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kI Galerie prĂ¤sentiert:
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09. bis 24.Januar 2016
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Ralph Tepel (* 1964 in Celle) ist ein deutscher Künstler, der sich mit Fotografie, Malerei, Bildhauerei und Klangkunstprojekten beschäftigt.
Tepel beschäftigte sich bereits in seiner Jugend mit künstlerischen Themen, malte, zeichnete und schuf erste plastische Arbeiten und Skulpturen. Ab 1983 nach seinem Abitur studierte er neben der evangelischen Theologie auch Design und Kunst in Wuppertal, Heidelberg und Bonn. Von 1995 bis 1997 war er Meisterschüler bei dem aus São Paulo nach Köln zurückgekehrten Alfons Engling. 1995 lernte er in Köln Helmut Tollmann kennen, mit dem ihn eine tiefe Freundschaft ver- bindet und bei dem er von 1998 bis 2006 als Assistent arbeitete. Die von Helmut Tollmann entwickelte Multilayer-Technik mit der Verbindung aus Druck und Fotogra e entlehnten Techniken faszinierte ihn sehr und haben Aus- wirkungen bis in die heutigen Arbeiten.
ter des Grundgesetzes” präsentiert hatte, wurde er von Christian Kiefer zum Musikund Kunstprojekt “Of Great and Mortal Men” von J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer und Jefferson Pitcher über die 44 Präsidenten der USA eingeladen und steuerte das Bild “Richard Nixon” bei. Nach der Verlegung des Ateliers nach Solingen, begann die Suche nach neuen Ausdrucksformen unter dem ständigen Leitmotiv Freiheit. Die politischen Akzente in seiner Malerei und Bildhauerei fokussierten sich auf das Thema der Zer- störung von Freiheit durch Digitalisierung und Ökonomisierung. Diese Arbeiten wurden in der Kornelius-Galerie Anfang 2015 präsentiert. Quelle: Ralph Tepel Quelle: https://de.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Ralph_Tepel?oldid=145268095 Autoren: Aka, AHZ, Pelz, DerHexer, Wikinger08, Kjalarr, BemFrank64 und Maran2014
Ralph Tepel war als künstlerischer Fotograf etliche Jahre Mitglied der American Society of Picture Professionals und des Adobe Photographers Directory. Er wurde mit seiner Arbeit im Band 1 von Künstlerische Fotografie heute veröffentlicht. In den Jahren 2007 und 2008 lebte und arbeitete Ralph Tepel in Calgary, Alberta. Dort entstand eine Fülle neuer fotogra scher Arbeiten. Das Ausstellungs- und Buchprojekt „inspired by music“ fand in Calgary seinen ersten Höhepunkt: Fotografien von Ensembles aus den Genres Klassik, Jazz und Worldmusic, die in mehr als einem Jahrzehnt aufgenommen wurden. Da Ralph Tepel in den Jahren 2004–2006 eine Serie von Gemälden über die “Gesich-
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Ralph Tepel born 1964 in Celle, Lower Saxony, Germany is a german artist, working now for more than 25 years as a ne art photographer, painter, sculptor and last but not least as a sound performance artist.
He started painting, drawing and sculpturing in his childhood and youth. In school he found a catalyzer in his art teacher. 1983 he got his university entrance diploma. He studied theology, art and design at the universities of Wuppertal, Heidelberg, and Bonn. From 1995 – 1997 he studied as a master scholar with Professor Alfons Engling, after his return from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Cologne, Germany. In 1995 he became acquainted with Helmut Tollmann and was working at his studio from 1998 to 2006 as an assistant and collaborator. The multi-layer work of Helmut Tollmann integrating techniques from print and photography to painting had a strong influence on Ralph Tepels artwork until today.
focus photography 1986 – 2012
Ralph Tepel was as a ne art photographer several years member of the American Society of Picture Professionals and the Adobe Photographers Directory. An article on Ralph Tepel and his work was published in Künstlerische Foto- gra e heute, Band 1 (Fine art photography to- day, Volume 1). In the years 2007 and 2008 he was living and working in Calgary, Alberta. A lot of new artworks were originated. Photographs from more than one decade culminated in the “inspired by music”- project, shown in an exhibition and published in an art book.
