Bernhard Sandfort: Dialogic Painting and the Museum of Questions
Exhibition view Bernhard Sandfort
Sat, June 16, 2012 – Sun, September 30, 2012

Bernhard Sandfort (*1936, Cologne) has since the early 1960s – in contrast to art informel and Tachism – realized a strict painterly concept based both on minimalist construction as well as a random process. The large-format and color-rich pictures, which generally have multiple parts, show lines and bars, the order of which is subject, on the one hand, to strict compositional concepts, but on the other hand depends on random principles. In this context, Sandfort formulated the term of the »metastatic« or »dialogic« painting.<br />
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With the opening of the »Galerie für kollektive Kunst« in 1969 in Berlin – the first producer gallery in Germany – the artist’s socio-political engagement began along with his activities as an artist. As a critique of the system of the art market, which was establishing itself then, Sandfort sought a possibility of bringing art to the customer directly and immediately. As a result of this direct marketing attempt, he established in 1970 his producer gallery »Augenladen« in Mannheim. Here, Sandfort organizes – still today – along with exhibitions, also events on socio-political topics. With publicist and public actions such as the 1978 action »Woran merken Sie, dass Sie in der Bundesrepublik in einer Demokratie leben?« [What evidence do you have that you live in a democracy in the Federal Republic?], the artists puts the political status quo up for discussion.<br />
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One of the projects that draws on this and has continued into the present is Sandfort’s virtual »Museum of Questions«. Despite the immense growth in knowledge today, the number of questions – whether on the level of science, politics, or the personal – has not decreased. In the form of a performative questioning, Sandfort has established in Karlsruhe his »Museum of Questions« in the frame of the exhibition at ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art to showcase the current »thirst« for knowledge among the people of Karlsruhe.<br />
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The exhibition, using the three-part presentation, showcases the work of the artist between abstract painting and explicit engagement.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst