East Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts is delighted to present a range of existing and new works by ground-breaking artist, Hans-Peter Feldmann. German-born Feldmann has exhibited in many major art venues worldwide and is an important figure in the debate around post-conceptual art. In 2016, Artsy magazine placed Hans-Peter in the world’s top 10 artists, in 2009 Hans-Peter’s work was one of the highlights of the Venice Biennale and in 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Hugo Boss Art Prize. His work is held in collections in the UK (Tate), the USA (Guggenheim, Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington), Denmark (Louisiana Museum) and Spain (MACBA, Museo Reina Sophia, Madrid). This exhibition of Hans-Peter’s work at East Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts will be the first major showing of his creative output in the region and has been curated by Professor Neil Powell.
Hans-Peter is well known for his acerbic appropriation of objects and for making material interventions that are both humorous and insightful. Copies of old master paintings are retouched and don red noses, or display (in)conspicuous tan lines, toys are subverted to cast unsettling shadows, and versions of celebrated sculptures are luridly refigured, Michaelangelo’s David, which features in the show, being just one example.
The appeal of Hans-Peter’s work is broad and well-narrated, but this exhibition includes a representative cross-section of his practice seen against the glazed panorama of East Gallery’s contemporary city centre frontage. The selection of paintings, photography and sculptures utilise the particular nature of the space and provide a showroom for his uniquely interventionist approach to images and objects. His love of the irreverent and spontaneous is never far from the fore.
Hans-Peter’s modified portraits and seascapes also highlight the mutability of history as it is portrayed and perceived through pictorial representations of life. The anonymity of unattributed portraits bring sharply into question the value of art ‘for the record’ or as any kind of safe deposit for familial or maritime heritage.
For East Gallery, the spectacle and humour of the work are appropriate lures for visitors to enter the Gallery, and with David as one of the key components of the show, viewers double take as they are intrigued into an engagement with the deeper - and perhaps more melancholic - elements within the work.
Showing Hans-Peter’s work here in Norwich is a real coup for the city, and is hugely relevant to the history of the region, the University and its long-standing mission to bring the best and most relevant work to audiences here from Europe and beyond.
Our thanks go to the artist for Hans-Peter’s cooperation in staging this exhibition, to Simon Lee Gallery, London and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
East Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts is funded by Norwich University of the Arts. The exhibition is open from Saturday 6 May to Saturday 22 July, Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm. Admission to all exhibitions is free.