Collection

K.P. Brehmer 'Sense títol', 1964

Sense títol

Untitled

Fecha:
1964
Tipo obra:
Graphic material
Material:
Offset print on couche paper
Medidas:
52,3 x 42,7 cm
Procedencia:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Registre núm:
3611

KP Brehmer was part of the Kapitalistischer Realismus (Capitalist Realism) group, which was founded in Düsseldorf in 1963 and considered Germany’s response to the Pop art developments in the United States and England. Engaged with social and political issues, they incorporated everyday themes into their works in order to express a critical attitude towards consumer society. Among its members were Gerhard Richter, Konrad Lueg, Karl Horst Hodicke, Wolf Vostell and Sigmar Polke. Brehmer was one of the most political artists of the group and from 1964 onwards his leftist political convictions found a direct expression when he discarded his name, Klaus Peter, and went under his initials KP, alluding to the acronym of the Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei), which had been officially banned in 1956. During this time his works criticised consumer society and its structures of power, legitimised by the mass media, whose mechanisms of manipulation Brehmer tried to reveal. Brehmer’s preference for photomechanical impression and processes constituted a step towards the democratisation of art, with its coarser, less polished effects more closely simulating the media sources they appropriated. With an anti-elitist attitude typical of Pop art and working primarily with commercial printers, many of his works were printed in commercial-sized editions of as many as 30,000.

One of the social changes of the sixties was a drastic liberation of sexuality. More open attitudes towards sex allowed a greater tolerance towards erotic imagery, with pin-ups being used by advertisers in order to sell consumer objects. In many of his works Brehmer explored the treatment of women by advertising, which used them as stylistic accessories. In numerous of his photomontages and collages, images of women, loosely dressed, taken from newspapers and magazines, criticise their use by advertising as well as their erotic component with lucrative ends. Often the artist contrasts these images with images of wars or images that testify to the excesses and abundance of capitalism. With his series Aufsteller, he was a pioneer in the creation of the freestanding object that mimics store signage or advertising stands and further satirises the reading of women as a commercial product. In 1967 he created Das Gefühl zwischen Fingerkuppen (The feeling between the fingertips). Printed in bright Pop colours, the work exaggerates the erotic content of advertisements by attaching seed packets picturing phallic shaped vegetables. At the same time he reduces landscape, one of the central themes of art history, to its commercial component.

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