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Sonna, Birgit

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 05/10/2006

Ivy for "The Blue Rider" artists

Fourteen years ago, Munich's renowned art gallery, the Lenbachhaus (which among other things exhibits a large collection of pictures by "The Blue Rider" artists) provoked a scandal by painting the walls where its paintings are displayed in colours other than white. It recently provoked a new scandal by asking four artists to decorate the walls behind the paintings in a way that would breathe new life into the pictures. Birgit Sonna comments on the results: "Operation successful: the patient has awoken from the coma. … They didn't even draw the line at floral patterns. Thomas Demand's very intricate black and white wallpaper takes some getting used to, to say the least. His backdrop for August Macke's prismatic pictures is a flurry of ivy leaves. A symbol of immorality, the ivy is reminiscent of a crime scene photo in a newspaper. But strangely enough, after detailed examination you learn to appreciate the restless ivy pattern as a symbol of grief. Demand wants to reflect the tragedy of August Macke's early death in the Second World War."

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