PHOTOGRAPHS 2001 – 2015
Munich Re Art Gallery | February 2015 – January 2016
Frank Stürmer devotes himself in his artwork to depicting what is unique and beautiful in the mundane, incidental moments of life. His international photographic excursions take him through splendid gardens, remote landscapes, and busy metropolitan streets. His camera also captures people along the way.
The rear view that the artist usually chooses is a leitmotif in his oeuvre and sets the tone for this exhibition. Alluding to the final sequence of the Charlie Chaplin film, Modern Times, in which the moment of the presumed end morphs into the beginning of a new, unknown story, the viewer here is also urged to set out on a journey.
The exhibition gives insight into the complex oeuvre of Frank Stürmer. The Munich Re Art Collection has several of his works, including the nine-piece series, La Mortella, which has been on display outside the cafeteria since August 2014.
Frank Stürmer talks to Susanne Ehrenfried-Bergmann.© Frank Stürmer / Munich Re
The exhibition focuses on photographs from different groups of themes and works, from 2001 to the present. The small-format series, Epoca de aur (The Golden Age), was created in 2010 as an allusion to the famous painting of Lucas Cranach d. Ä., Das Goldene Zeitalter, from around 1530. It depicts an ideal image of life based on an ancient myth, in which man and animals are peacefully united in a garden in paradise. However, Stürmer's interpretation does not portray a holistic design of an ideal that expresses longing for the paradisiacal era, but instead, facets of our present – ranging from unspoiled natural beauty to luxury and decadence – as his way of addressing the form and content of Cranach's depiction.
In Nitzkydorf, the group of works from 2012, the artist devotes himself to the Romanian village Niţchidorf's architecture, which reflects the town's turbulent history. The small one-storey buildings are all constructed according to the same principle and, in keeping with old tradition, bear the names of their German, Romanian or Hungarian owners on their gable walls. Stürmer's photographs show the individual features of the buildings, with all the marks of time and, although no people are to be seen, their presence is clearly felt.
The more than 30 works from various creative phases lend cohesion to the exhibition. Here we encounter people on the streets, urban landscapes, remote houses, exotic plant life. It is the commonplace, things and scenes we see often, from which the discerning eye of the artist elicits magic, bestowing an almost mystical quality.