An award-winning work of art illuminates the relationship between man and nature – Current Allgäu news

The pandemic has brought the relationship between humans and nature into focus. At the lavish art exhibition in Irsee, it will be the subject of discussion – and awards.


Martin fri

04/12/2022 | Status: 5.30pm

Nature and modern man – despite all the enthusiasm for the outdoors, this is a difficult relationship. After all, it was a “natural product” that has ensured that the public and, above all, cultural life has been blocked for months for the past two years. Corona had also twice prevented the traditional spring joint exhibition of the visual artists’ professional associations (BBK) in Bavaria Schwaben in the Irsee monastery. The backlog of works among regional artists and the number of contributions to the 32nd edition of “Schwäbische Künstler in Irsee” was similarly large, reports Karin Haslinger, chairman of BBK Allgäu / Schwaben-Süd.

The artists submitted hundreds of works. 150 are now on display

She, her BBK colleagues and the staff at the Schwabenakademie Irsee had to see hundreds of works for the main exhibition and the accompanying special exhibition on the subject of “mountains”. About 150 exhibitions can now be seen in the halls and corridors of the former Benedictine monastery. Contrary to expectations, however, the virus only directly affected a few of the exhibited paintings, graphic works and sculptures (as well as isolated multimedia works). “Do Not Touch Me”, a fine pencil drawing of a rubber glove arrangement, created by Christine Reiter (augsburg), is one of the few exceptions. Radical fractures and attitudes tend to be the exception. The long break from the exhibition has obviously given more confidence and continuity. The dualism between untamed nature and human (in) culture, which has become more and more apparent as a result of the pandemic, but is ultimately old, is, however, ubiquitous in this exhibition. This may be due, among other things, to the theme of the special exhibition. For the mountain world, its grandeur, but also its development and tourist utilization up to alpine kitsch are themes that almost impose on artists in the region.

Photos of rock layers mounted on light boxes: the work

Photos of rock layers mounted on light boxes: the work “Felssteine” by Bernd Scheffer (Kaufbeuren).

Photo: Harald Langer

The work “Lichtblick” by Ulrike Hüppeler (Ulm / Amtzell), which was created in 2021 and is shown in the main exhibition, also continues this dichotomy in an almost iconic way. The large-format oil painting, acting as an old master, was awarded the Meckatzer Art Prize of 3,000 euros at the vernissage, which the brewery Heimenkircher sponsored for the 25th time this year. Hueppeler was born in Cologne in 1961. She studied biology with a focus on botany – and this knowledge also characterizes her art. “Lichtblick” shows the meeting between man and nature in a technically perfectly executed photorealistic style. But this meeting does not happen immediately. Instead, one sees a boy in an architecturally cool, functional space looking through a large glass front into a forest. Despite the apparent proximity, this creates great distance to the disorder in the wilderness. In the middle of the painting, diffused light breaks through the leaves of the trees – the eponymous “ray of light”, which, however, is ambivalent. The direct gaze into the light can be meant as well as an optimistic perspective, which lies in turning to nature, to the natural and to which one must turn.

A mess threatens to pierce the floor of the “glass house”.

If you look at it for a long time, more and more details appear in the depiction: animals, botanical peculiarities and last but not least a mess that is breaking through the floor of the human “glass house”. “Despite its formal realism, it does not show us any scientifically tangible reality, but rather encourages us to examine questions,” the jury wrote in its statement. Hüppeler is concerned with aesthetically addressing the human position in this world and not giving ready-made answers. Thus, the prize winner (contemporary) solves the most important task of art – “and with perfect technique,” praised Haslinger, who this year after twelve years was chairman of BBK Allgäu / Schwaben-Süd and thus also chairman of the jury for i.a. “Swabian Artists in the Irsee”.

The exhibition runs until Sunday, April 24 in the Irsee Monastery near Kaufbeuren. Opening hours: on weekdays from 14.00 to 17.00, on weekends and on public holidays from 11.00 to 17.00.

also read

“Swabian Artists in the Irsee”

Annoying affairs: This work clears the special prize “Berge”.

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