FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jürgen Klauke: Transformer: Photoworks from the 1970s
January 21–February 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 21, 6–8PM
Koenig & Clinton is pleased to present historic works by German artist Jürgen Klauke. Transformer: Photoworks from the 1970s features multiple series that subvert conventional models of gender, self-representation, sexuality, and identity; it is also the artist’s first solo exhibition in a New York gallery.
This presentation includes a selection of color- and black-and-white photographs from distinct bodies of work produced between 1970 and 1976. Klauke’s staged photographs from this period predominantly feature images of the artist as a spectacularly costumed, androgynous, and/or deformed figure. Each suite of images systematically deconstructs the conventional persona of the male artist. Among the works on view, Klauke’s iconic Transformer series captures him in a variety of confrontational poses and gender-ambiguous guises.
Klauke is widely acknowledged as a leading figure in Performance Art and foundational to Body Art. His work has influenced subsequent generations of artists working across media in interdisciplinary practices. His use of cinematographic sequence and the tableau in photography underscores the theatricality of his staged performances, in which the artist’s body serves as a surface for the projection of multiple identities and sexes. As a result, the photographs featuring Klauke’s own body are not self-portraits, but rather, representations of the self as something else.
As noted by art historian, critic, and curator Klaus Honnef, Klauke addresses “the suggestive danger to mental and physical identity through the power of media as well as the developing mechanization of all areas of life – not excluding the area of the human body.”
Since the 1960s, Jürgen Klauke (b. 1943 Kilding/Cochem, Germany) has been using photography, video, and performance to explore identity and gender norms. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at public institutions including: ZKM Museum für neue Kunst, Karlsruhe; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum Ludwig, Köln; Nationalgalerie, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Museum der Moderne,Salzburg; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; Kunsthalle Bielefeld; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf; and Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, among others. Klauke has also been included in group exhibitions internationally at institutions such as: Documenta, Kassel (1977, 1987); Venice Biennale (1980); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou Paris; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Tate Liverpool, United Kingdom, among others. The artist lives and works in Köln, Germany.
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