Paul Schwer: Von beiden Enden

Cat. Museum Ratingen, Museum Goch

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Alexandra König and Stephan Mann
texts (German/English) by Jan Hoet, Gregor Janssen, Ludwig Seyfarth
128 p with 80 coloured illustrations
300 x 240 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-262-1

29,80 €

No Beauty without Danger

With quiet composure, the sculptures and paint­ings by Paul Schwer (*1951) intervene in existing architectures and features of the landscape. His repertoire of forms and materials has always ­fo­cused on autonomous sculpture, since it appears to most poignantly reflect cultural and social con­ditions. It all began in the late 1980s in paintings with figurative motifs; their materiality seemed to dissolve in blurry color constellations. Then, during the 1990s, he started to work three-dimensionally, his paintings left the wall, and in a pattern he de­veloped, spiraling like a DNA, color and light interlinked with space and movement. The result are works that are both rough, brittle and seemingly crafty, but also seem to have a special aura; they are simply beautiful. Stephan Berg (Kunstmuseum Bonn) recognized in them a mixture of poetic ­exuberance and softness that moves back and forth between the poles of (constructed) statics and (contingent) dynamics. Johann Hartle (Amsterdam) quoted a song title by Einstürzende Neu­bauten: Keine Schönheit ohne Gefahr (No beauty without danger). For Hartle, Paul Schwer's work combines these two concepts in a spatial symbol­ism that promotes the spontaneity of political ­expression with the appropriation of one’s own body. Hartle refers to a bon mot by Sartre: The ­artist is like a dog without a cerebellum that has lost all sense of security, attachment and certainty. With his heroic, self-effacing idea of artistic authorship in the moment of dangerous beauty, Paul Schwer confirms this characterization of the artist with adventurous heart!

Museum Ratingen, 29/6–30/9/2018
Museum Goch, 1/7– 9/9/2018