Change presented by E.ON Stiftung

In this year’s edition of Art Düsseldorf, the exploration of sustainability will once again be a central focus. As a forward-thinking and innovative platform for contemporary art, we feel compelled as a fair to actively promote sustainability.

In close collaboration with the E.ON Foundation, selected by Laura Helena Wurth (Deutschlandfunk Kultur) and Alexander Wilmschen (Kestner Gesellschaft), Art Düsseldorf will create a space dedicated explicitly to sustainability and transformation processes.

As part of the Change Project, works by artists such as Julia Scher, Jonas Lund, Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, and Mona Schulzek will be showcased. Despite the complexity and diversity of their perspectives, what unites them is their artistic contribution to socially critical and nature-connected themes, which inspire admiration, contemplation, and reflection.

Julia Scher Placida, 2024 Marble, 80 cm (31 1/2")

DREI, Cologne: Julia Scher

For over three decades, the Los Angeles-based artist Julia Scher has dedicated her artistic practice to exploring social and technological issues. In a play between manipulation and voyeurism, privacy and security, Scher addresses contemporary surveillance culture.

As part of the Change Project, in collaboration with E.ON, a series of massive owl sculptures will be presented for the first time at Art Düsseldorf. Symbolically charged creatures and patrons of nature reserves, owls reflect much of the ambivalence that characterizes Scher’s work and thinking, as well as the intertwining of nature, technology, science, and mysticism. Carved from marble, the animal representations evoke mythological associations, ranging from wise guardians to ominous harbingers of death, serving here as witnesses to surveillance – sometimes intimidating, protective, and yet seductive.

Julia Scher (*1954, Los Angeles) lives and works in Cologne. Over the past forty years, her work has been marked by an extensive program of international solo exhibitions, including recent shows at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2023); Kunsthalle Zürich; Kunsthalle, Gießen (2022); MAMCO, Geneva (2021). Her works are represented in prestigious collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.

Niklas Taleb, Untitled, 2023, Archival pigment print, artist frame; glass, tape, 102,2 x 68,2 x 1,6 cm, Edition of 3 + 1AP, Courtesy of the artist and Lucas Hirsch, Düsseldorf

Lucas Hirsch, Düsseldorf: Niklas Taleb and Antonia Brown

Niklas Taleb’s photographs delve into the interior, illuminating processes of transformation. The precise location of this interior remains intentionally unspecified – a space that both encloses and conceals, evolves and unfolds. Through his lens, Taleb captures traces of everyday life, from the inside out. While his photographs draw from the genres of family photography and snapshots, they eschew their central concerns, transcending into more than personal mementos.

Antonia Brown’s innovative material technique continually redefines the means of affective reproduction. Her work endeavors to articulate a sculptural hermeneutic. Beneath its seemingly hermetic self-identity lies a profound, at times fervent eloquence – a despair stemming from the realization that religious conventions enable the sexual control of women.

Both artists, based in Essen alongside their regional presence in Düsseldorf, share a commitment to environmentally conscious art creation. They prioritize local production, utilizing natural materials and minimizing transportation distances whenever possible. Their artistic practices embody a dedication to sustainability, echoing their deep-rooted connection to nature and community.

ntonia Brown, Untroubled farther down, 2023, Silk, steel, cane, ribbon, cotton tape, casein, pigment (ochre, oak apple, maya blue, rust, violet cote d’azur, campeche, ash), 62x 42x40cm, Courtesy of the artist and Lucas Hirsch, Düsseldorf

Galerie Noah Klink, Berlin: Alison Yip and Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann

The positions presented by the Berlin-based gallery Noah Klink delve into the concept of sustainability. Alison Yip’s hyperrealistic oil paintings predominantly feature salads, smoothies, or other objects associated with health and wellness. Alison’s focus lies in the culture of self-preservation, the pursuit of happiness, and the desire for infinite life. With a nod to the motif of still life in art history, her works captivate through their photorealistic dynamism. What’s not immediately evident at first glance is Yip’s unique process: she incorporates her medications into the oil paint, which she takes due to epileptic seizures. This results in the painting evolving over time or even being partially lost.

The paintings are accompanied by a new sculpture by Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, crafted from ceramic and a collected, discarded robot toy. This juxtaposition illustrates a certain hierarchy between the serpent ceramic and the robot cat placed upon it, once an attractive toy now rendered useless as scrap and unsellable. The overarching theme of natural history in relation to technologies becomes apparent through this configuration.

