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Gruppe SPUR: Manifest, Briefe, Werke

Organized by Martin Bochynek

April 5 - Aug 10, 2014 / Opening April 5, 6 PM

Press Release

Not only the Rhineland, West Germany, awaits the rediscovery of the artist collective SPUR. Lothar Fischer, Helmut Sturm, Heimrad Prem and HP Zimmer formed this radical artistic group in Post-War Munich of the 1950’s, which has no equal in the Federal Republic of Germany up to this day. Surely, the capitalist realism of Polke, Fischer and Richter in the rising Deutschland AG had been more succesful. ZERO (once again a settlement from the region of Rhineland) had been more futuristic, but even so the "Mühlheimer Freiheit“ from Cologne in the 80s was just a duplication of these strange Neo-Dadaists from South Germany.

The exhibition Ich-Schrumpfung draws attention to the fact that the visionary and utopain concepts in the art of this group were far more well-designed and radical in their practise than they had ever been before in German post-Second World War art. For the first time, unseen documents will be presented to impressively illustrate SPUR’s theses.

Besides the Informal art movement, which was a paternal gesture of desparation and rebuttal against the German disaster, the youth developed with SPUR a spirit of optimism, a penchant for freedom and the desire for enjoyment. Many manifests are written down, actions and processes recorded, thoughts captured in early publications of the artists, but for the first time, eleven postcards edited by the artists and adressed to their italian patron Duke Marinotti will be on view. They document the actuality of SPUR as an artistic movement in our days.

All this makes one wonder, why SPUR is still the only German artist collective of the Post War Period (even if indeed it has been the first at all), which is still waiting for its  proper discovery. The answer might be less interesting than the fact that it is not too late to deal with this anarchic group of four and their regional inspirations (Bavarian Baroque) in order to give value to their international ambitions (Situationist International) again.