Shinichi Sawada, Ceramics
Alfred Kremer, Ink Drawings

February 23, 2020 – July 19, 2020

Introduction: Prof. Dr. Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, former deputy general director of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich

The special exhibition presents sculptures and drawings by two artists of different origins and generations; but the works of both of them offer deep insights. Born in 1982 in Shiga Prefecture, Shinichi Sawada, a Japanese who was diagnosed with autism at an early age, communicates himself by his imaginative ceramics. Alfred Kremer, born in Regensburg in 1895, a painter by profession, in his last years of life from 1962 to 1965 created numerous small-format ink drawings in which inner experience and external events, suppressed fears and hidden desires of a man scarred by two world wars come to light.

Shinichi Sawada began working with clay in 2000 at a local social facility for mentally impaired people. Since then, he has been developing his distinctive ceramics in a simple workshop with a kiln built in the mountains. They are fantastic creatures, plastic variations of about fifteen different motifs with specific repetitive features.

With their prickly surfaces, they show their very own cosmos. However, since Sawada hardly communicates verbally, little is known about the origins and backgrounds of his ideas. Only the indication that they are marine animals comes from him. At the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, his idiosyncratic works were shown in the Encyclopedic Palace. This main exhibition of the art show gave the Japanese a great public and for the first time decoupled his work from the context of Outsider Art.

Alfred Kremer served on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918, where he was buried alive just before the end of the war. He survived, but the experiences of war accompanied him throughout his life. After the war he first studied arts at the School of Applied Arts in Munich, later physical education in Berlin, where he worked from 1925 to 1940 as a sports teacher and radio journalist. His last years of life were overshadowed by a severe chronic arthropathy, which forced him to the sickbed in Weilheim three years before his death in 1965. Facing death, severely restricted in his mobility, he created a wealth of expressive drawings that not only reflect his physical life situation, but also his mental state. As early as 1964, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München honored him with a show of works.

Both artists, Shinichi Sawada and Alfred Kremer, are loners whose haunting works are created in discourse with their innermost being. In the exhibition INNER LIFE, they become visible to the outside world in dialogue with each other.

Thanks to the lenders: Our thanks for the ink drawings go to Kunsthalle Emden – Donation Otto van de Loo, to Galerie Florian Sundheimer and last not least to the private collectors, who do not want to be named.
For the ceramics we would like to thank the Halle Saint Pierre Museum, Paris.

The exhibition at the Museum Lothar Fischer Neumarkt and the Georg Kolbe Museum Berlin (June 21.- Sept.13, .2020) is Shinichi Sawada's first institutional solo exhibition in Europe.
A catalogue is available (German/English, 64 p., € 10).