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Faces of constitutional law and the presidential project 2004 -2008
Since Ralph Tepel had created a series of paintings of the men and women of the Parliamentary Council under the exhibition title “faces of constitutional law”, Christian Kiefer invited him to take part in the music and art Presidential Project “Of great and mortal men” of J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer and Jefferson Pitcher with the portrait of Richard Nixon.
Liberty as a guiding theme 2009 – 2014
After moving his studio from Cologne to Solingen, he was looking for new forms of ex- pression always with the guiding theme liberty and freedom. The political implications of his painting and sculpturing focused on the loss of liberty through digitization and economization of the society. These works were shown at the Kornelius gallery at the beginning of 2015.
The Myth Game 2015
The death of his father and his own severe accident were profound experience that changed his vision of the world and his artwork eradicative. He dealt intensely with the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and met with a completely new Expression of his own, that led him to the Myth Game in appeal to Ludwig Wittgenstein and Roland Barthes, the “Sprachspiel” (language game) and “the everyday myth”. source: Ralph Tepel Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Ralph_Tepel?oldid=671457983 Contributors: Yobotand BemFrank64
Interview from: Peripheral ARTeries Special Summer Issue 2015
Ralph Tepel’s work is engaged in a deep search for aesthetic variations that creates a subtle but intense bound between abstraction and perception: through his eyes, we see the world as a kaleidoscope of shapes that evolve from an imaginary dimension to our reality. Despite of many abstract artists of the current generation, he avoids to drag the viewer in his personal imagery: he rather urges us to search for a kind of total independence which reveals the highly political engagement of Tepel’s artistic practice. I’m very pleased to introduce our readers to his multifaceted production. 1) Hello Ralph and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: to start this interview would you like to tell our readers something about your background? In particular you have a solid formal training, and after your studies in art, design and theology at the universities of Wuppertal you later had the chance to study with Prof. Alfons Engling: how have these experiences in uenced you as an artist and how do they impact on the way you currently conceive and produce your artworks? Thank you for your invitation. My studies in Wuppertal, Heidelberg, Bonn, Dresden and Cologne were all ultimately about myth: The biblical, the ancient and the modern every day myth. That’s what theology and
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design is all about. Art’s something different, it’s a kind of game. Ludwig Wittgenstein used in his “Philosophical Investigations” the term “Sprachspiel” translated language game. I feel con dent, that there is a game of imagery we all can learn to play. A game with rules, symbols, colours, shapes and so on. Art is expression. Studying with Prof. Alfons Engling a great painter and sculptor after his return from Brazil, where he was living und working for 30 Years, was a great experience. Engling and a fortiori working as an assistant to Helmut Tollmann from 1998 to 2006 had an impact on the multilayer structure of my paintings. This is not just about the technical process and structure of the artworks but also the meaning. An artwork should be multi-dimensional, it should have a multi-referential structure, as any game. 2) Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece? As Joseph Beuys once stated: “before we know, what to do, we have to know, what we think.” This stage needs some time. Because this knowledge about what we
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think must be natural, self-evident and so deeply understood, that it can flow out without rethinking. Since I’m playing a game, (the viewers will do it in their own way getting in contact with the canvas), the rules, the shapes, the colours, the symbols are a repertoire of characters and symbols, instructions and so on. It’s an intentionaldynamic process. During this process sequence I do not think about rules and colours and shapes and techniques, it’s all natural and self-evident, just flowing. The technical aspects of the work must be understood long before I start on a single piece. The time I put in depends on different parameters for every artwork. I can’t say that either. 3) Now let’s focus on your art production: I would start with Totally global and Trust me, an interesting couple of paintings that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit http:// www.ralphtepel.de in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces? What was your initial inspiration?
