NORBERT BISKY | TAUMEL

KÖNIG BERLIN
15 SEPTEMBER – 16 OCTOBER 2022


KÖNIG GALERIE presents TAUMEL, a solo exhibition by Norbert Bisky. The painter is known for large-format paintings and is one of the most successful representatives of contemporary figurative painting. For his exhibition in the CHAPEL of St. Agnes, he has managed to expand the dimensions of the space to the maximum.

A work measuring nearly seven by seven metres completely fills the ceiling of the former chapel, except for a few centimetres necessary for installation purposes. Due to the unique architecture of the CHAPEL, the first impression of the exhibition viewers will have is of an entirely empty space. Only once gazes are turned upward does the full force of what is pouring down on viewers reveal itself: it's raining people. Alluding to earlier traditions of European Baroque church decoration, the painting effectively erases the ceiling of the room by opening a view onto an imagined sky. This unique spatial device was meant to visualize the Christian idea of a vertical line on which the drama of a life was measured – between salvation and damnation.

Employing the motif of the Falling Man, Bisky returns once again to a figure symptomatic of the present who stands for the loss of control and the fear of the collapse of familiar systems. In the centre of the painting, a man writhes upside down – a reference to Bisky's former teacher, Georg Baselitz – though it is entirely unclear whether he is floating or falling, frozen in an in-between state. The other figures in the painting are also jumping, flying ,or falling in a baffling multiplicity of perspectives. Falling dice, circling birds of prey, and collapsing buildings give further clues to the situation in which these wildly tumbling characters find themselves.
Something is happening to them that they cannot control. The outcome is uncertain, but whatever happens, there will be winners and losers, the hunters and the hunted. Bisky skilfully avoids falling into the role of admonisher. His art does not comment on how things should be. It compresses only that which is.

© Text Diana Weis
© Images Roman März