34th exhibition opens in Essen with works from Jürgen Paas and Peter Schlör
Grabbing the attention of the observer in different ways: two artists, Jürgen Paas and Peter Schlör, present works at foryouandyourcustomers in Essen “that are as far apart on the spectrum of current art as possible,” as curator Torsten Obrist describes it in his opening speech. Managing Director Axel Helbig and his team welcome art lovers to the opening of the 34th exhibition, including the members of board of the Ruhr Art Association, Anita Ruhnau and Peter Friese, as well as a number of clients, friends and family members.
“At first glance, the works of Jürgen Paas and Peter Schlör could not be any more opposite,” curator Torsten Obrist says. The black-and-white works of Peter Schlör sit on one side, the colourful diversity of Jürgen Paas’ works on the other. Identifiable landscape on this side, constructed designs on the other. Realism here, work with specific materials there. Yet despite all of the differences in their pieces, the two artists – who have known each other a long time – greatly appreciate each other’s work.
The recurring theme in Peter Schlör’s art is landscape, which he brings to light in a specific way. Truly seeing something, seeing it as real and true and reflecting on it, requires a certain amount of effort from people, and this effort takes the viewer to the centre of Pater Schlör’s creation. For the artist, this is not just a “lovely holiday snap”, nor is it a “documentary reproduction”. His objective is more subtle. He often lies in wait for hours in the wild, looking for the ideal interplay of landscape, light and effect. For him it is not about catching the truest image of the scenery, nor does it matter to him where an image is taken. So, a photo of Iceland is held to the same formal criteria as a photo of the Canary Islands – what’s important is the perception that makes the landscape in the picture tangible for the viewer in a specific form and transforms it into a mirror for internal reflection, which we in turn as viewers can take part in. As Schlör says, “For me the process of taking photos is like comparing and harmonising the internal and external world. It’s an intuitive dialogue. The images always have an inner echo; they are both landscapes and psychological reflections at the same time.”
How does this art compare to the works of Jürgen Paas? His pieces expect viewers to act. You have to move around these works in order to take them in in their entirety. A jukebox viewed only from the front is just half of the truth. If you move from the inside right to the inside left, the colourful composition transforms into black-and-white stripes, where only echoes of the many different colours remain. “While the half-profile of a colourful heavyweight is overwhelmed, the front view shows a light airiness of delicate lines,” as Torsten Obrist describes it.
His other works, parts of the exhibition in Essen, show that Jürgen Paas has explored similar themes in his work over the decades, but he always manages to find entirely new and surprising ways to express them. “I think that signals a mature, consistent body of work, the recognisability of the works at the same time as experiencing something new each time,” says Torsten Obrist, curator of the exhibition and gallery owner in Essen. “That’s why Paas is rightfully one of the most consequential contemporary German artists.”
The numerous works, impressive excerpts of the creations of both artists, will now grace the offices of foryouandyourcustomers in Essen for the next six months, and will “support the positive working environment, increase the creative ‘flow’ in the office and inspire employees and visitors,” of that the curator is certain. Since Torsten Obrist sees both artists as “wonderful catalysts of inspiration”, he also hopes that the works “provide one or more opportunities to strike up meaningful dialogue, be that among colleagues or with clients.” Host Axel Helbig adds, “I can only second this wish as the employer in these offices. I am pleased and also a little bit proud that we are able to present and experience this fantastic exhibition.”