Stephan Dillemuth

LENBACHHAUS April 17 – September 9, 2018

Stephan Dillemuth


Regular: 10 Euros. Reduced: 5

Stephan Dillemuth is an artist of many hats. He appears as a newscaster introducing a video by Stephan Dillemuth; as a painter chain smoking while awaiting inspiration; as Friedrich Nietzsche grousing about Richard Wagner; and—in his longest running role to date—as a professor of art pedagogy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

The parts that artists play in society are of pivotal importance in the work of the artist and teacher who is based in Bad Wiessee and Munich. Employing an open-ended research method which he terms 'bohemistic,' he probes possible forms of artistic life and work: the German life reform movement, Munich's Bohemia, the workers' theater, the art academy. Playfully, that is, by means of art and teaching, Dillemuth investigates the shifting notion of what constitutes the public sphere: What does art and being an artist signify in a time fundamentally and aggressively shaped by a global economy—an era that Dillemuth dubs 'Corporate Rococo'?

Bavaria, as a biographical and historical source of friction, figures repeatedly in Dillemuth's work. His early paintings were based on regionally specific kitsch: postcard motifs of couples and kids in traditional dress, the Gallery of Beauties at Nymphenberg Palace, angels from Southern Tyrol. At Lenbachhaus these convene with his installations from the 2000s. The 2007 installation “Success“ is based on Lion Feuchtwanger's eponymous novel of 1930. In this account of the early years of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the National Socialists, Feuchtwanger describes a forceful state apparatus being constructed in response to the failed communist revolution. In Dillemuth's “Success,“ the cog wheel first appears as a timeless symbol of a well-greased system; it has become a recurring motif throughout his work since. Creatures made of cog wheels and body casts also populate his recent installations, whose reflective surfaces—reminiscent of Baroque or Rococo halls of mirrors—propagate both objects and audiences in a narcissistic game of infinite regress.

Curated by Stephanie Weber

Gabriele Münter. Malen ohne Umschweife
Gabriele Münter. Painting to the Point
Öffentliche Führungen
Gabriele Münter: Malen ohne Umschweife
Gabriele Münter

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