Hell falls, cockfights, nice evenings
February 11 – June 9, 2024
Introduction: Dr. Selima Niggl, Co-Curator
The retrospective exhibition shows the multifaceted work of the painter and sharp-tongued art critic Hans Platschek. Hans Platschek, who was born in Berlin in 1923 and grew up during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi regime, fled with his family into exile in Uruguay in 1939. In 1953, despite the extermination of numerous relatives in the Holocaust, Platschek returned to Europe, where he died in Hamburg in 2000 after residing in Munich, Rome and London.
The painter-author became known in Munich in the mid-1950s with his gestural abstract works and simultaneous criticism of the inflationary spread of non-objective painting. At the end of 1957 - already very well connected internationally - he had an exhibition at the newly foundedGalerie van de Loo in Munich. There he met the members of the SPUR group. In 1963, he moved with the writer, and his later wife, Gisela Elsner, born in Nuremberg in 1937, first to Rome and then to London in 1964. There, parallel to Elsner´s texts, he developed a "satirical realism" in painting, which also characterized the period after his move to Hamburg in 1970, as shown in the painting A Nice Evening. With publications, newspaper reviews and radio contributions Platschek continued to intervene unambiguously in the discourse on art, the market and the media. He continually developed his painting in various series. These include still life and expressive portraits of artist friends, writers, collectors and, last but not least, himself. In the mid-1990s, he created works such as Self-Portrait in the Port of Montevideo and Cockfight 1, which thematize his temporary return to Uruguay and at the same time provide a link to the work he created in Munich in 1960.
At the Museum Lothar Fischer, Platschek's work is shown in the context of works by early painter friends such as Asger Jorn, Henri Michaux, Emil Schumacher, KRH Sonderborg and the members of the SPUR group (Lothar Fischer, Heimrad Prem, Helmut Sturm, HP Zimmer). With a special Platschek/Elsner room this exhibition is the first to present a documentation of the couple´s collaboration.
The exhibition will then be presented in a slightly modified form at the Ernst Barlach Haus - Stiftung Hermann F. Reemtsma, Hamburg, from June 23 to October 13, 2024.
The retrospective is a cooperation with the Kunsthalle Schweinfurt, the van de Loo Foundation, Munich, the Hans Platschek Foundation, Hamburg, and the International Gisela Elsner Society e.V., based in the Sulzbach-Rosenberg Literature Archive.
Catalog: Edited by Claus Mewes, Selima Niggl, edition metzel, 2023, 29 € at the museum box office.