Manuel
Franke

6/20–9/23/2018

Colormaster F

A gesture, as simple and light as it is massive and heavy: almost 50 metres of strongly coloured and sharply rising corrugated sheeting extending between the Städel Museum and the Städel School. An orange and pink hybrid between industrial facade and museum, between painting and sculpture, between halfpipe and bench, hovering over the meadow while being anchored in a hefty foundation of sky blue coloured concrete.

Exhibition

About the exhibition

Within the framework of the series “In the Städel Garden”, the Düsseldorf artist Manuel Franke (b. 1964) has developed an artwork of monumental dimensions – 50 metres long and 2.5 metres high – for the garden of the Städel Museum. From 20 June to 23 September, this expansive gesture will lend the Städel Garden a new and very palpable boundary between the museum and the Städelschule. Half sculpture, half painting, Colormaster F will respond to the lawn – a green surface bounded by buildings on three sides – with a curved membrane in vivid monochrome colours. An insurmountable obstacle, Franke’s object will on the one hand block the view, while on the other hand giving visitors the opportunity to experience the hill at the garden’s centre in a whole new way. Colormaster F will not only change the garden in terms of its spatial constellation, but also create a further, additional space, both open and closed, inside it. The artwork will moreover invite visitors to play, explore and pass time, thus offering an entirely new and interactive experience of the familiar Städel Garden all summer long.

Illustration: Manuel Franke, Colormaster F, 2018, in the Garden of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

Social Media The Städel Museum is communicating the exhibition in the social media with the hashtags #ManuelFranke and #StaedelGarten.
Support The work is being realized with support from Dyckerhoff Beton.

Worth Knowing

Worth Knowing

Colormaster F

The artist adopted the word “Colormaster” from the name of a colour temperature metre of the kind employed in professional photo technology to measure colour casts in the pre-digital age. Franke has used it repeatedly; in this case the F stands for the city of Frankfurt. By choosing this title, the artist is alluding to the special significance colour holds in his work. “With colour, an object changes its identity.” “Colormaster F” doesn’t dictate a certain vantage point to its visitors. On the contrary, it invites them to interact with it and explore the various ways of seeing it offers, while at the same time blocking other views. What is more, “Colormaster F” can never be perceived in its entirety, but always consists of two irreconcilable visual experiences, depending on whether you’re sitting on the hill above the Garden Halls or approaching the museum and the artwork from the Dürerstrasse/city side. “Colormaster F” makes the architecture of the Städel Garden and the Städel Museum an integral element of itself by responding and relating to it.

A conspicuous aspect of Franke’s intervention is how it takes Adolf Luther’s “Integration Standing Lenses” (1990) into account. On permanent loan from the Adolf-Luther-Stiftung since 2013, this work is located partially on the lawn and partially on the path leading through the Städel Garden. Rather than interrupting its path from one edge of the lawn to the other, the sculpture “Colormaster F” will integrate the steles. Franke has repeatedly found ways of embedding other artworks in his own – in 2006, for instance, he integrated James Lee Byars’s work “The Tear” (1986) on the exterior wall of the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle.

Technique and production

For “Colormaster F” Manuel Franke is using white cement and pigment, both contributed by the Dyckerhoff company, a concrete manufacturer in Wiesbaden. Thanks to the use of blue-pigmented white cement, the concrete will shed its commonplace character and take on vivid colour. The artist is also employing industrially cambered corrugated metal sheet and high-gloss paint. The sine wave otherwise encountered primarily in agriculture or factory buildings will shine in bright pink on one side of “Colormaster F” and vibrant orange on the other, and thus to an extent be relieved of its unsensual, industrial quality. The artist is having the sheet metal painted with standardized colours, which will lend the surface the look of a car body.

Manuel Franke

Manuel Franke studied with, among others, Tony Cragg and Irmin Kamp at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and Daniel Buren and Pontus Holten at the Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques in Paris. In his artistic practice he often undertakes interventions in space that oscillate between sculpture, installation and painting. His works are site-specific in that he consistently factors in the architectural and urban structures of the surrounding environment as well as the political, historical and social contexts. A recent work of Franke’s is Achat, a large-scale project for an underground station on the Wehrhahn line in Düsseldorf, where he used hundreds of glass panels to create a walk-in colour space with a vortex-like effect.

Franke has exhibited at such venues as the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, the Artspace Sydney and the Kunstverein Nürnberg and participated in group shows at the Kunstverein Mönchengladbach, the Villa Massimo in Rome and the Kunstmuseum Bonn. His interventions, which are usually temporary, often address the act of sight itself by obstructing views while at the same time offering new and unaccustomed ways of seeing. Characteristic features of his expansive, space-transforming installations are the painterly treatment of the surfaces and the use of bright colours.

Gallery

  • + More
    Manuel Franke: Colormaster F (2018)

    Manuel Franke (b. 1964)

    Colormaster F, 2018
    in the Garden of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt
    © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

  • + More
    Manuel Franke, Project sketch for Colormaster F (2018)

    Manuel Franke (b. 1964)

    Project sketch for Colormaster F, 2018
    In the Garden of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt
    © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

  • + More
    Manuel Franke: Colormaster F (2018)

    Manuel Franke (b. 1964)

    Colormaster F, 2018
    in the Garden of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt
    © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

Programme

Programme

Artists’ conversation

Tuesday, 24 July, 6.00 pm
Daniel Buren and Manuel Franke in conversation (in English)

Introduction to the work

Thursday, 6 September, 6.30 pm
Introduction to the work by the artist Manuel Franke (in German)

Learning more

Our museum education staff will guide you through the interesting backgrounds behind the collection and the exhibitions.

To the Individual guided tour

WiFi

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