Alexander König

Alexander König - Foreword
For this year's winter tour of the Spinnerei Galleries, Alexander König is presenting three works in the Filipp Gallery, to which the title of the presentation "Preface" does justice in several respects.

The works are based on the so-called master engravings by Albrecht Dürer, which were created in 1513 and 1514. König appropriates these engravings, quasi as an anniversary edition for the 500th birthday, and works out a new picture from their composition in each case.

In this way, the master engravings serve as a preface to König's works, just as the engravings as a high point of northern Alpine Renaissance graphic art can be read as a preface to the creation of art itself, as it took place in northern Europe from Dürer onwards. König transposes the three engravings into a painting which, although based on the prints, neither imitates them nor interprets them in the classical sense. Rather, the artist creates works from the source material that he fully subordinates to his own pictorial rhetoric and theme. In doing so, it is of no importance to him to check image entitlements. He neither updates nor poses the question of how things can continue after Dürer's "perfection" and the fragmentation of modernism.

The engravings of the Nuremberg master only provide Alexander König with a compositional and narrative stimulus. In this he is closer to Picasso than to the descendants and theoreticians of 'Appropriation Art' [in 1957 Picasso created his cycle "Las Meninas" after Velázquez's "Las Meninas" of 1656]. Dürer gives the occasion, out came König, who decides on direction, statement, figuration and dramaturgy: The "Melencolia" is given the direction of the printing plate, thus already becoming, as it were, the preface for Dürer's finished engraving; Jerome's enclosure is a claustrophobic, dramatic chamber; knight and death exchange roles and force each other, the devil is in the detail, but heavy and massive. König keeps visible the chain that connects his works with Dürer's "prefaces": He is not concerned with a game for initiates. In his works, König focuses on the aspects of the prints that are essential to his pictorial theme, ensures that the reference is recognised, but dispenses with their immanent, but for him not decisive, time-bound symbolism. For him, pictorial power comes before pictorial narrative.

Yet another aspect of König's chosen title "Preface" should not be ignored: The presentation is a reference to a major 'Alexander König: Werkschau' planned in all four cabinets at Josef Filipp in September 2015.
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