behind the curtain of cool ice blue? May be the pauperization of millions, for example 12 of 80 million people in Germany? In graf ti symbols the crown is decorating an outstanding person. I use the crown to distinguish the human being in person as outstanding. 4) Another interesting work of yours that have impressed on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Archpriests: I definitely love the way this work conveys such a dynamic message, and it speaks to me about freedom both on an emotional aspect and on a formal one. I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances that has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay “oneiric”- luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation, a feature that I can recognize also in Ambassadors
... to by the way, any comments on your choice of “palette” and how it has changed over time? The “Archpriests of signification” is one of the recent works, that broach the issue of modern myth by transferring them to the symbols of the ancient times reversely to “Frankfurt and Gomorrah” or “golden calf”. The “golden calf” in my artistic view seems to be a DJ stimulating the people and the financial market to dance, “just dance”, “keep on moving”... Anyway these artworks bring the mythological world and contemporary environment together for mutual reinterpretation. On the other hand it’s a kind of oneiric luminosity in the Archpriests, I would call it an oneiric myth. One can experience the constitution of signification in these Archpriests in person. But may be one of them has a clubfoot. Take care. The “palette” in these recent pieces has changed a bit to more pastel-coloured and complementary colour stimuli. “The
If you will excuse me, I’ll start with Trust me. This piece is one of these associative-unmasking or unveiling artworks, that expose the myth behind the money driven world, just by making free association to symbols of life, harm and death. Converting George Washington to a skull, money alters to a personalization of death. Playing with “money makes the world go round” but at what cost. Another aspect is: why do we put money into power? Why is it an object of worship? Why is it our modern times God? Cause we love it. It’s one of these over and over painted, multi-layer pieces, in the background almost invisible is mother earth and the four ancient elements of the world: fire, water, earth and air. Covered or should I say buried by the modern God. Totally global on the other hand is an artwork playing with the symbols of kingdom. What’s in power? globalization or the human being with the crown on his head. It’s a multi-layer piece as well, covering up the space around the written words, leaving just little windows. Who knows what’s
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Ambassadors of the market” are oneiric shapes as well, can’t tell if it’s total nightmare, but they live from the same earthy “palette” the archpriests have risen from. 5) Although marked with a deep abstract feature, each work of yours is a self defining entity and you often choose titles related to perception and memory and seem to refer to human nature more than a merely representative painting could do. I daresay that you explorate the implication of experience itself, the impossibility of a description that could prescind from the experience of imagination, and this seems to be clear especially in No Borders... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience from real world is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? This is a kind of hermeneutic question. Do people need a connecting factor, a link to integrate the new with their existence? As Goethe once stated: “wouldn’t be the eye sun-like it couldn’t catch a glimpse of the sun”. I do not agree with that. Not all referential links are based on experience, unless the experience of imagination itself as your question implies. In the creation process to “No Borders...” even on an early stage of the process I knew the inner structure. Four areas with big brothers eye in the very middle linked by crossing ways, the data-highway for the money and the street blocked by the barrier, the toll
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bar and as anyone can see now the death toll bar. And right above the small black sky-band of the stock indices. There is no place in the world anyone could behold this scene. You need imagination for such an extreme contraction, an unveiling contraction. Art should form the world by imagination. Art should not be a decorative reproduction of the world shrunk and nicely framed to fit into the living room. Real art will always shake up any living room and the spirit of its resident. No Borders. 6) One of the features of your approach that I appreciate the most is the way you seem to offer such an Ariadne’s thread that allows to discover the dimension of your imagery. You do not force the viewers to follow your process in a prearranged way: on the contrary, the sense of freedom that pervades your approach is gently transmitted to whom comes into contato with your canvas and allows to investigate about the nature of the work of art itself... in this sense, your approach has reminded me the way the work of Franz Ackermann relates to the viewers, urging them to take active part to the construction of the sense... This aspect of your work has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even “encrypted” in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what’s your point about this?
A friend asked me lately: Do these artpieces make to great demands on the viewer? They need “to take active part to the construction of the sense” as you traced it. Franz Ackermann called his artworks “mental maps”, I call it a “game of imagery”, it’s not the same but anyway you need characters, instructions, shapes, colours, rules to setup the map and the game. Anyone using the map, has to make his own way with it, anyone playing the game is playing his own “reading”, “investigation” what’s in the artwork and replenishing it with his own connotations. Art is not a container or a box the artist put a message in, the viewer has to receive and open. If there would be a clear and easy message, the artist could tell it or write it down in a few words, no artwork to paint. An artwork is different. The artist can’t force the viewer to follow a prearranged way, since a piece of art is not a linear medium, but an associative. It needs the active role of the viewer in constructing sense. The artist can steer this process a bit, but he is not in control. You’re right, one of the roles of the artist, in my view, is to reveal the unexpected. But the unexpected will vary from viewer to viewer. Sometimes I dumbfound myself, cause the game of imagery creates more than the artist can consciously intend. There is a power in the game the artist is playing, that brings the unconscious to light and to the canvas. Our inner nature as you called it.
