• 18.11.2016 – 05.03.2017

    Bhupen Khakhar:
    You Can’t Please All

    ‘…when I feel I’m telling the truth, then there is no restraint.’

    Bhupen Khakhar in an interview with Sadanand Menon, 2003

    Bhupen Khakhar (1934–2003) played a central role in modern Indian art and was a recognised international figure in 20th century painting. Active from the 1960s Khakhar was part of a lively new wave of narrative painting and figuration by artists in India that became known as the Baroda School. His practice evolved from the careful study of art from South Asian and European sources, even while he continued to work as an accountant part-time. After early experiments with Pop art Khakhar developed a style of painting that combined both high and low, popular and painterly aesthetics, cleverly subverting popular iconography. He confronted complex and provocative themes with candour: class difference; desire and homosexuality; and his personal battle with cancer. Also a writer, his critical observations and literary sensibility were evident in his sharp, often ironic depictions of difficult subjects.

    The title of the exhibition comes from the iconic painting You Can’t Please All 1981 from the Tate collection. A naked figure stands with his back to the viewer, overlooking a dramatic scene, the depiction of a cautionary tale about a father and son who lose their prize donkey because they heed the meddlesome comments of passers-by. Thought to be a self-portrait, this painting was completed a few years after the artist returned to India after a short period in Britain. Khakhar courageously decided to be open about his homosexuality in his life and work. His intuitive understanding of the tensions between beauty and the grotesque resulted in unabashed depictions of human love and desire, weakness and suffering. His powerful work from this period is highlighted in this exhibition, bringing his unique and still relevant voice back into international circulation.

    The first posthumous survey of Khakhar’s career, this exhibition - previously on view at Tate Modern from June 1st till November 6th, 2016 - will bring together his work from across five decades and from collections around the world. In his lifetime Khakhar exhibited frequently in India and abroad, including Documenta IX in Kassel in 1992. While he has been included in group exhibitions at Tate in the past, this retrospective will shed new light on his practice by presenting well known works on canvas and paper alongside rarely seen experimental works including textile, glass and ceramics.
    Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All, 1981, Tate © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar
  • 24.03.2017 - 18.06.2017

    Kemang Wa Lehulere:
    Deutsche Bank "Artist of the Year" 2017

    Kemang Wa Lehulere, born in Cape Town, is Deutsche Bank's new "Artist of the Year". In spring of 2017, he will present his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin.

    Today Kemang Wa Lehulere lives between Johannesburg and Cape Town and is one of the most important representatives of a new generation of South African artists who work in all different kinds of genres and media in order to develop new artistic perspectives and narrative modes, as well as new forms of political action.

    He realizes his performances, videos, installations, and chalk drawings, which are based on extensive research, as a solo artist whilst continuing with collaborative work. This includes projects with the exhibition platform and collective Center for Historical Reenactments which was established in 2010. Before that he cofounded and worked with the Cape Town based artist group Gugulective from 2006.

    Wa Lehulere’s works often have a focus on black South African history, re-looking and re-imagining the archive of narratives relating to black artists, musicians and authors in an attempt to prevent their work and lives from sinking into oblivion.

    Kemang Wa Lehulere has taken part in numerous international group exhibitions, including the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), the 2nd Triennial of the New Museum in New York (2012), and the 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011). Back in 2013-14, drawings by the artist from the Deutsche Bank Collection were shown at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle as part of the exhibition project The Circle Walked Casually. In 2015, he received the Standard Bank Young Artist for the visual arts. Starting on April 16, his art will be represented at the EVA International in Limerick City, Ireland, and as of May 3 at the 12th Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal.

    After Wangechi Mutu, Yto Barrada, Roman Ondák, Imran Qureshi, Victor Man, Koki Tanaka, and Basim Magdy, Kemang Wa Lehulere is now Deutsche Bank’s 8th international “Artist of the Year.” The award is given on the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council which consists of the renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn. The award goes to a contemporary artist who has created an artistically, as well as socially relevant, oeuvre, one integrating the media of paper and photography – the two main areas of focus of the Deutsche Bank Collection.

    Kemang Wa Lehulere: Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year" 2017. Photo: Adam McConnachie
  • 07.07.2017 - 08.10.2017

    Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist

    A landscape architect should be able to understand Picasso and Miró, proclaimed Roberto Burle Marx. In cooperation with the Jewish Museum in New York the KunstHalle is showing a large retrospective of the Brazilian Modernist. His parks and squares in Rio de Janeiro recall abstract paintings with their curving and Cubist ground plans. The exhibition introduces the comprehensive and diverse work of Burle Marx which inspired generations. This is shown by works of current artists such as Paloma Bosquê, Nick Mauss and Beatriz Milhazes, who are also represented in the exhibition.
    After the presentation at the Jewish Museum in New York and at the KunstHalle in Berlin the exhibition will travel to the Museu de Arte do Rio in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
    In cooperation with The Jewish Museum, New York
    Roberto Burle Marx, Mineral Roof Garden, São Paulo, 1983 © Leonardo Finotti