January 26th, 2009

René Luckhardt at Bernd Kugler

Artist: René Luckhardt

Venue: Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck

Exhibition Title: La vie printanière

Date: January 24 – February 28, 2009

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Press Release:

„The spring like life” is for René Luckhardt not primarily a large concept, rather a large picture. La vie printanière stands out from the other paintings due to its size of approx. 5 x 2.5 m. This area is for the most part only thinly covered with colour, which lets the white background shine through and is left blank in many places. More than just a showplace, a whole world opens up within this exhibition. It is not for nothing that La vie printanière gives the exhibition its title.

A round dance circles a centre. A complete work of art bundles all the rays from its periphery into an altarpiece for example. In the exhibition La vie printanière there is so little architectural, so little iconographic to read that in contrast every picture finds its place and its sense in that which makes it stand out from the others. Therefore the large picture not only has the title of the exhibition, it also really contains the period of time that René Luckhardt opens up.

A time frame in painting is a light space. The Woman who recurs in several paintings as the “Grandmother”, opens up this light space in La vie printanière. The old woman’s breasts in the upper middle of the picture droop onto a yellow circle, which flows downwards and protrudes from the three young women. If the old woman is immersed in the golden lights, which illuminate her face from below, the three lying, crouching, sitting women are presented in an uneasy light like in a night club. Their agitated posing lets their individuality and injury emerge much more than it fractures it. The return to the unit, which was first composed if you like in the knots in the old woman’s hair, succeeds only in abandoning the awareness that what the old woman is immersed in, is realised in the young ones. In the blooms which encompass the composition spherically to the left and right, the round dance which immerses people in unhappiness, disengages itself.

The picture therefore embodies the idea of emanation in a new way: The one but feminine awareness is immersed in another, but equally her own being. This being is divided into three. The division is unhappiness, in that women are only for men and viewers. This unhappy awareness is freed in the round dance of the blooms. This is a contrast between the cumbersome, depraved body weight of the women on the ground and the exhilarated rise of the plants which unite somewhere above with the awareness, which it all starts from!

The idea of emanation, that everything comes from one place, suffers and is released, in that it finds itself back there, is nothing new. René Luckhardt however formulates this in a little known way: the fact that the one corresponding awareness is the one woman. The course of things is inverted: after age follows youth and after youth follows the bloom. And no human optimism reaches as far as what the picture tells us: an inversion of innocence, literally an inverted deflowering.

The idea of emanation combines the appearance of things with their origin. This combination corresponds to the combination of that which Wolfgang Schöne calls day light and illumination light in painting. In La vie printanière this combination is palpable in the yellow middle of the picture and its reflection on the countenance of the woman. The time frame which corresponds to this light room is not only historically the time lag between Cimabue and Giotto. This time lag is also called Renaissance, and so René Luckhardt is reformulating this Renaissance: Life which is spring like is also always the life of spring.

Berthold Reiß

Link: René Luckhardt at Bernd Kugler

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