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Johannes Albers: Stamps of Germany 1925 - 1985

January 15, 2016 by Mary

It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, Metro tram, four hours in the office, Stulle, four hours of work, Döner, Bierchen, Metro tram, sleep and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm - this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the "why" arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement. * 

Albers' new exhibition at the Michael Fuchs gallery titled Deutsche Briefmarken 1925 - 1985 lures unsuspecting viewers in. Pondering they stare. And then it happens - the "why". This very basic question is at the core of Albers' artistic conviction. "Why?" is probably the most profound philosophical dilemma - we are obsessed with it and thus eternally tormented in our futile efforts to determine this indeterminable question. Yet we believe that through logic and technological advances we shall one day be able to decipher the "why". The world, however, is absurd. Albers' art is concerned with coming to terms with the "why" and whatever secrets it conceals.


His multi-facetted oevre encompasses paintings, installations and found objects to name but a few. The new works are characterized by both their austere nature and their sensory and physical quality. Many of his works question human perception. He achieves this by playing with the scale of regular objects. Found objects, however, are not merely put on a pedestal as in the tradition of the readymade (Marcel Duchamp), but rather these objects undergo transformation. Albers removes found objects from their normal environment, morphs them into something different altogether (attributing new meaning to the object in the process) and confines the object to new space. Wachstum (2010, stone, cardboard box, display, 162 x 67 x 60 cm with plinth) is a prime example of this procedure. Contrarily, Albers is also well known for constructing objects, which create the illusion of space. With Healing (2010, Perspex, miniature street lamp, battery for lamp, artificial snow, water, 152 x 140 x 140 mm) Albers stages a scene; a miniature landscape so small it can be held in both hands. Resembling a snow globe, Healing is a testament to time - time through which we hope things to become better.

Johannes Albers, born 1966 in Emsland, lives and works in Berlin. At the tender age of 21 he chose to venture to London where he enrolled at the Goldsmiths College, studying under the supervision of none other than the renowned conceptual artist and lecturer Michael Craig-Martin. During his time at Goldsmiths Albers witnessed first hand the birth of the Young British Artists. Similarly to YBA Albers' work questions the foundation of contemporary art and culture.

Michael Fuchs Gallery, Auguststr. 11-13 , D-10117 Berlin
15 January – 27 February, 2016

*Adaptation: From Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus (Original text 1942)