7) As you have stated once art is not interpreting the world but forming it: your works are intrinsically connected with the chance of creating a deep interaction with your viewers, urging them to follow your process and pushing them to not play as a passive audience. And I can recognize the associative-unmasking feature of Art is clearly revealed by Frankfurt and Gomorrah, which I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours. Many contemporary artists, as the photographers as the Edward Burtynsky and Michael Light convey some form of political message in their works. Do you consider that your pieces are in a certain sense “political” or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach? By the way, although I’m aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I have to admit that I’m sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadays- could play an effective role in sociopolitical questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people’s behaviour... what’s your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated? Aristoteles specified the human being as a “zoon politikon”, a naturally social being. One cannot grow up without being a part of a community. People are learning, they are developing in relation to others. Everything we do correlates with the community, the “polis” as the ancient Greeks called it. In a complex world we live in, the focus is always on just a few spots. Art allows a more
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deliberate view on what’s significant and fundamental. In my art pieces I do not need to argue. It’s not an analytic essay, it’s no documentary. Art can join things together, link events or embed procedures and incidents no one could in a political environment. This is why art can unveil and unmask in a way nothing else could do. “Frankfurt and Gomorrah” is a beautiful example and even more “Flawless Democracy 2015” a 5.4 meter mural style painting, that shows several areas and parts of the society. The lynchpin in this piece is the scales of justice. Justitia or Justice in my artistic view is wearing the light blue striped clothes of concentration camp prisoners, she seems to be a political prisoner in a larger sense. The skyline of Frankfurt wiretapped and connected with the “Casino Global” a little wink to “Casino Royale”. A phrase of the former Federal President Roman Herzog is illustrating the role of the German Bundestag: “Germany must be paced by a jerk.” The comment in my art piece is: “Now it’s jerked”. The digital world is eroding democracy and the society as well. Edward Burtynsky and Michael Light pick out political issues as a main theme with a kind of morbid aesthetics with an inner sadness rising from their images. A drift photography can’t easily evade. I know that my attempt to avoid any beauty in these art works, could be absorbed by a new philosophy of aesthetics. At that particular time this will happen, the socio-political influence on behaviour will have been gone. There will be no protest march commenced by an exhibition in a museum. The institutions of art maintain an aesthetical distance to the society, a big issue in art perception.
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8) You have clearly expressed your viewpoint about what you have defined the world of organized boredom of “like it – clicks” that unfortunately pervaded contemporary society: however, it goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of an important support, which is for sure not absolutely indespensable, but that in certain situations can stimulate to keep on with Art: I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... do you think that the need of such stimules could denote such a pathological state of these days’s artistic production? Moreover, how would you de ne the nature of the relation with your audience? “Philistine” are the guys living in organized boredom. They are almost dead, they’re not living their own life, they are not even
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aware of this sad fact. I’m pretty sure that paintings and other great art works, sculptures, installations and so on can give us so deep an analogue experience of our life, that one can never ever digitize. That there is one single unique original painting unique as ourselves makes it a face-to-face encounter no copy can provide. Facebook, Twitter and the other so called social networks are just marketing instruments. There are these to follow and those who follow. Do we all need support for whatever we do in our everyday life? Yes we do. Could even the expectation of positive feedback influence the process of an artist? Yes and if it does, one should ask if he or she is doing his or her thing or just that what they think other people could expect. I guess that’s why the art market is so boring. Just a few are brave enough to do something new and their own, giving a shit on what others might say, could expect. They should dumbfound themselves and all their real friends what’s emerging
from their inner world or nature. To marvel is the origin of art. 9) Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Ralph. My last question deals with your future plans: how do you see your work evolving? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? My pleasure. There are plans for two or three big triptychs to paint next. The main theme will be the political odyssey weaving cocoons of excuses between Scylla and Charybdis. There will be new sculptures from birch wood cut with the chain saw in the same mythic style my current paintings had been done. The first one settled already at my studio. Thank you for your interest in my work.
