Chuck Close: Richard (Serra), 1969 © Chuck Close. Foto: Ludwig Forum Aachen /Ellen Page Wilson
Hyper Real – Art and America around 1970, the largest exhibition project to date in the 20-year history of the Ludwig Forum, forms a visual memorial to the American way of life. The exhibition combines 250 works from 100 artists, never before seen together and in this abundance in Germany. Dr. Brigitte Franzen and Anna Sophia Schultz have located photorealism around 1970, temporally, aesthetically, and socially, in the context of parallel artistic currents, such as Pop art, conceptual art, land art and the work of the “New Topographics.” Events such as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Oil Crisis formed the historical context of the artistic debates in this period.
Almost concurrently with the photorealist artists, photographers also began to address the excessive visual worlds of the USA, its consumer culture, landscapes, suburbs, and industrial areas. The exhibition brings together ten of photography’s most influential figures: Lewis Baltz, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Mitch Epstein, Lee Friedlander, Saul Leiter, Joel Meyerowitz, Stephen Shore, Larry Sultan, Henry Wessel, and Garry Winogrand.
Mitch Epstein: Massachusetts Turnpike, 1973
Aus der Serie "Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988"
© Mitch Epstein. Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Köln
Hyper Real creates a bridge connecting the visual worlds of pop, stars, and the media, for instance in the work of Lichtenstein and Warhol, to the controversy surrounding a new realism and the meaning of individual thematic areas, such as city and countryside, at documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972, to subsequent perspectives of realism in the works of, for instance, Basquiat, Haring, Koons, and Demand. A film program as well as historical posters, books, music and album covers, presented in the architectural heart of the exhibition, open up additional perspectives on the everyday life of 1970’s America and the prevailing attitude to life.
The exhibition is jointly supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Kulturstiftung der Länder, and by the Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung.