Jürgen Partenheimer: Het archief (The archive), Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

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To write a review for Villa La Repubblica, i went to see the exhibition Het Archief (The Archive) at the Gemeentemuseum, a retrospective of works by Jürgen Partenheimer. To start the show you see this painting (Ada I, 2007).

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When you turn round

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you see this watercolour (Die Flügel der Liebe [Der Andalusische Hund] #4; The Wings of Love [The Andalusian Dog] #4, 2010) and it’s clear this could be an interesting show.

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Works in the beginning look unassuming (Carme, 2005) and

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some are rather small (Nada, 1997), but

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some cannot hide they are quite brilliant (Sal I, 2012), while

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others are extremely simple (Der Revisor, The Auditor/The Reviser, 2000, detail) and clearly

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there’s no going back.

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In the same room there are some books, amongst them this one (Über den Irrtum, About the Error, 1999) with poems by Paul Celan and lithographies by Partenheimer and

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this one (The Wall, 1991) with poems by John Yau and etchings by Partenheimer.

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Partenheimer compiled the exhibition himself. He

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didn’t care for chronology and

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more or less used his intuition, which invites the viewer to do the same (Renga, 2012, detail).

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A combination of two watercolours of the same series (Kalliopes Traum, Calliope’s Dream #22 and #33, 2011), balancing in between abstraction and realism,

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in this case becoming a bit surrealistic (Sal #2, 2011), or

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simple again here (Tracks, 2012, details).

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The title of this oil painting says it all (Metaphysischer Realismus, Metaphysical Realism, 2004, detail)

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Different techniques lead to an astonishing variety (Der Revisor [Fox Sprite 1], 2000).

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And there’s subtlety in his oil paintings (Canto, 1996, detail; Carme, 1998; Carme, 1996).

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Partenheimer’s works make you zoom into them (Das Mass, The Measure, 2010),

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while with others Partenheimer plays with measure, distance and even age (Carme, 2004; Small Works, 2005-08; Überprüfbare Zeit, Controllable Time, 2008).

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One story (Carmen, 2000) and

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a completely different story (Carme, 2004), sharing more or less the same title, and

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another completely different more recent work (Seven Virtues, 2012).

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Some more details (Carme [Collected paths and clearings], 2008, detail; Untitled,. 2002, detail; Carmen, 2007, details; Carme, 2004, detail).

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Quite a lot of books are on display, but apart from the usual inconveniences with showing books in exhibitions, the reflections in the showcases make it difficult to see the details (Selected Texts, 1993; Architecture – Sculpture, 2000, detail).

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Partenheimer coupled these works together (Sao Paulo Tagebuch 3, Sao Paulo Diary 3, 2005; Carme 2001-04), a good example of how he made this exhibition.

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The Gemeentemuseum seems to be the perfect place to show these works.

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Exhibition view.

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On my way back i couldn’t resist looking at some more details.

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This may probably be one of these exhibitions that make you realise life is worth living.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

See the full article at Villa La Repubblica with some additional footage.

Bertus Pieters

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