Daimler Contemporary presents highways and byways. together again

Daimler Contemporary in Berlin presents highways and byways. together again on view through March 16, 2014.

Nic Hess creates a setting for American art from the Daimler Art Collection:
West Coast—Washington Color School—Systemic Painting—New York Abstraction

Josef Albers (GER), Amish People, Joe Baer, Robert Barry, Karl Benjamin, Greg Bogin, Ilya Bolotowsky (RUS), Krysten Cunningham, Gene Davis, Adolf Richard Fleischmann (GER), Andrea Fraser, Michelle Grabner, Marcia Hafif, Peter Halley, Frederick Hammersley, Michael Heizer, Al Held, Nic Hess (CH), Donald Judd, Alexander Liberman (URK), Sylvan Lionni (GB), John McLaughlin, Kenneth Noland, David Novros, Robert Ryman, Tom Sachs, Oli Sihvonen, John Tremblay, Larry Zox (if not indicated differently: all artists USA)

Ever since the late 1990s, Nic Hess (b. 1968, Switzerland) has been using industrial paint, collaged images and colored tapes, light projections and neon elements to take possession, both intellectually and in real terms, of walls and ceilings—and of entire rooms. The artist takes logos from the commercial world (deployed in symbolic excerpts and in an alienating manner) and icons from art history and political and economic phenomena, and uses his pictorial language, which drifts freely between abstraction, ornamentation and figuration, to compose a unified visual choreography. For this purpose, Nic Hess adapts contemporary phenomena in the political, art-historical or economic context—never without a touch of humor or a critical subtext.

The exhibition at Daimler Contemporary represents a further step in this direction: In collaboration with Renate Wiehager, Nic Hess has staged an exhibition on Abstract art in the USA from 1950 to the present day. Thereby Hess not only creates a drawing installation in a site-specific manner, which responds to the architecture of the Daimler Contemporary space, but for the first time also reacts on contentual assumptions and curatorial specifications.

Until the mid-1980s, the European avant-garde provided the primary focus for the Daimler Art Collection. This was to change in 1986, when Andy Warhol was commissioned to create the series of images titled “CARS.” The collection has since become increasingly open to American contemporary art. The focus is twofold: on the one hand, tendencies in abstraction and in minimalist and reduced art—from the 1950s to the present day—and, on the other hand, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and pieces reflecting critical attitudes to art institutions. Our first exhibition on this theme presents a cross-section of artworks: it begins with Josef Albers’ early years in America and the work of his students, and goes on to include the Los Angeles “Abstract Classicists” school and the “Washington Color School” to Peter Halley and the artistic scenes of the 1990s, concluding with the recent contemporary tendencies.

highways and byways. together again comes along with a substantial supporting program consisting of artists’ talks and guided tours. Free guided tours through the exhibition (available in German and in English on request) will take place every second Saturday at 4pm. Our guided tour “Sculptures at Potsdamer Platz” is open to the public on the same dates at 5pm. For more details on the exhibition, updates and installation views, please see our website.

On the occasion of this exhibition and in close collaboration with the artist, the Daimler Art Collection will publish a comprehensive monograph. The 300 pp. catalogue, edited by Christian Ganzenberg and Renate Wiehager, is conceived as a catalog raisonné, which will summarize about 150 temporary and site-specific drawing installations by Nic Hess for the first time. The publication—available by mid-January—will be published by Snoeck and is going to be presented at Daimler Contemporary.

Daimler Contemporary
Haus Huth
Alte Potsdamer Straße 5
10785 Berlin
Hours: Daily 11am–6pm
Admission free
T +49 (0) 30 259 41 42 0
F +49 (0) 30 259 41 42 9
[email protected]