it does with a semblance of truth, this artwork caused not a little anguish in many visitors to HAUS u r, who worried about intruding upon Hannelor Reuen, the mysterious landlady, and disturbing her as she toiled away with her housework.
We are, therefore, very pleased to be able to offer the public a rare opportunity to see so many pieces by Gregor Schneider gathered together in a single exhibition outside the Rheydt house.
My Private, the Collection that has provided the pieces to create this exhibition, has the same unique characteristics and complexity as the original works that were passionately collected over many years. The Collection of work by Gregor Schneider, arguably the most complete and articulate in the world, give us with a clear insight into the work of the artist thanks to the rigour with which individual artworks were sought out and selected in accordance with the strictest selective principles. The result is a genuine, living Collection, built as a result of precise and theoretical concepts of taste, often informed directly with consultations on the part of the artist.
The Gregor Schneider exhibition will remain open to the public during gallery opening hours until 10 September 2016.
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Gregor Schneider (Rheydt, 1969) is one of the most well known German artists alive today. He made his debut under the auspices of Konrad Fischer in his famous Dusseldorf gallery, where he immediately achieved public and critical acclaim. He has taken part in many solo and group shows in all five continents, and his work can be found in the most important galleries, museums and private contemporary art collections around the world. In 2001, while still in his early thirties, he represented Germany at the 49° Biennale di Venezia, where HAUS u r was awarded the Leone d'Oro prize for best national pavilion. Even though he has produced numerous other artworks and extremely complex projects over the years, HAUS u r is still alive, inhabited and continually changing.