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Sophie Glas

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MICHAEL SAILSTORFER, U6, 14° 34' 79,0" N / 60° 50' 69,6'' W, E, 2007


21 Jul – 29 Oct 2017

Hamburger Kunsthalle · Galerie der Gegenwart Glockengießerwall 5, 20095 Hamburg, Germany

The large-scale exhibition Art and Alphabet explores the complex relationship between writing and images in contemporary art. The basic components of writing – letters, symbols and alphabets – are key elements in the featured artworks, which analyse, manipulate and modify these visual signs. The focus shifts from reading to seeing, from deciphering to perceiving, resulting in a curious back-and-forth between writing and image.


As a visual language, writing also plays a fundamental role in the construction of personal, social and cultural identity, leading to the development of a great variety of alphabets and scripts. This has inspired many visual artists to recontextualise language as a medium of communication by moving it into the pictorial realm, where it can be explored, creatively extended or playfully transformed.


Art and Alphabet brings together works from the last 10 years by around 20 international artists, including pieces (loans from the Scharpff Collection) that have been produced especially for the exhibition. A number of individual works from the 1960s and 1970s provide a historical perspective on this fascinating theme.


The exhibition features works by Mounira Al Solh, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Michael Bauch, Marcel Broodthaers, Natalie Czech, Ayşe Erkmen, Friederike Feldmann, Mekhitar Garabedian, Petrit Halilaj, Camille Henrot, Katie Holten, Bethan Huws, Janice Kerbel, Karl Larsson, Rivane Neuenschwander, Paulina Olowska, Martha Rosler, Michael Sailstorfer, Harald Stoffers, Ignacio Uriarte and Philippe Vandenberg.


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