In his drawings, texts, objects, photographs, and videos, German artist Friedrich Kunath deals with such themes as longing, melancholy, loneliness, wanderlust, and wistfulness from a subjective viewpoint that finds expression in titles like Homesick, I am a stranger here or I may not always love you. He combines personal life experiences with literary, musical, or art historical references into visual, ironic commentaries in various media. The installative total context of his exhibitions forms narrative contexts between the individual pieces that lead to the viewer to a fantastic world of associations.
Kunath regularly references ideas of the Romantic period. And so he betakes himself to the shore and glances off into the distant horizon in an approximation of Caspar David Friedrich complete with his own bed. By employing re-combinations, size differences, omissions, remodelings, overpaintings, and reflections, he creates pictures that are as melancholic as they are hopeful, as absurd as they are humorous.
Friedrich Kunath makes use of the grotesque and exaggerations in his works without clinging to superficial humor. The images and scenes portrayed as sculptures, paintings, or detailed drawings and caricatures are not harmless jokes, but rather ambiguous metaphors for the present. He encounters the question regarding self-positioning in the framework of various cultural influences with knowing irony. His pieces undercut ingrained pictorial traditions and conventions and link seemingly incompatible approaches such as humor and melancholy, narration and abstraction or fiction and reality.
This catalogue is published on the occasion of Kunath's solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Hannover, November 28, 2009–January 24, 2010.
Douglas Fogle, Matthew Thompson, René Zechlin