Paradise is now – Palm Trees in Art
26 APRIL – 30 JUNE 2018
The palm tree is the last major idol standing. Across continents, religions, and centuries, it tells stories of prosperity, peace, and spiritual salvation. No other motif signals these promises of happiness more compellingly than the palm. The group exhibition “Paradise is Now. Palm Trees in Art” examines the existence of a modern paradise and delves into the complex iconographic spectrum of a prominent floral symbol. Artist: John Baldessari, Juliette Blightman, Marcel Broodthaers, Rodney Graham, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, David Hockney, Stefan Knauf, Joonas Kota, Alicja Kwade, Talisa Lallai, Mevlana Lipp, Sarah Ortmeyer, Wolfgang Ploeger, Sigmar Polke, Bruno V. Roels, Ed Ruscha, Raf Simons, Yutaka Sone & Rirkrit Tiravanija, Simon Speiser, Henning Strassburger, Vivian Suter, Barthélémy Toguo
John Baldessari, Juliette Blightman, Marcel Broodthaers, Rodney Graham, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, David Hockney, Stefan Knauf, Joonas Kota, Alicja Kwade, Talisa Lallai, Mevlana Lipp, Sarah Ortmeyer, Wolfgang Ploeger, Sigmar Polke, Bruno V. Roels, Ed Ruscha, Raf Simons, Yutaka Sone & Rirkrit Tiravanija, Simon Speiser, Henning Strassburger, Vivian Suter, Barthélémy Toguo
Paradise is Now – Palm Trees in Art
Robert Grunenberg, in collaboration with Miettinen Collection | Salon Dahlmann
26.04.2018 – 30.06.2018
Omnipresent in advertising and social media, the image of the tropical plant conjures up associations of luxury, glamour, jet setting, and sunshine. In post-war Europe an expression of modest southern wanderlust, since then the palm has matured in global, secular popular culture to become the universal sign of modern paradises. Especially in the United States, this symbol has become the emblem of the good life and many artists, especially those working in LA, such as John Baldessari, David Hockney, and Ed Ruscha, have made it the focus of their visual language.
Marcel Broodthaers considers the palm tree from a European perspective that was often suspicious of hedonism and a life of leisure. He portrays the palm tree as a potted and domesticated decorative element. In his expansive installation, Broodthaers engages critically with social institutions: he exposes the palm tree as an imperialist symbol of the power of a bygone era. The palm tree of Sigmar Polke embodies the petty-bourgeois needs of post-war Germans and presents the psychological and moral decay of a society drifting towards superficiality and consumption.
In their site-specific installation, Yutaka Sone and Rirkrit Tiravanija cooperate to take up Broodthaers’ ideas and extend them to aspects of the global consumer goods industry. Humankind and the force of nature are visualized in Rodney Graham’s video work Vexation Island (1997) in the figures of a coconut tree and a shipwrecked man. Simon Speiser transports palm trees into virtual reality and evokes the increasing alienation of man from nature against the background of technological progress. Alicja Kwade addresses the concomitant mass domestication of tropical plants. She defies the natural texture of the material and its transience by electroplating and thereby immortalizing her old houseplants.
“And if we leave the self-contained world of the gallery and perhaps stroll to a nearby department store or sit in a café or cross a square where there is a potted palm tree or two, then we will henceforth perceive each of these trees with a new appreciation of its deeper meaning and far-flung relationships.” Norman Rosenthal
Paradise is Now – Palm Trees in Art brings together over 50 works from painting, sculpture, photography, video, and virtual reality. Works by Marcel Broodthaers and David Hockney as well as works of the youngest generation of artists such as Bruno V. Roels can be seen for the first time in Berlin. The exhibition takes place at Robert Grunenberg Berlin and Salon Dahlmann. The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog in German (160 pages with around 100 color plates, Hatje Cantz Verlag). It contains contributions by Bret Easton Ellis, Robert Grunenberg, Norman Rosenthal, and Leif Randt.
For more information, please contact the gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org