The Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was an artist with a mission. The exhibition showed his highly topical opinions towards ecology and sustainable architecture in connection with his colorful paintings, graphic works, design and activist way of living. He was an artist who fought, throughout his life, for individual freedom, and wished for harmony between nature and humans.
The Hundertwasser exhibition inspired us to present works from the museum’s collection that revolved around the human relationship to and view of nature. The artists take different looks at the sensuous, wildly growing and sometimes constructed nature that surrounds us.
From virtuoso figure painting to cool conceptual art. The exhibition turned the spotlight on contemporary art from Cluj, Romania, with a selection of artists who work in a variety of media and idioms. The participating artists were Marius Bercea, Răzvan Botiş, Radu Cioca, Radu Comşa, Adrian Ghenie, Dan Măciucă, Ciprian Mureşan, Cristi Pogăcean, and Şerban Savu.
The memory of growing up in a Communist regime until 1989 and the transition to a new societal system are recurring themes for some artists. Others are preoccupied for example with investigating the formal and conceptual language of art across the boundaries of painting, performance, sculpture, video art and drawing. Common to all, though, is a strong historical consciousness of both the political history of Europe and the history of art.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was an outstanding artist and a passionate power woman. Strong and independent, she was an inspirational role model. The exhibition offered a look at Kahlo’s oeuvre through a number of her most iconic self-portraits, drawings, pages from her diary as well as jewelry and dresses from her time. The works strongly reflect her tragic life, embracing a horrible traffic accident and countless surgeries, tormented love for the artist Diego Rivera, affairs with both men and women, miscarriages and childlessness, as well as political activism.
The exhibition also included a collection of photographs as well as works by some of Frida Kahlo's contemporaries: Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco and María Izquierdo.
You were born as a boy or a girl, and your passport says if you are male or female. But what kind of man or woman are you and what has shaped your way of belonging to either gender? The Frida Kahlo exhibition inspired us to present works from ARKEN’s collection that show artists playing around with gender and its codes, putting self-representation, the gaze of others, beauty ideals and challenges to gender conventions into play.