BIELEFELD.- Of course, the 1980s was an important period in art historysomething that we are just beginning to realize. It is only now that we are really starting to understand the beauty, power, and special aspects of these paintings. This kind of art juggles a great deal, all at once, being oriented toward a variety of things. Many artists referred to earlier epochs, not merely to so-called Modernism alone. Suddenly, there were long traditions again. Minimalism and Conceptual art foresaw that painting would come to an end at some point, so from this viewpoint, it was quite astonishing for something like this to happen around 1980.
The spirit of the 1980s was marked by many contradictions. Many young artists felt the lack of a home base, and yet they were full of energy. In their works, cool abstraction existed side-by-side with a strong Neo-Expressionism. No one was more intensively involved with this fierce, young generation than Swiss gallerist Bruno Bischofberger, who assembled the most important collection of 1980s art ever. After almost thirty years, a re-examination of these pictures powerful aesthetics makes it easy to see that the quality of painting in the late twentieth century was very high. It was all about the battle against boredom, that is, a wholehearted revival of painting.
Due to the magnitude of the collection, The 80s Revisited will be presented in two parts. The first part will feature works by John Armleder, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Jirí Georg Dokoupil and the Mülheimer Freiheit, Rainer Fetting, Salomé, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Philip Taaffe, and others. The second part, in 2011, will take a look at New Yorks stars of the 1980s, such as Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.