Spotlight: Postwar German Artists Helmut Dirnaichner and Klaus Staudt Are Paired Up in a New Friedberg Exhibition Exploring Color and Geometry


What You Need to Know: In Friedberg, Germany, Edition and Galerie Hoffmann has mounted a dual-artist exhibition featuring a range of recent and historic career works by German artists Helmut Dirnaichner and Klaus Staudt. Of the show, the gallery’s founding owner Adelheid Hoffmann said, “In the large exhibition hall of the gallery, Klaus Staudt and Helmut Dirnaichner will come together, as persons, as works and processes, approaches. Both will surprise us with large wall installations.” The gallery has long collaborated with each artist—working with Dirnaichner for nearly 40 years, and with Staudt for upwards of 50 years—making the presentation of the two artists at Edition and Galerie Hoffmann a fitting endeavor. On view through August 27, 2022, the exhibition will be supplemented by a conversation between the two artists, “Can matter be immaterial?” hosted by the gallery at Ausstellungshalle Ossenheim.

About the Artists: Klaus Staudt (b. 1932) is most well-known for his engagements with geometric abstractions and, more specifically, a series of geometric reliefs. In the 1960s, he was an active member of Neue Tendenzen, an international avant-garde artist group. Light and how it is affected by material intervention is a core element of his practice, reflected in his frequently grid-oriented compositions—executed both at small and large scales. Helmut Dirnaichner (b. 1942) has worked with stone and semi-precious stones like lapis lazuli and azurite since the early 1980s. Using these natural materials as a primary color palette, his work visually pushes the boundary between object and image. Throughout his oeuvre, this boundary is shaped and refashioned depending on his material of choice and its construction.

Why We Like It: The work of Staudt and Dirnaichner share many commonalities—such as the emphasis on light, color, and shape—yet when juxtaposed within the context of the present exhibition, the distinct nuances of their respective practices become apparent. Comprised of sculpture, installation, mixed-media pieces, and works on paper, the materially diverse show also provides insight into contemporary explorations of foundational tenets of contemporary art. As Hoffmann observes, “I see Klaus Staud as a musical conductor with a long conducting baton, guiding to an ascending crescendo his large, clearly defined wall of hard, alternating white and gray elements,” speaking of his work (1996). The work is perceptively mutable, shifting as the viewer and the ambient light change. Compared to Dirnaichner’s (1999), the focus is drawn more to color and inherent shape. Each artist wrestles with similar artistic objectives, but, as reflected in their work, their distinct approaches highlight the sheer range of their individual formal and creative acumen.

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Installation view of “Helmut Dirnaichner and Klaus Staudt” (2023). Photo: Ivan Murzin. Courtesy of Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg.

Helmut Dirnaichner, (2023). Courtesy of Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg.

Helmut Dirnaichner, (1999). Courtesy of Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg.

Klaus Staudt, (2000). Courtesy of Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg.

Klaus Staudt, (2023). Courtesy of Edition and Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg.


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