The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce an exhibition by German artist Helmut Middendorf to be held at Kunstmuseum Schloss Derneburg. The show will include approximately two dozen paintings, works on paper and films from the late 1970s and 1980s, all inspired by the music scene, nightlife, architecture and streets of the Kreuzberg district of Berlin called SO 36, where Middendorf lived and worked at the time.
Located in proximity to the Berlin Wall, since the late 1960s Kreuzberg has been a center for new art, music and theater. In the 1970s, Middendorf’s apartment and studio was located on the Oranienstraße, a main road lined with bars, restaurants and shops that runs through the heart of Kreuzberg. While SO 36 stands for the district’s postcode, it is also the name of a famous music club on the Oranienstraße largely focused on punk rock, which was co-owned by the artist Martin Kippenberger, and was then a central meeting place for the new art scene.
In 1977, together with Rainer Fetting and Salomé, Middendorf was a founding member of Berlin’s legendary Galerie am Moritzplatz, a birthplace of the Neue Wilde -- a group of German artists who reintroduced and championed an expressive style of painting in Germany in the late 1970s and 1980s. Middendorf’s paintings from this period are characterized by their large scale, bright, intense colors, high contrast, and broad, gestural brushstrokes. The subjects were inspired by the artist’s direct environment – the architecture, music and night life of Kreuzberg – with a focus on the human figure.
While Middendorf was a student, then teacher, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, he also became very interested in experimental film and shot a number of Super-8 shorts of his own. Like his paintings, the films on view were all made while Middendorf lived at his SO 36 studio and frequently feature the artist himself.
Helmut Middendorf was born in 1953 in Dinklage, Germany. He studied painting from 1973 to 1979 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin under Karl Horst Hödicke, where he subsequently taught experimental film in 1979. His work has been shown internationally in numerous institutional solo and group exhibitions, including most recently: “The 80s. Art of the Eighties”, Albertina Modern, Wien (2021); “Before the fall of the wall”, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus (2019); “Wilderness”, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2018); “The Invention of the Neue Wilde”, Ludwig Forum, Aachen (2018); “The Flâneur”, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2018); “Innen_Welten”, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel (2018); “Colorful. farbenfroh - Im Fokus: Dorothy Fratt”, Museum Art.Plus, Donaueschingen (2018); “Neue Wilde”, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands (2016); “Geniale Dilletanten”, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (2016); “The 80s - Figurative Painting in West-Germany”, Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2015); "Geniale Dilletanten", Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015); “Kunst in Berlin 1945 bis Heute”, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013); “Chambres d’Amis - Collectiepresentatie”, S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium (2012); “Schlachtpunk - Malerei der Achtziger Jahre”, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany (2012); “The Last Grand Tour”, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2011); “40 Jahre Gegenwart” Deutsche Bank - Collection, Luxembourg (2010); and “Neoexpressionistic paintings from Berlin: Gift of Susan and Martin Sanders, New York”, Museum of Modern Art Tel Aviv, Israel (2010). His works are included in many institutional collections worldwide, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; ARoS Museum, Aarhus Denmark; Musée Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt; SMAK, and Museum voor Hedendagse Kunst, Gent, Belgium, among others. Middendorf is represented by Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens and currently lives and works in Berlin and Athens.
For more information and images, please contact the Hall Art Foundation’s administrative office at firstname.lastname@example.org.