With their annual cycle and processes of permanent renewal, trees not only signify a relation to a person's individual age but are an anthropologically universal symbol for the ways of the world and of a living. Also on a visual level, the ramifications of its branches or roots evoke images of blood veins and neurological patterns in the human body, the delta of a river or a lightning strike - patterns which are familiar all over the world and which are a precondition to life. Even family trees follow its iconography.
With regards to its indispensable relevance towards human life, trees have always been a key element to the human mindset. Consequently, trees are among the most often pictured motifs in visual arts. Thus, in this exhibition Museum Sinclair-Haus focusses on a traditional nature motif which finds a strong recognition in contemporary arts. For the first time, works from a distinctive private collection which is dedicated to nothing but trees are presented to the general public. That body of works will be complemented by works from ALTANA collection and other loaned items.
In a diversified series of sculptures, objects, paintings, drawings, and videos the motif of the tree is tackled in very different manners and approaches. Its unique shape finds an echo as a whole but so do its single details: the trunk, the branch, the leaves. The relevance of the tree in mythology and fairy tales also find consideration.
Finally, in providing wood trees deliver the raw material for countless artistic benefits which may be collected, sewn apart, or reassembled to most different forms and allow surprising expressional possibilities. That variety becomes evident in our show which instantly delivers a narrative of how distinctively contemporary arts react to trees as an image of world and lifetimes.
Works by von Darren Almond, Donald Baechler, Stephan Balkenhol, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joseph Beuys, Thomas Boeing, Karl Bohrmann, Herbert Brandl, Christoph Brech, Benjamin Butler, Aleksandar Duravcevic, Marcel Dzama, Ulrich Erben, India Evans, Laura Ford, John Gerrard, Tina Gillen, Rodney Graham, Sharon Harper, Jenny Holzer, Vollrath Hopp, Rebecca Horn, Izima Kaoru, Claire Kerr, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Jirí Kolár, Ola Kolehmainen, Kim Krans, Stefan Kürten, Isa Lorenzo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sean Montgomery, David Nash, Max Neumann, Navid Nuur, Satoshi Ohno, Hans op de Beeck, Stas Orlovski, Paul P., Roxy Paine, Ester Partegàs, Sigmar Polke, Tal R, Tobias Rehberger, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, David Scher, Hans-Christian Schink, Iris Schomaker, Stefan Sehler, Doug & Mike Starn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gert & Uwe Tobias, Rudolf Wachter, Mark Wagner, Brigitte Waldach, Jeff Wall, Matthias Weischer, Tom Wesselmann, Rachel Whiteread