An exhibition featuring the work of German artist Rainer Wehner opens the season at the Colleges. An installation of sculpture and graphic works titled “Intimacies,” the exhibit is comprised of two freestanding sculptures, three wall pieces, and three drawings and will be shown in the Colleges’ Houghton House Gallery. Wehner will present a lecture on his work beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 in Houghton House room 212, and following the lecture an opening reception will be held in the Gallery from 6 until 8 p.m. that will include the reading of a poem composed for this exhibition, titled “Look at the White Wall,” by local author Josephine Clare. These events are free and the public is invited to attend.
Raised in Bamberg, Germany, Wehner most recently has lived in Berlin. His formal art training is from the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Wehner’s work can be found in many museums and public collections in Germany as well as Japan and the United States. Themes in his deeply personal pieces include references that are autobiographical as well as responses to cultural and historical changes in his homeland. It has been written about Wehner’s work:
“Through a thoughtful union of traditional and contemporary aesthetics, he successfully weaves ancient mythological/religious narratives with histories from the second half of the twentieth century and offers viewers considerable substance for reflection.”
The multi-media works included in the exhibition incorporate steel tubing, florescent lights and scintigrams that are large body scans similar to X-rays. They were created in 2000 and 2002 during residencies at Sculpture Space, an international artist-in-residence program in Utica, N.Y. Sculpture Space is a unique artist-run organization dedicated to providing workspace, equipment, and technical support to emerging and mid-career artists working in sculpture. Since 1976, more than 300 artists from 14 countries and the U.S. have created new work that is exhibited in galleries, museums and sculpture parks worldwide. While in the area Wehner has served as guest lecturer at Hamilton College, Syracuse University, and Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica.
Clare is an accomplished poet and translator who developed an association with Rainer when asked to translate from German to English a written piece on the artist’s work. Clare, also a native of Germany, was born in Gammertingen, a southwestern village near Stuttgart. She was educated in Germany and Austria, and has a long list of publications to her name. Most recently she has written a book of poems titled “Twelve,” published by Potato Clock Signatures of Boulder, Colo. The book is dedicated to the memory of her son Hannes Hollo.