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Works between vortices and vulnerable beings

2001-11-14 Werke zwischen Wirbeln und verletzlichen Wesen
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Wolf and Valentiner were squeezed into one exhibition.

Siegburg - When two artist friends create very contrasting works, one with an expressive narrative attitude, the other making formal conceptual works, then a joint exhibition is perhaps not a good idea. Here Walter Wolf fabulates colourfully and painterly opulently, there Peter Valentiner varies computer-aided abstract black-and-white graphics. It becomes apparent that the two works do not fit together. They are not opposites, but unrelated, and this creates no tension.

Nevertheless, the Stadtmuseum places Valentiner and Wolf next to each other with the claim that this is one exhibition, There are two. Valentiner's part is less interesting because his concept and procedure are quite simple. He neatly inks out circled areas in black and white, reminiscent of exercises in an advanced class. He puts the whole thing into a more or less strong rotation around the centre and calls it a "hurricane". Many kids like to do this kind of thing on their PCs. 30 acurate whirls hang on the wall, stretched out to large formats - and they obscure the view more than they open it up to new dimensions.

In contrast, Wolf's paintings are more exciting: in the style of Art Brut, he depicts scenes of birth and death or has mysterious "Black Magic Smokers" appear. He exhibits a "Deposition from the Cross" and a collection of gloomy, destroyed heads. Walter Wolf's figures are vulnerable beings. Pathos and playfulness enter into a remarkable, ironically broken combination in these pictures. Colouring and drawing - often scratched into the paint - as well as collage parts provide aesthetic appeal.

Stadtmuseum, until 2 December; open daily except Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm, Sundays until 6 pm.

Jürgen Röhrig


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