Visit our new exhibition “Not much to look at. Ways of Abstraction 1920 until today” from February 24.
The Von der Heydt Museum presents a comprehensive exhibition of Erinna König – the first retrospective after the early death of the artist from Düsseldorf in October 2021.
König worked on everyday objects through sculptural and painterly interventions. Things that she found – objects and materials – are starting points for new perspectives that unfold in her art in a sensitive way. They were precisely chosen and do not stand on their own, but serve as part of a whole. Through her processing and combinations, the artist transformed them into sculptures, object pictures or installations. She worked associatively, without any interpretative guidelines. König did not see the obvious in the everyday objects, not their usefulness. Thus, discarded backs of cinema chairs become masks, a tyre becomes a gold-framed flower and the Palestinian cloth becomes a painting ground.
Erinna König, born in Warstein in 1947, studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf under Dieter Roth and Joseph Beuys and stayed in Düsseldorf after her studies, where she had her studio and consolidated her position in the art scene of NRW. In the 1960s and 1970s, during König's time as a student, the question of whether to work abstractly or representationally was controversially discussed at the academies. Determined to avoid this thinking in opposites, she went her own way and developed a complex artistic strategy: she examined both forms and materials for their own sake, but without neglecting motifs and content.
The retrospective of the Von der Heydt Museum shows a representative selection of Erinna König's oeuvre: a total of around 50 works from the period between 1969 and 2020 are on display. Behind this multifaceted oeuvre lies a fascinating female artist who reveals herself to be politically aware and socially critical in a way that is as sympathetic as it is humorous.