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Interview with Peter Ungeheuer

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We met up at Art von Frei with Peter Ungeheuer, guest curator for the exhibition Into the deep end. A group exhibition presenting watercolor works from five different artists. The exhibition opened on the 21st and will run all thru Gallery Weekend (be sure to check our ultimate guide HERE) until the 20th of May with a special breakfast gathering on sunday the 30th at 11:00


Stephan van Kuyk: Tell us a little about the show.


Peter Ungeheuer:
Maybe we should start at the beginning. About 9 months ago Eva asked me if i could curate a show for the most important time in Berlin’s gallery calendar, the gallery weekend. I then had the idea to do a show on watercolors. To my knowledge there hasn’t been a decent watercolor show in the last 20 years, or at least I haven’t heard of.


All these artists are all more or less friends of mine who I knew, made watercolors. Most of the works were made specially for the show, with the exception of Ulrik Møller, he currently has too many (museum) shows.

Paris Giachoustidis, “Dirty glass table” Watercolor on paper, artist framed, 65 x 61 cm, 2016


Let’s start with Paris Giachoustidis, he is a greek artist who came two years ago from Greece, where he graduated from the academy of Thessaloniki, he came to Berlin because the Greek art market is more or less in a weak spot. He figured out he could get a second degree here and a free studio for 2 years.

Otavio Schipper is a New York connection of mine, initially his watercolor were a byproduct of his larger installation work but now it’s a proper medium of his.

Wolfgang Lugmair, his work is an exception to this exhibition, since they are not pure watercolors, but they also have pencil in them.

 

Wolfgang Lugmair, “Markt”, Watercolor and crayon on paper, 56 x 36,5 cm, 2016 – photo credit: Stephanie Wächter.


Ulrik Møller work presented here are over 10 years old, but he still maintains a similar style.

Clement Page, from UK has a pure watercolor technique ‘la vraie aquarelle’, as they call it. He is known from his film making and watercolor paintings, which are his main medium.

As you can see these are all unique views on watercolors, which was the main idea of the show.

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Having such unique views on watercolor, what is the connecting points on them?

It’s really a show about the medium of watercolor, it’s not really a show about the content, i’m not friendly to putting an overarching concept umbrella over the show if there isn’t any.


You are a collector as well. What do you think is the relationship between curating a show and collecting? Do you feel like collecting is already curating in a way?

Excellent question, it’s the first time I’ve been asked so. Actually, it depends, I’m not really a conventional collector. In the means that I don’t have any storage, so I guess I’m not a ‘real’ collector. Everything I collect is on my walls or on the floor, integrated to my apartment. I’m not a typical classical collector, and second, I don’t have a collection concept, most of my pieces are from friends or pieces i like.

And, of course if you hang the pieces on the wall, you are curating, but at home I’m an awful curator, my walls are completely full but there is no real order.

 


Peter Ungeheuer at the opening at Art von Frei, Photography: Stephanie Wächter, 2017


You mentioned already two times the lack of higher concept, do you think ‘concepts’ are overrated in the art world?

Absolutely not, I also did shows with an overarching umbrella concept. But not in this case.

It’s not overrated, when you do a show there has to be some related point or concept. It can be the medium, like in this show. It has to have a concept, you can’t just put pictures on the wall, that’s boring.


The flyer says “men only, really?” Why?


At the starting point of the exhibition I told my good friend and talented curator,
Tina Sauerländer founder of a woman in art network, that I wanted to do a man only show but I wanted her to do the opening speech.

To me it’s strange not to judge the artwork, but instead the gender of the artist, or sexual orientation, or color. That’s not the main point in art, but it’s discussed too much. Of course, they are easy to discuss.

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Any closing statements?

There is one thing about this exhibition that is non typical, there is only 5 works on the wall, a very puristic approach. But, there are 31 other works in portfolios in the back, an experience me an Eva wanted to try out. Usually in an exhibition you don’t get into interaction with the audience, this tries to change that.

Art von Frei – Brunnenstraße 187

DURATION 22.04. – 20.05.2017

OPENING HOURS
Tuesday – Friday: 12:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 16:00
and by appointment

SPECIAL OPENING HOURS DURING GALLERY WEEKEND
28.04.2017, 12:00 – 21:00
29.04.2017, 12:00 – 21:00
30.04.2017, 11:00 – 21:00
GALLERY BREAKFAST
Sunday, 30.04.2017, 11:00 – 15:00