Together with Gallerist Michael Fuchs, we submitted a successful proposal for an exhibition of Tomi Ungerer’s work to be included as part of the Berlin Gallery Weekend.
For this exhibition we decided to focus primarily on Tomi’s contemporary collages and to also create a relationship between these pieces and a selection of his satirical drawings from the 1960’s – 1980’s.
The gallery has three exhibition spaces: a large open room, a smaller, more enclosed room and a corridor joining the two. The floors are raw concrete, the ceilings are high and the walls are white. It’s a very contemporary exhibition space and therefore a very different physical context in which to show Tomi’s work.
In the corridor and large space we hung the collages and in the smaller room I made a selection of drawings whose themes echoed those of the collages. We also showed some objets trouvé in this room. I always like to put some 3D work in relationship with the work on paper.
Michael made a genius choice to frame the collages in 19th century French frames – the juxtaposition between the new, highly satirical collages and these over the top gilded frames was an absolute visual treat and really served to highlight the political punch of many of the works. Much of the subject matter is highly political – dealing with environmental issues, poverty and globalisation, war and misogyny for instance.
The end result was almost as if the walls were hung with many individual portals into the artist’s mind.
The Michael Fuchs Gallery is in a historic building in the heart of Mitte in Berlin. It was once a Jewish Girls school and was completely renovated by Michael. It now houses two restaurants and three gallery spaces.
While the space is totally new in one way, you can also read it’s history, especially on the ground floor where many original features were maintained. Read more about the building in an article in Spiegel Online.