19.03.22—05.06.22
Past Exhibition

Blanc de Blancs

A white book page as a fresh start, a white dove as a symbol of peace, Buddhist monks wearing white for mourning. Purity, innocence, infinity, perfection, silence, emptiness, coolness. Few colors carry as much symbolic weight as the color white.

Blanc de Blancs – wine connoisseurs use this term to refer to a white wine made exclusively from white grapes. But Blanc de Blancs also encompasses the multiple meanings of this color.

The exhibition “Schnee fällt hinterm Berge” (Snow Falls Behind the Mountains), curated by Berlin artist Gregor Hildebrandt in Copenhagen, serves as a starting point for this exhibition and has been supplemented with additional positions for Villa Schöningen. From March 19 to May 08, 2022, Villa Schöningen presents 54 works by 38 contemporary artists. As diverse as these works are, they all share a formal criterion: their engagement with the color white. With an achromatic color that can signify not only reduction but also diversity.

For example, Karin Sander sends a completely unpackaged, white-primed round canvas from one exhibition to another. The resulting patina, scratches, scuffs, and supposed damage create a drawing, a record of the journey, a record of time. Her work starts as a blank, unwritten page and evolves in a participatory manner.

Another form of documenting place and time can be found in the work “The Sum of All Best Practices” by Jorinde Voigt. Here, monochromatic white allows lines, cut edges, and forms to emerge, capturing specific shapes at a particular location and time. In this work, it’s leaves that the artist collected on her way to her studio in the fall of 2021.

Jürgen Krause applies chalk ground with a brush to both sides of a piece of paper. The mantra-like repetition of this action creates a block-like, several centimeters thick object, a condensation of many possible images. Only the title “Grundierung. Mai bis September 2012” (Grounding. May to September 2012) suggests a beginning and an end, even though the action can be thought of as endless.

So Villa Schöningen begins its exhibition year with a blank page. The recent arrest of a young Russian woman who protested against her country’s invasion of Ukraine vividly demonstrated how powerful this can be. She expressed her protest with a white placard without text or symbols. For the Russian authorities, it was provocative enough to warrant her arrest.

»FRAUEN« in Conversation

Current exhibition

The exhibition “Michael Schmidt »Frauen« in Conversation” presents the image series “Women” by the Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt, who died in 2014. The entire series, consisting of 81 analog black-and-white photographs, is shown in the context of works by twelve female artists of different generations. Schmidt’s view of a generation of women is complemented by the artists’ perspectives, on the female body, sometimes their own.

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