Alison Yip easy.fresh 1 2022 wrinkle cream, sunscreen, active collagen, healing earth, vitamin B12, iron, ashwagandha, lorazepam, pumice and oil on wood 24 × 33 × 3 cm 9 1/2 × 13 × 1 1/8 inches

Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, Predator and Prop, 2024, glazed ceramics, robotic cat, metal, paint, cables, controller, various materials, 66 x 230 x 34 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Noah Klink

Kadel Wilborn, Düsseldorf: Heidi Hahn

Heidi Hahn’s painting combines gestural abstraction with expressive elements, offering a unique perspective on contemporary themes such as identity, gender, and society. The boundaries between environment and body, surface and background, are fluid in her work, which she describes as “narrative formalism.”

Heidi Hahn resides and works in New York. However, for Art Düsseldorf, her works were intentionally produced in her new studio in Düsseldorf. She rented the studio from March to December 2023 to create art in a sustainable manner, minimizing the need for long-distance transportation.

Born in Los Angeles in 1982, Heidi Hahn’s works are featured in prestigious museum collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Philara Collection, Dallas Museum of Art, Moderna Museet Stockholm, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, New Orleans Museum of Art, and Kadist Foundation Paris. Her paintings have been showcased in significant museum exhibitions worldwide, including the LSU Museums in Los Angeles, the High Art Museums in Atlanta, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Heidi Hahn, tba 4, 2023, Oil on canvas, 127 × 177,8 cm

Office Impart, Berlin: Jonas Lund and Bob Bicknell-Knight

The Swedish artist Jonas Lund, born in 1984, is interested in the power dynamics shaping the increasing digitalization of contemporary culture. At Art Düsseldorf, his latest works from the series Jonas Lund Token (JLT) Futures will be presented. With this series, developed since 2018, Lund creates shares of his artistic practice as cryptocurrency. Shareholders thereby have the opportunity to influence his artistic development. Each share registered in the Ethereum blockchain corresponds precisely to one “Jonas Lund Token”. In this way, Lund questions the traditional power structures of the contemporary art world and the process of optimal strategic decision-making.

The latest series of Jonas Lund Token (JLT) – Futures serves as a type of futures contract, allowing speculation on the future value of a work. On the maturity date of the future contract, it is converted into a physical artwork by Jonas Lund. One bets on the expected appreciation of both the artwork and the Jonas Lund Token (JLT) from the time of acquisition of the JLT Future until the contract expires.

Bob Bicknell-Knight’s works are characterized by concerns and mistrust. He examines the power structures spreading online and in new forms of technology, particularly the automation of work and new forms of hyper-consumerism. At Art Düsseldorf, a selection of wall works and sculptures will be presented, highlighting the dehumanizing aspects of work in warehouses impressively. There, employees are subjected to strict conditions and complete surveillance. Bob Bicknell-Knight’s artistic approach serves as a commentary on the looming automation of physical, repetitive tasks in the warehouses of global giants.

Office Impart, Jonas Lund, JLT Futures

Bob Bicknell-Knight, Blue Badge, 60x60cm

nouveaux deuxdeux, Munich: Mona Schulzek

The conceptual artist Mona Schulzek not only delves into the unknown but also treads the narrow line between religion, mysticism, and natural science. The installation titled “Spitting off the Edge of the World” (2023) represents a profound work, initially exhibited by Schulzek as her final project at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and now adapted for nouveaux deuxdeux. Enclosed in lattice structures, the organ pipes emit sounds that could signify nothing less than the end of the world.

Mona Schulzek, born in 1992 in Moers, lives and works in Düsseldorf. She completed her master’s studies under Gregor Schneider at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2023. Schulzek has been honored with several awards and scholarships, most recently receiving the prestigious “junger westen” art prize in 2023, which includes an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen. Her works have been exhibited in renowned institutions such as the Museum Insel Hombroich (Raketenstation), the Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, the Künstlerhaus Dortmund, the Kunsthaus Graz, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, and the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Cologne. Schulzek’s works are part of the collections of the Kunstmuseum Bochum and the Max Ernst Museum Brühl.

Mona Schulzek, Spitting off the Edge of the World, 2023 Organ pipes, compressor, wood, steel, tubes Installation dimensions variable

PSM, Berlin: Claudia Mann

The artist Claudia Mann breaks with the “Land Art” movement of the 1960s and a classical sculptural pedestal tradition in her works. The human body, defined as a primal form, plays a role for Claudia Mann only as a reference object, no longer as a subject. Her understanding of the essence of sculpture is universal. She expresses it as follows: “The human being is central to my work. At present, I don’t need to model a human being. […] I don’t need likenesses either; instead, I fuse material and internal (psychic) as well as external (physical) processes.”

The artist repeatedly employs the method of molding found structures or hand excavations. This initially appears as a very simple process. However, the sculptural process requires the utmost attention and concentration. Starting from the subject, she uses her own body as a measuring instrument.

Claudia Mann, Aufrecht Bleiben, 2021, Bronze, 252 x 80 x 60 cm, Courtesy the artist and PSM, Berlin, Bild: Claudia Mann