Johannes Kahrs - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Almine Rech, Paris; Sammlung Goetz, Munich

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Almine Rech, La Révolution Permanente, 10 November – 23 December, 2000; London, Hayward Gallery, 4 October – 30 December, 2007; Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, 6 February – 4 May, 2008; The Painting of Modern Life

  • Literature

    V. Breuvat, Vitamin P, New Perspectives in Painting, London, 2002, p. 165 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, The Painting of Modern Life, London, 2007, pp. 164-165 and on the cover (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Johannes Kahrs' striking paintings use images from photography and film as both their source and their subject.The present lot recontextualizes images from film stills of Jean-Luc Godard's 1968 film Sympathy for the Devil which included shots of the Rolling Stones recording the eponymous song, interwoven with political imagery such as the Black Panthers and a message in the form of a voiceover about Marxism. For La Révolution Permanente, Kahrs selected two stills of the Rolling Stone's lead singer Mick Jagger in the recording studio: the first with the singer in a calm moment turned away from the microphone with drink in hand, presumably before singing, and the second with Jagger fully animated singing full force.The two views of Mick Jagger refer to the space between the images,referencing film, as well as the moments in real life between actions – what happens between a moment of stillness and a moment of violent, creative force. Kahrs heightens the intensity of this movement, while at the same time still presenting it as merely a sequence of images, as film stills contained within the frame of the painting's borders.
    "The treatment makes the images extremely artificial, formalized, almost abstract. And yet through this artificiality and symbolic-ness the content of the picture becomes clearer, more intense, without really being present. The absence of an event is demonstrated. It is only in the construction and through its voids that pain, love, and violence can be shown throughout. In this, there is nevertheless something like a beauty of the image in and of itself and this lies in the power of suggestion, the power of the mediation of great feelings, the experiencing of which allows one to sense reality.The images are lonely and heroic. In all their presence their only purpose is the reference.They refer to the great feelings."(E. Schmidt, ‘Why are you here? What do you want?' Johannes Kahrs,Bremen, 1999, p. 17).


La Révolution Permanente

Diptych: oil on canvas in the artist's metallic and perspex frame.
193.5 x 293.5 cm. (76 1/4 x 115 1/2 in).; 193.5 x 269 cm. (76 1/4 x 105 7/8 in).

£150,000 - 200,000 ≠♠†

Sold for £205,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm