Erwin Olaf (*1959) is one of the most renowned contemporary artists in the Netherlands. The Kunsthalle München is now staging the first, large-scale solo exhibition dedicated to his oeuvre in Germany. Selected photographs, short films, sculptures and multimedia installations from a career spanning almost forty years trace Olaf’s artistic development from analogue to digital techniques, from the rebellious photojournalist of the 1980s to the sophisticated storyteller of the 2000s.
For his pictures, Olaf creates a world that bears a striking resemblance to ours except that is orchestrated down to the smallest detail, its very artificiality rendering it enigmatic. Although they embrace the aesthetics of the film and advertising industries, the works are only flawlessly graphic on the surface, they raise questions concerning democracy, equal rights and self-determination. Olaf uses clichés and stereotypes to challenge the power of images in our society – sometimes tongue-in-cheek, always appealing, but never trivial …
Belgian Modern Art from Ensor to Magritte
The Kunsthalle München is showcasing masterpieces of Belgian modern art from circa 1860 to 1960. Approximately 130 paintings, graphic works and sculptures illustrate how the art of this period constantly re-explores the boundaries between fantasy and reality. They focus equally on the unpretentious reality of everyday life and on the secrets and mysteries that lie beyond the visible world. The exhibition traces the specific path taken by Belgian art, ranging from realistic scenes of ordinary people and atmospheric landscapes to James Ensor’s fantastic masquerades, right through to the surreal worlds of Paul Delvaux and René Magritte. In addition to major names such as these, the 40 artists in the exhibition include numerous painters whose work is not widely known in this country, like Eugène Laermans, Constant Permeke and Rik Wouters.
An exhibition cooperation with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp