Museum Gunzenhauser
17. Jul 2021 – 6. Feb 2022



The Gunzenhauser Museum will draw on the holdings of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz so as to mount a special exhibition devoted to the colour black, the international code for which is #000000. Black is the colour of night, death, magic and misfortune. Everything ends in black, decay and decomposition. In physics, black is the colour of a non-luminous object that absorbs light. From the viewpoint of depth psychology, black is the absolute border at which life ends; the idea of nothingness. In western cultures above all, black is linked with death, mourning and fear.

Antiquity counted black, along with white, among the basic colours. To this very day, black is an essential component of art; Kasimir Malevich’s pictorial representation of the “feeling of objectlessness”, the Black Square (1915), is an icon in the realm of painting. Artists allot various functions to black. The artists in the exhibition use black in different functions: to represent vacuum and emptiness, light and shadow. Black is used to visualise life, death, violence and fear, to depict volume, mass and weight, to show three-dimensionality and depth or for an objective documentation in photography.

Artists in the exhibition:
Karl Heinz Adler, Horst Bartnig, Willi Baumeister, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Erwin Bechtold, Hermann Glöckner, Eberhard Göschel, Volker Hildebrandt, Ion-Ilarion Isaila, Werner Knaup, Michael Morgner, Georg Karl Pfahler, Otto Piene, Arnulf Rainer, Richard Serra, K.R.H. Sonderborg, Fred Thieler, May Voigt


Karl Heinz Adler, Schwebende Elemente - zwei zerstörte Quadrate neu formiert, 1993, Handdruck in Silberbronze auf schwarzem Karton, kollagiert auf dunkelgrauer Pressspanplatte, 100 x 140 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Foto: Archiv © © Courtesy Nachlass Karl-Heinz Adler
Karl Heinz Adler
Schwebende Elemente - zwei zerstörte Quadrate neu formiert, 1993
Eberhad Göschel, Chemnitzer Konvolut Nr. 9, 2003, Öl auf Leinwand, 153 x 210 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Foto: PUNCTUM/Bertram Kober © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
Eberhad Göschel
Chemnitzer Konvolut Nr. 9, 2003
Willi Baumeister, Taru-Turi, 1954, Öl mit Kunstharz und Sand auf Hartfaserplatte, 54 x 65 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz-Museum Gunzenhauser, Eigentum der Stiftung Gunzenhauser, Chemnitz, Foto: PUNCTUM/Bertram Kober © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
Willi Baumeister
Taru-Turi, 1954
Bernd und Hilla Becher, Silo für Kohle, Big Pit Colliery, Blaenavon, Südwales, 1966, Silbergelatine Baryt, 39,8 x 30,1 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021
Bernd und Hilla Becher
Silo für Kohle, Big Pit Colliery, Blaenavon, Südwales, 1966
Richard Serra, Hreppholar IV, 1991, Radierung mit Intaglio-Konstruktion, 79,4 x 101 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Foto: Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz/László Tóth © 2021 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Richard Serra
Hreppholar IV, 1991