After The Light
With works by Julie Ault, Thomas Eggerer, Ull Hohn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Amelie von Wulffen
Jochen Klein (1967-1997) was an artist whose work, both as a painter and social and political commentator, was informed by questions regarding the private and public, and the interior and collective, aspects of life at the end of the twentieth century. Trained in painting at the Munich Academy, Klein began to question his relationship to the medium and its elevated position in art-making in the early 1990s, shifting towards collaborative work before returning to the canvas during the last few years of his life. After the Light is the first institutional exhibition that seeks to contextualize Jochen Klein’s work within the wider collective and personal preoccupations that characterized the lives and practices of the artists that worked alongside and with him.
While at the Academy, Klein shared his discomfort with the self-referential aspect of painting with classmates Thomas Eggerer and Amelie von Wulffen. When Klein relocated to New York City in 1994, he joined the pioneering artist collective Group Material, co-founded by Julie Ault. In 1995, Klein began a relationship with artist Wolfgang Tillmans and in 1996 they moved to London, where Klein returned to painting, producing his last paintings unaware that he had contracted HIV.
The show presents the artist’s earliest works on canvas as well as drawings, watercolors and some sculptural experiments. A book of collaged men’s garments from 1992 offers a glimpse into Klein’s ongoing fascination with the not so straightforward signs of self-fashioning, desire, and masculinity at the end of the last century, which also emerge in his last works that combine collage and painting. The exhibition includes reproductions of documentation from Klein and Thomas Eggerer’s collaborative work, a letter about Klein written by Julie Ault, a landscape painting by Ull Hohn, and contributions by Thomas Eggerer, Wolfgang Tillmans and Amelie von Wullfen, selected by the artists themselves from the work they made around the time they knew Klein. Boyzone, painted in 1998 by Thomas Eggerer portrays a line of soldiers exchanging canvas bags during the Oder flood catastrophe of 1997, while Amelie von Wulffen’s warped composite interior from 2000 is reminiscent of how reality and memory do not always corroborate one another. Wolfgang Tillmans’ presents the last image of the Concorde series, photographed in April 1997 when Klein was still alive, enlarged in exhausted developer chemicals producing an arcadia like dreamy landscape strangely akin to Klein’s painting.
JOCHEN KLEIN (Geigen, 1967-1997) was an artist working in painting, drawing and collage, as well as conceptual socially engaged projects. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1989 to 1994 and later spent a year as a visiting student at Vermont College of Art. During his years as an artist Klein collaborated with artist Thomas Eggerer (1993-1996) and was a member of artist collective Group Material (1994-1996), moving between Munich, New York City, and London. Klein’s painterly work has been part of a number of group and solo exhibitions across Europe and the United States, including: Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg; Cubitt, London; Feature Inc., New York City; Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunstverein Braunschweig; Galerie Buchholz, New York, Cologne and Berlin; Migros, Zurich; Maureen Paley, London; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Klein also participated in a number of exhibitions as part of his collaborative work including at Kunstverein München, Munich and Printed Matter, New York.
JULIE AULT (Boston, 1957) is an artist and curator, working in exhibition making, art criticism and theory, and historical chronicles. She explores how art shapes and is shaped by the political, social, economic, and aesthetic circumstances of a given moment. Ault received a B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Ph.D. from the Malmö Art Academy of Lund University. She was a co-founder of the art collective Group Material active between 1979 and 1996, and her work as an artist and curator has been exhibited at the São Paulo and Whitney Biennials and at such venues as Artists Space, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Secession, Vienna, among others. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles, Portland State University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Cooper Union, and the California College of the Arts. Her publications include Alternative Art New York, 1965–1985 (2002), Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material (2010), Two Cabins by James Benning (2011) and In Part: Writings by Julie Ault (2017).
THOMAS EGGERER (Munich, 1963) was trained as a painter at the Art Academy in Munich. After moving to New York in 1994, he became part of the art collective Group Material. His practice focuses on painting, drawing, and collage, and his works often portray figures in an abstract, surreal landscape. Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at 15 Orient, Brooklyn; Maureen Paley, London; Galerie Buchholz , Cologne; Richard Telles, Los Angeles; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at David Zwirner, New York; Queer Thoughts, New York; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Brandhorst Museum, Munich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; White Columns, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Vancouver Art Gallery; CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco; and the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt among others. He is a regular faculty member at the MFA program at Bard College.
ULL HOHN (Trier, 1960 – 1995) focused his painting on representations of sexuality as well as the dichotomy between abstraction and figuration, conceptions of ‘nature’ vis à vis ‘the natural’. Hohn studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and was a Meisterschüler under Gerhard Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In late 1986, Hohn moved to New York to participate in the Whitney Independent Study Program (ISP). Works by Ull Hohn have been presented at MD72/Galerie Neu, Berlin; Peephole, Milan; mumok, Vienna; Kunsthalle Bern; Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Bortolami, New York; CAPC, Bordeaux; Sculpture Center, New York; Algus Greenspon, New York; Between Bridges, London; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Kunstraum Wien; American Fine Arts, Co., New York; White Columns, New York; and Julian Pretto–Berland/Hall, New York.
WOLFGANG TILLMANS (Remscheid, 1968) lives between Berlin and London. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. Solo exhibitions of Tillmans’ work have been held at numerous institutions and galleries including: MoMA, New York; mumok, Vienna; Regen Projects, LA; Maureen Paley, London; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne: Tate Modern, London; Musée d’Art Contemporain et Multimédias, Kinshasa; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, Cologne and New York; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunstverein München, Munich and many more. Tillmans was the first photographer – and also the first non-British person – to be awarded the Tate annual Turner Prize in 2000. He has also been awarded the Hasselblad Award, the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’s Charles Wollaston Award, The Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography, and is an Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Tillmans has held professorships at Städelschule, Frankfurt on the Main and Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg and is a member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He is Chair of the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Trustee on the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and founder of the Foundation Between Bridges for the support of humanism, solidarity, the advancement of democracy, the arts, LGBT+ rights and anti-racism work, based in Berlin.
AMELIE VON WULFFEN (Breitenbrunn, 1966) works with collage, drawing, painting and installation. Her work enquires into the historic, economic, and social conditions of painting, approaching the historical, social and political layers and contradictions of Germany’s recent past through an aesthetic enquiry into the medium of painting as well as decorative arts and architectural elements. Von Wulffen studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1987 to 1994. Her work was exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennale; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum für Gegewartskunst, Basel; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Galerie Meyer Kainer, Berlin; Campoli Presti, Paris; MAMCO, Geneva. From 2006 to 2011 she was Professor of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Von Wulffen is a recipient of the Villa Romana Award (2000) and the ars viva Award (2002).
Curators: Luca Lo Pinto, Wolfgang Tillmans
Curatorial Coordinator: Chiara C. Siravo
Production Coordinator: Lorena Stamo
Production Assistant: Anna Mostardi
Art Handlers: Fabio Pennacchia, Matteo Pompili