Ben Willikens Orte

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Edited by: Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart Texts by: Dieter Bartetzko, Johann-Karl Schmidt, Manfred Schneckenburger, Dr. Christoph Vitali German 1997, 80 Pages, 34 Ills. Hardcover 327mm x 250mm
ISBN: 978-3-89322-343-5

In Ben Willikens's 'Counterspaces' the depressing confinement of his seventies hospital rooms, sick rooms and cells opens out. Stasis and stability - important elements of his Renaissance aesthetic - are lost. Generous sequences of high spaces separated by walls now lead deep into the picture. "How should we approach Willikens's 'Counterspaces'? Do we follow the long echo of the vaults, the free rhythm of the pillars, or do we let ourselves be carried by the nobility of high rooms receding into the far distance? .... Or do we release these images from their apparent isolation and try to discover what preceded them and how they relate to history? An element of spontaneity would be lost - but we would gain a dimension by which Willikens would not be reduced to the eternal scenographer of emptiness and the metaphysics of the space, but which would position his work at the interface of a whole number of strands of Modernism." (Manfred Schneckenburger). This publication, devoted to Ben Willikens's canvases over the last ten years, includes informative essays on his work with all its characteristic tensions and contrasts. The artist: Ben Willikens, born 1939 in Leipzig. 1962-1967: studied painting at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart with Heinz Trökes. 1970: Villa Romana Prize, Florence. 1972: Villa Massimo Prize, Rome. 1991: Chair of Painting and Graphics at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Lives in Stuttgart and Munich.