Christian Lemmerz: LARGO
13 May 2009 - 5 December 2010
Don’t forget that you will die! Christian Lemmerz’ new exhibition Largo goes against the tide of the contemporary blinkered worship of all that is up-beat and youthful. Lemmerz has produced a number of completely new works in bronze, creating a monumental installation reminiscent of a chapel, paying homage to slowness and focuses on death. The installation consists of seven large reliefs and five free-standing sculptures. All the works exhibited weigh between a half and a whole ton.
In music, largo is a tempo marking used for a broad, slow movement which often serves as the basis for a particularly solemn, earnest, or grieving emotion. Largos are elegiac, melancholy melodies that progress with dignity. "Largo" is sombreness and gravitas embedded in the choice of format, content, and material.
The works all refer to Christian burial rituals and their appurtenances. The symbolism insistently confronts the viewer face to face with the long period between birth and death. We find an oversized fetus, a closed coffin, and a golden flower lying on the floor like a severed head. The seven reliefs refer to the seven days of the Creation.
About Christian Lemmerz
Born in 1959 in Karlsruhe , Germany. Studied sculpture at the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts, Italy, from 1978 to 1982; arrived in Copenhagen in 1982, where he attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1982-86) and was associated with the working collective Værkstedet Værst (“The Workshop Worst”) (1982-84), whose members also included Erik A. Frandsen and Lars Nørgård.
From 1985 onwards he worked with the painter Michael Kvium in the performance group Værst, and since then they have worked on several joint projects, most recently the 8-hour long silent movie The Wake (2000), based on James Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake (1939).
In terms of exhibitions his breakthrough came in 1986 at the generation exhibition Limelight at Charlottenborg. Since then he has made his mark with a long line of exhibitions, primarily in Europe and the USA, e.g. in Brussels, Cologne, Barcelona, The Hague, Paris, Antwerp, Toronto, Sao Paolo, and New York.
In public life Lemmerz is perhaps best known from the scandal exhibition "Scene" in 1994 at Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, of which the rotting corpses of pigs lying in transparent boxes formed a vital part of.