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Wed 19 November 2003 - Sun 11 January 2004
'Art is the dunghill where kitsch grows. Kitsch is the daughter of art, the daughter is young and smells good, the mother is an age-old and stinking woman. All we want is this: to disseminate kitsch.'
This provocative mission statement was issued by the four young artists of the Spur group in Munich in their manifesto of 1957. Influenced by Asger Jorn and the Cobra group (1948-51), they celebrated their rejection of abstract art, which they considered to be illusion bereft of meaning. Their Marxist-influenced critique of capitalistic structures of society is still as explosive as it was fifty years ago.
About 200 paintings, sculptures and drawings represent the Cobra and Spur groups as well as other related groups and individual artists. Jean Dubuffet, Arnulf Rainer, Antonio Saura and Wolf Vostell, to name only a few, share an expressive figurative language, which caused vehement controversy in the 1950s and 1960s.
Otto von de Loo, owner of a gallery in Munich took on these combative and controversial artists with great engagement. - his generous donations to the Kunsthalle Emden and the National Gallery in Berlin can be seen together for the first time at this exhibition of the art he promoted.