Hand-Work — Senta Connert, Jochen Flinzer, Leni Hoffmann, Charles Long, Peter Rösel

EXHIBITION 02.12.00 – 18.03.01

Under the ambiguous title "Hand-Work", the exhibition focuses on the part the hand plays in painting and sculpture. Here the focus is the artist's handwork and the boundaries between this and handicraft, as well as handwork that is often devalued as tinkering, as well as the childish and female role models in the creative process. 

In the early twentieth century, works by artists like Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Sonia Delaunay, and veterans of the Russian avant-garde were readily dismissed as feminine handwork and considered lacking in professionalism. It was only in the 1970s that women like Rosemarie Trockel, Judy Chicago, and Eva Hesse fought back against this type of discrimination by making feminine handwork the basis of their artistic work – essentially with a feminist claim and often with ironic exaggeration – to assert themselves against the male claim to autonomous creativity. The present generation of artists no longer needs to rebel against stereotypical gender roles. They use manual and handicraft techniques because of their direct contact between hand, material, and work – and with their handwork establish a new sovereignty beyond the former allegation of conventionality. Senta Connert explores the art of weaving and its ambivalence between the automated production processes and the sensuality of the wool. 

Jochen Flinzer is interested in the graphic imagery of embroidery. While the front side of an image follows predetermined guidelines, its back exhibits a free and intuitive structure of lines reminiscent of action painting, "écriture automatique", or calligraphy. Leni Hoffmann "paints" rooms with the colored play dough we know from our childhoods. Unassisted by any tools, she molds the material into arched forms, which she signs with every press of her thumb, while simultaneously smearing away such traces by twisting her thumb. Charles Long also works with play dough, with which he has transformed sculptural table and chair arrangements since the mid-1990s. His works encourage viewers to actively interact with the form; to do their own handwork and express repressed childhood memories. His new work "LetterHead" focuses on language and provides viewers with rubber stamps of letters. Peter Rösel sews plants and animals out of materials from another context – police uniforms, construction workers' vests, and lingerie – and thereby establishes a connection between contradictory worlds. In these sewn transformations, he illustrates the unity of divergent human desires. 

The exhibition "Hand-Work" presents contemporary artists for whom the procedural act of a simple manufacturing process provides the opportunity to walk the line between technique and sensuality, order and disorder, concentration and monotony, and between obsessive ritual and languid pastimes. 

Leni Hoffmann, minyan, 1998, detail, Hawerkamphalle, Münster, photo Manuel Franke © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Leni Hoffmann, minyan, 1998, detail, Hawerkamphalle, Münster, photo Manuel Franke © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Leni Hoffmann, vellum, 1999-2016, Zumtobel Staff, Dornbirn, photo Manuel Franke © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Leni Hoffmann, vellum, 1999-2016, Zumtobel Staff, Dornbirn, photo Manuel Franke © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Peter Rösel, Monstera, 1999, property and copyright Peter Rösel, photo Wilfried Petzi
Peter Rösel, Monstera, 1999, property and copyright Peter Rösel, photo Wilfried Petzi
Charles Long, Letterhead, Bonakdar Jancou Gallery, photo Wilfried Petzi
Charles Long, Letterhead, Bonakdar Jancou Gallery, photo Wilfried Petzi
Hand-Work – Senta Connert, Jochen Flinzer, Leni Hoffmann, Charles Long, Peter Rösel, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi
Hand-Work – Senta Connert, Jochen Flinzer, Leni Hoffmann, Charles Long, Peter Rösel, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi
Senta Connert, A mon seul désir, 1990-91, property and copyright Senta Connert, photo Wilfried Petzi
Senta Connert, A mon seul désir, 1990-91, property and copyright Senta Connert, photo Wilfried Petzi
Jochen Flinzer, Small, but Oho!, 1991, Elisabeth Schneider Foundation © Jochen Flinzer, photo Wilfried Petzi
Jochen Flinzer, Small, but Oho!, 1991, Elisabeth Schneider Foundation © Jochen Flinzer, photo Wilfried Petzi
Hand-Work – Senta Connert, Jochen Flinzer, Leni Hoffmann, Charles Long, Peter Rösel, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi
Hand-Work – Senta Connert, Jochen Flinzer, Leni Hoffmann, Charles Long, Peter Rösel, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi

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