Saturday 18 December, 2:30 - 4pm

EINFLUSS: 8 from Dusseldorf Panel Discussion

Moderated by Laura Richard Janku, with German critic and curator Susanne Wedewer-Pampus and artists Bernard Lokai, Stefan Kurten, and Birgit Jensen.

Hosfelt Gallery presents a panel discussion exploring the profound influence of Dusseldorf on the development of modern and contemporary art on Saturday December 18 at 2:30 pm, in conjunction with the exhibition EINFLUSS: 8 from Dusseldorf - Introducing the Next Wave from Germany, Part 2. The program will be moderated by critic and former Artweek editor Laura Richard Janku and includes German critic and curator Susanne Wedewer-Pampus and artists Birgit Jensen, Stefan Kurten and Bernard Lokai. The panel is free and open to the public. The opening reception for the exhibition follows the panel discussion from 4-6 pm.

EINFLUSS: 8 from Dusseldorf introduces a group of eight artists associated with Dusseldorf and its Kunstakademie in an exhibition comprised of painting, sculpture and site-specific installation. Ranging in age from their early 30s to late 40s, each artist's practice is characterized by a full awareness of the history of art-making and the dialogue about its relevance.

Dusseldorf, long an essential center of European art-making because of the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf (est. 1762), is one of the most influential training grounds for artists in the world. Some of the artists associated with the Kunstakademie -- either as students, or as teachers -- include Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Nam June Paik, Blinky Palermo, Yoshitomo Nara, Rosemarie Trockel, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Tony Cragg, Katharina Fritsch, Thomas Schutte, Anselm Kiefer and Sigmar Polke.

Dusseldorf is an exceptional breeding ground for art due to a unique confluence: the unsurpassed significance of the Kunstakademie, a dynamic 'artist's club' (salon), visionary galleries, a long history of sophisticated and voracious private collecting, beautiful city-subsidized studio spaces, publicly-funded museums with a tradition of collecting contemporary art, and a host of kunsthalles throughout the country that exhibit and collect contemporary work that isn't necessarily fashionable.

Stefan Kurten's prosaic subject matter - public gardens, shopping malls, and suburban architecture - are de-populated scenes of the 1970s. They are images that engender a feeling of familiarity through the unavoidable associations with one's past. They are about memory and its loss. In some paintings, wallpaper patterns of interior spaces intertwine with foliage of the exterior world. This merging of inside/outside, nature/artifice parallels the unreliability and decay of memory - the disappearance of self, the confusion between real/present and memory/past. Kurten has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Berkeley Art Museum, CA; Saatchi Collection, London; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; and numerous museums in Germany.

The subjects of Birgit Jensen's recent works are iconic places to which she's never been - Mount Everest, the Great Wall, Giza. To make them, she appropriates an image, manipulates the pixels forming the image into patterns, then makes a shimmering, low-resolution painting. From a distance, the subjects are discernible, but up close, they come apart into textile-like structures. Like the artist, most of us know these places through images rather than first-hand, yet they are recognizable. Her work is about extreme mediation. The viewer is asked to de-code a painting of a photograph that has been digitally manipulated by an artist who's never seen the place. It's a bit like the children's game "telephone" - and raises the issue of the veracity of art making. Jensen's work has been exhibited in Germany and the United States. Her work is in the collections of the Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf; Museum der Stadt Flensburg; Sammlung des Landes Schleswig-Holstein; and Franklin Furnace, New York among others.

Bernard Lokai was born in Bohumin, Czech & Slovak Federal Republic. He studied painting at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf with Gerhard Richter. His work explores the relationship between abstraction and representation, as well as the most fundamental question an artist can ask: what does it mean to paint an image? Lokai has exhibited extensively throughout Germany and this will be the first presentation of his work in San Francisco.

Susanne Wedewer-Pampus is a German art critic and curator who studied art history, German literature and philosophy at the Universities of Muenster and Bonn in Germany. She has worked for a variety of art magazines and the German contemporary art encyclopedia, Kuenstler Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst. Before relocating to the Bay Area in August she was the director of the Kunstverein Leverkusen, a nonprofit gallery providing exhibitions and small publications to primarily young, emerging artists.

A freelance critic and curator, Laura Richard Janku was editor in chief of Artweek magazine from 2003 to 2008. Her writing appears in, Art Ltd., Art on Paper, ARTnews, artUS, Contemporary, CMYK, and Sculpture. Laura is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at UC Berkeley where her dissertation will look at works from the 1970s that explore the intersections between time, space and subjectivity. She was a 2009-10 fellow for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts at the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center and is currently the volume editor for the forthcoming exhibition catalog, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970.

Links to Discussion Panel Videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3a:

Part 3b: