Largest show in recent history of Kestner Gesellschaft - 150 works from 44 artists

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Largest show in recent history of Kestner Gesellschaft - 150 works from 44 artists
Installation view. that other world, the world of the teapot. tenderness, a model. © Photo: Raimund Zakowski.

HANOVER.- With more than 150 works by 44 historical and contemporary international artists (22 women, 22 men), from the 17th century to the present, the group exhibition that other world, the world of the teapot. tenderness, a model is the largest and most comprehensive show in recent history at the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany. Curator is Adam Budak, Artistic Director of Kestner Gesellschaft.

That other world, the world of the teapot, is the world the writer and the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Olga Tokarczuk is longing for. In her Nobel Lecture, she recalls Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of a teapot that is broken due to people’s clumsiness and carelessness and is immediately discarded and rejected.
In its search for tender narrators, the show ranges from the idealized nature in 17th century Baroque paintings to Käthe Kollwitz’s political graphics; modernism and the dissolution of bodily forms in painting and sculpture; figuration in the work of Alexander Archipenko, Hans Arp, Fernand Léger and Francis Picabia; Alice Neel’s realistic, expressive paintings; Maria Lassnig’s Woman Laokoon (1976); Renate Bertlmann’s Zärtlicher Tanz (1976); and Dorothy Iannone’s People series (1967).

Nine teapots symbolize departure into other worlds

In addition to the artworks in the exhibition, teapots from different decades are presented, referring to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. They show idealistic images of nature with animals, scenes of loneliness and sharing, ideas of a better world through design, the disappearance of the outer form, a view of inner life, the transformation of porcelain into natural forms, and the metamorphosis of the teapot into a space capsule, ready to departure into other worlds.

Searching for a tender narrator in a world of crisis

The exhibition that other world, the world of the teapot. tenderness, a model is a search for such a tender narrator. As a manifesto of sorts, it is a portrait of tenderness as a desired, possible modus operandi for the world in an ontological crisis and doubt, its emergency alphabet of vulnerability, endurance, and resilience. This is a cross-generational poetic landscape of tenderness as a transgressive, polyphonic tool of change and reinvention, a “spontaneous and disinterested” agent of care and concern, a model for the radical ethics in precarious times of reduced immunity and mistrust. Artworks, assembled within the relational architecture of this exhibition, demonstrate tenderness as a lyrical power with a political charge.

Artists in the exhibition:

Alexander Archipenko, Hans Arp, Lenora de Barros, Hans Bellmer, Renate Bertlmann, Ellen Cantor, Enrico David, Shannon Ebner, Cecilia Edefalk, Joana Escoval, Cerith Wyn Evans, Valie Export, Spencer Finch, Johan Grimonprez, Asta Gröting, Heide Hinrichs, Peter Hujar, Dorothy Iannone, Grethe Jürgens, Nikita Kadan, Arghavan Khosravi, Jakob Lena Knebl, Dominique Knowles, Jutta Koether, Käthe Kollwitz, Maria Lassnig, Fernand Léger, Jochen Lempert, Barbara Levittoux-Świderska, Yong Xiang Li, Sharon Lockhart, Louise Nevelson, Alice Neel, Kayode Ojo, Daniel Otero Torres, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Ewa Partum, Francis Picabia, Pamela Rosenkranz, Hans Savery II, Francesco Solimena, Friedrich Schröder Sonnenstern, Fabien Vallos, Edmund de Waal

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