CARPETBAGGERS (Group show featuring Jan Kath, LELLO//ARNELL, Mark Pearson, Viron Erol Vert). In collaboration with KAMPE 54. 17.05.2019 – 26.07.2019

Press Release
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english / deutsch

With the group show CARPETBAGGERS, featuring Jan Kath, LELLO//ARNELL, Mark Pearson and Viron Erol Vert, Galerie Reinhard Hauff continues its ongoing exploration of the Living With Art theme. Living with art is what we do with the art we love, and what we use it for in our personal universe. In CARPETBAGGERS, the gallery reaches out beyond the confines of the traditional White Cube gallery program, to involve creative minds in the living-with-art business and stimulate open source exchanges with wider audiences. We are delighted to collaborate with KAMPE | 54, Stuttgart, representing Jan Kath, on this exhibition.

We see Carpetbaggers as people navigating new territories in the search of work – Economic Immigrants who make their way out in the world, look around and take stock of what’s available, what’s needed and how they can make something new and useful out of what they find. And that fits the outlook, courage and creative visions of the artists in the CARPETBAGGERS show. The artists all experiment with traditional arts and crafts and age-old creative processes – ideas first promoted in a modern spirit by the Bauhaus School a hundred years ago. Jan Kath, who as a young man travelled to India, Nepal, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Marocco – countries with a long tradition of carpet weaving –, sought out the best of the best of what in the meantime had been relegated to "old-fashioned", and then fast-forwarded the timeless luxurious feel and looks of oriental carpets into contemporary interiors. The intriguing allure of top-quality materials and craftmanship with innovative upgrades to historical designs as in Mamluk Temple Double Sky, Tabriz Canal Aerial and Tabriz Fashion Artwork make contemporary audiences want to look at and live with carpets – again. In the meantime, Jan Kath carpets cover floors all over the world. In this show, an unusual carpet installation with layers upon layers of carpets piling up on the floors in the gallery rooms makes the floor come alive, become important and basically takes over the room. Norwegian Artist duo LELLO//ARNELL consistently play around with furniture and interior decoration basics from lamps, to carpets, to chairs and mirrors, in the process transforming the plain and simple into the playful and sophisticated. Particularly mirrors have inspired a departure from simply reflecting and mirroring. There is an – unintentional – parallel here to the ancient Persian tradition of ornamental wall-to-wall mirror, metal and glass mosaics decorating mosque and palace interiors. LELLO//ARNELL’s form language, however, is cool, abstract, (Nordic) modernism. LELLO//ARNELL’s large mirror installations Apophenia transform walls to dazzling, vibrant surfaces, animating in a most dynamic and intriguing way the reflections of carpets, paintings and light objects in interior spaces. In large public buildings and town squares in their homeland, official commissions have made the duo famous. Their public installations and art works are among the most photographed and circulated on social media. Street artist graffiti compositions by UK artist Mark Pearson, wallpaper the exhibition rooms with colourful activist slogans such as The UK Sucks and Blitz / UK Waste and a display of stencilled multipurpose buzz words like Super, Xtra and Ultra. A group of black and white collages treat in an ornamental way ominous references to pollution and climate change: Carbon ist für immer and Für Immer. These patterned compositions find odd visual soulmates in Jan Kath’s black and white Ferrara Special Rocked silk carpets. More recent works stencilled and collaged on denim American Mean and State System State Control refer to current populist sentiments of anger and frustration. Berlin Artist Viron Erol Vert, who just returned from the prestigious Villa Romana scholarship, has consistently worked on multi-culti tolerance and cultural exchange ideas, not only since his first solo show at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart curated by Adnan Yildiz in 2014. Although he has worked with carpets in his 2014 show 5 billion solar years..:::.. at the gallery, he provides the light sculpture Sibling Love for this show, repurposing crystal chandeliers from his Istanbul grandparents’ home. This light sculpture was first shown in Viron Erol Vert. Born in the Purple at the Kunstraum Bethanien/Kreuzberg, Berlin, 2017. The light dis-colours the ambient air, divorcing the chandeliers from their primary purpose and adds that touch of the unnecessary which is the luxury of Art (text: Elisabeth Hauff.)

For more information about all the participants in this show please see www.jan-kath.de, www.kampe54.de and www.reinhardhauff.de.