An Artist Couple of the 1960s

July 18, 2021 – October 10, 2021

Introduction: Selima Niggl, Co-Curator of the exhibition

With this exhibition, the work of the painter Uwe Lausen (1941-1970) is for the first time placed in connection with the photographic works of his wife Heide Stolz (1939-1985).

Staging, provocation, breaking taboos, violence - the works of the artist couple are without equivalent in the 1960s. They were created in a period which was marked by considerable upheavals and radical changes and in which a new generation vehemently broke with conventions. The canvases and works on paper by Uwe Lausen as well as the photographs by Heide Stolz tell of the role of the individual in the changing social context of the time.

Uwe Lausen's early work was still influenced by the expressive-figurative paintings of the Munich artists' group SPUR (1957-1965). From the middle of the decade onwards, under the influence of the emerging English and American Pop Art, Lausen shifted to realistic motifs. Heide Stolz's photographs evolved from portraits and surrealist-influenced collages to imaginative, at times unsparing stagings. Often enough, the two young daughters of the couple, who were married since 1962, were also integrated in these photographic projects. Lausen's and Stolz's works repeatedly reveal mutual exchange and influence. Both of them trace the contradictions and tensions in post-war German society. Among other things, the generation of their parents with their persistent denial of recent German history as well as the suppression of autonomous individual action is in the focus of the discussion.

On Sept. 14, 1970, at the age of 29, Uwe Lausen committed suicide. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Uwe Lausen's death, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz - Museum Gunzenhauser paid tribute to the work of the self-taught artist with a retrospective curated by Selima Niggl. As a third station the Museum Lothar Fischer shows the extensive double exhibition in a reduced and modified form.

We would like to thank the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz - Museum Gunzenhauser, the Museum DASMAXIMUM KunstGegenwart, Traunreut, as well as private collectors who do not wish to be named, for the loans.

Selima Niggl's book "Uwe Lausen – Übermorgen bin ich tot" (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, Cologne 2021, 351 pages, 59 €) is to be published during the exhibition.