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Splatters of Life – Signs of Death
The 90th Anniversary of Horst Janssen’s Birth

06.12.2019 to 25.10.2020
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

Horst Janssen (1929 – 1995) would have celebrated his 90th birthday on 14 November 2019. The Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg is using this anniversary as an occasion to shed light on a lesser-known side of the artist’s work. Lebenskleckse – Todeszeichen (Splatters of Life – Signs of Death) shows Janssen’s images that deal with their own nascence and perishing: splatters, from which entire landscapes emerge; spots that merge into shadowy figures; holes that become the evening sun.

In a realm eluding stylistic categorisation, the exhibition shows a master of his craft, who – much like the Surrealists before him – relied on the randomness of chance. With a strong sense about the material possibilities contained within the medium and a highly developed technique, Janssen confronts viewers with the birth of his paintings, although their demise is already inscribed within them.

Splatters of Life – Signs of Death: Curator Kylikki Zacharias on the exhibition
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
Splatters of Life – Signs of Death: Curator Kylikki Zacharias on the landscape
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
Horst Janssen, “Wenn ich nur einmal einen rechten Entschluß fassen könnte, gesund zu werden!! Valere aude!” [If only I would make the right decision to be healthy!! Dare to be healthy!], detail, (Lichtenberg), 7 March 1993, watercolour and Indian ink on paper, Tete Böttger Collection
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 / © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

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Admission ticket Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
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Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
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