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Bernd Schwarzer. Europa

04 December 2003 - 19 January 2004
The Marble Palace

This retrospective exhibition introduces oeuvre of the 1970s-2003 of the modern German artist - Bernd Schwarzer. He depicts both bright and dark pages of German and European history and calls upon to forget neither of the two sides. The artist sees himself as a pondering chronicler whose searching look investigates the world around him and seeks truth in our days. Bernd Schwarzer was born in 1954 in Weimar, a city in eastern Germany. Before the Berlin Wall was built, his family moved to Dusseldorf on the Rhine, a centre of West German capitalism and at the same time a centre of new art. In 1976 Schwarzer entered The Fachhochschule fur Kunst und Design in Cologne. Werner Schriefers, one of the leading German representatives of, originally French, Informel trend, was his teacher. Showing himself as a politically topical artist, Schwarzer followed Joseph Beuys, who greatly influenced Schwarzer while being his teacher. Strong political spirits can be felt already in his early works. The artist reacts to every change, be it in Germany or somewhere else in the world. The three colours of the German flag - black, red, and golden - are present practically in all his works. They serve as a certain prism, through which the artist shows his evaluation of international events. Since the early eighties, a new colour and a new shape appear in Schwarzer's works. Blue colour and the form of circle - the symbols of united Europe. For Schwarzer tactile quality of material, its "geological" meaning is of great importance. He takes handfuls of paint and shapes relief: paint resembles some mountain range or rolling hills with ravines. Schwarzer makes material sound vividly and symbolically. This is how he expresses his attitude to on-going events. Flags, political maps, arms and emblems, banknotes and souvenirs - that is what comprises political geography, emotionally experienced, heartfelt, scratching one's heart with all its traumas and hopes.

Bernd Schwarzer
Alexander Borovsky, The State Russian Museum