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Stefan Kürten

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Thomas Dane Gallery presents STEFAN KÜRTEN : Say Hello, Wave Goodbye - 3 Feb to 19 Mar 2005


The ten new works to be displayed reveal many of the characteristics that make Kürten’s work so potent and distinctive. Scenes of politely sterile bourgeois life – gated gardens, quiet neighborhoods, forest idylls – are glimpsed through a screen of ornamental motifs. These are inspired by the artist’s collection of vintage wallpapers, and by a prettiness recalled from childrens’ book illustration.



As always in Kürten’s paintings, there are no people, only cryptic evidence of their presence and a melancholic, almost sentimental attention to surfaces. Under the gold or silver metallic paint and the kitsch motifs, Kürten exposes the clichés of ultra-chic modernist architecture, along with the dullness of suburban leisure.


The paintings’ titles add another layer to the palimpsest. Borrowed from slightly dated pop-music playlists – Soft Cell’s Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, or Oasis’ Little by Little, for example – they add a more personal note and, because they are only recently obsolete, contribute to the melancholy.


The tension between the rich, complex surface and the muteness of the scenes behind is disquieting, creating a strange atmosphere typical of Kürten’s work. We find our notions of beauty and good taste disturbed, and are reminded of the fantasies on which we have constructed our fragile private utopias.

Stefan Kürten (b. 1963) lives and works in Düsseldorf, the city of his birth, and also spends part of his time in New York. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Art Institute of San Francisco. Since 1988, he has exhibited his work in Germany and the USA, and in 2003 a solo exhibition of his recent paintings was held in Museum im Kulturspeicher, Würzburg. Kürten’s work will be included in The Triumph of Painting – Part 3 at the Saatchi Gallery.


In 2004, Blue days, black nights, a catalogue with essays by David Frankel and David Gray, was co-published by Alexander and Bonin, New York; Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, Galerie Michael Cosar and Galerie Ute Parduhn, Düsseldorf.

STEFAN KÜRTEN : Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
@ Thomas Dane Gallery
11 Duke Street
SW1Y 6BN
London
St. James
United Kingdom
Europe

T: 0 44 0 20 7925 2505
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w: http://www.thomasdane.com

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