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Ausstellungen in Auswahl
•KUNST ist immer ein Geschenk – Gruppenausstellung in der k1 Galerie, Solingen •Literatur beleuchtet – vier Installationen zur Lichternacht 2015, Bachtor-Centrum, Solingen •Ralph Tepel: Mythenspiele – die Begegnung, k1-Galerie, Solingen •Wege zur Schlichtheit 11 MUGA (Selbstvergessenheit) – 第11回 簡素への彷徨展, Schloss Mitsuko,Todendorf •Produktion, Regieassistenz und Musik für „panta rei“ von Helmut Tollmann, K.U.L.T., Bedburg •Offene Ateliers, Ausstellung: “Das ganze Leben ist ein Chip”, Kultur Morgen Solingen •Die Gedanken sind frei, Ausstellung, Kornelius-Galerie, Aachen
•Farben des Herbstes, Gruppenausstellung, Galerie Rheinland, Solingen •“10. Wege zur Schlichtheit”, Gruppenausstellung, Schloss Mitsuko, Todendorf
•Haaner Kunstherbst, Gruppenausstellung, Haan
•Haaner Kunstherbst, Gruppenausstellung, Haan
•atelier sanssouci, fluid lightshow, Ausstellung und Projektionsschau, Solingen •Internationale Kunstausstellung, Gruppenausstellung, St. Andreasberg •alles paletti, Gruppenausstellung, Güterhallen, Solingen •atelier sanssouci, „restaurant solingen” Präsentation des 8 x 2 m Kunstwerkes auf alten Türen, Solingen
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Ausstellungen in Auswahl (Fortsetzung)
•Produktion und Regieassistenz „Cosmic Elements“ von Helmut Tollmann, Museumsnacht Hegau-Bodensee
•5th Street Gallery, Gruppenausstellung und Kunstauktion, Dayton, OH, USA •Kunst trifft Karneval, Gruppenausstellung, Köln •Produktion und Regieassistenz „Cosmic Prayer“ von Helmut Tollmann, Herz-Jesu-Kirche, Singen
•Kunstwerk „Richard Nixon” für das Präsidenten-Project „of great and mortal men”, Buch und Ausstellungen in allen Bundesstaaten begleitend zu den Konzerten, USA •“inspired by music”, Ausstellung und Buch, Calgary, Canada
•“art of object”, Calgary, Canada •“faces of constitutional law”, Ausstellung, Köln
•“icons of humanity”, HYPE Gallery, Berlin •ralph tepel photographs, Ausstellung, art gallery, Sani, Griechenland •Aufnahme in den Kunstband “Künstlerische Fotografie heute2, ars momentum, Witten, 2007
•soul landscapes, Ausstellung, Thessaloniki, Griechenland
•“ars lignea”, Ausstellung, Köln •“golgatha project”, Malerei, Köln
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Werke im Katalog Titelseite: Troja I, Acryl, Sand auf Leinwand, 190 x 160 cm Seite 6: Troja IV, Acryl, Silberfolie auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm Seite 9; Troja II, Acryl, Ölkreide, Sand, Lackfarbe auf Leinwand, 150 x 130 cm Seite 10: Troja III, Acryl, Ölkreide auf Leinwand, 150 x 130 cm Seite 11: o.T., Acryl, Sand auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm Seite 12: Ashre, Acryl, Filz auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm, offener Rahmen Seite 15: o.T. Acryl auf Leinwänden, 50 x 70 cm Seite 16: o.T., Acryl, Holz auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm Seite 17: o.T., Acryl, Bambus auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm Seite 19, Guantanamo, Acryl, Filz, Drahtge echt auf Leinwand, 50 x 50 cm Seite 20, wounded Europe, Acryl, Sand, Oil pencil auf Leinwand, 190 x 170 cm Seite 21, O.T. Acryl, Sand, Oil pencil auf Leinwand, je 70 x 100 cm Seite 22; o.T., Skulptur Gips, Bambus, Draht, Acryl, ca. 29 x 24 x13 cm Seite 25: o.T., Skulptur Acrylglas, Holz, Gips, Acrylfarbe, ca. 44,5 x 45 x 23 cm Seiten 26/27: Schiff fatal, Gips, Gipsbinde, Drahtgeflecht, Acrylfarbe, ca. 36 x 45 x 24 cm Seite 28, Genesis, Acryl, Oil pencil, Lack auf Leinwand, 110 x 150 cm Alle Werke 2015
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Impressum k1 Galerie, Kurfürstenstr. 1, 42655 Solingen, Deutschland www.k1galerie.de email@example.com Text: Wenn nicht anders vermerkt, k1 Galerie Layout: sensation-art-media Fotos: Ralph Tepel und Ümit Marangoz Druck: WIRmachenDRUCK GmbH Mühlbachstr. 7 71522 Backnang Deutschland Solingen 2015
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Catalogue from the Exhibition "West-eastern Divan" 2016 at the k1 Gallery Solingen, Germany