Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of the paintings of Norbert Prangenberg. This will be the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery and is presented in collaboration with Bernd Schellhorn of Berlin, Germany.
Included in the exhibition will be a selection of approximately 30 recent paintings. Although primarily known as a sculptor, Prangenberg has always worked in a variety of media; his sculptures, paintings, drawings, and prints are recognized as equally significant. And one media is not exclusive of the other; for example his ceramics very much influence the tactile way in which he applies his paint. Throughout all of his work, his fundamental relationship between sight and touch, eye and hand, is evident.
The paintings in this exhibition are all small, ranging from 10 x 8 inches to approximately 27 x 20 inches. Prangenberg paints on a variety of surfaces: cardboard, wood, metal, and occasionally canvas, often allowing a portion of the foundation or ground to peak through the paint. The artist uses brushstrokes, finger marks, varying densities of paint and intensities of color resulting in a vibrant tactile surface.
And to anchor the thickly impastoed surface, Prangenberg introduces either a simple, non-narrative geometric form, or a picture within a picture, a small area of intense color that contrasts to the larger painting.
Each painting can be categorized into one of five genres: Faces (in which the image of a face appears from the paint), Robinson (referring to castaway Robinson Crusoe), Bilder (images of ideas, e.g. a painting of “night” or “three huts”), Abstrakt (an abstract painting), or Tengu (supernatural creatures in Japanese folklore). The artist disregards theory and does not favor a particular genre while he paints, but the theatricality of his process and exploration of the interaction of hand, eye, and material allows the characteristics to emerge that align each resulting painting with its genre.
Prangenberg has an extensive exhibition history in Europe and the UK; notably and most recently he had two solo shows: Norbert Prangenberg: Zeichnungen 1978-2004, in 2005 at the Staatliche Kunstalle, Karlsrude, Germany and Norbert Prangenberg: Retrospektive der Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Gouachen 1978-2004, at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Museum, Krefeld, Germany in 2004. In the United States he exhibited at Hirschl & Adler Modern in 1986.
Norbert Prangenberg was born in Rommerskirchen-Nettesheim, Germany. He undertook an apprenticeship working as a gold and silversmith with C. Kessler in Cologne and since 1993 he has held a professorship at the Art Academy in Munich. The artist lives and works in Niederarnbach and Munich, Germany.
A catalogue with an essay by Walter Grasskamp will accompany the exhibition. It includes 42 color images and is published by Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld/Leipzig.