In his second solo exhibition If Condition then Instruction at Bernhard Knaus Fine Art
the Hamburg based artist Bernhard Prinz presents new works from the last three years.
Prinz's images of buildings, nature studies and still life taken in different places in Europe elude in their variety and diversity an immediate reading. Forms of expression and norms of behavior, gestures, transmission patterns and sign systems are disclosed as diverse aesthetic and cultural influences only in contrasting juxtaposition in the specific situation of the installation in the gallery space. Behind the surface of the supposedly known new insights can be gained, that revel in subtle humor and irony.
The title of the exhibition If Condition then Instruction comes from computer programming. It refers to a control section of the program which is executed only under a certain condition. A branch determines which of two program sections is performed, depending on one or more conditions. This demonstrates the dependency of action or fact on certain conditions. The image of one of the central works in the exhibition shows the vaulted ceiling of King's College Chapel in Cambridge, which at first glance reminds the viewer of computer animation and not a real existing architecture. In a figurative sense the conditional tense of the title refers to predestination or memento mori - an image that is formed via confrontation or combination of different designs and ideas.
Furthermore, the title can be seen as motto for the complex of ideas the artist had in mind, while developing the exhibition: beauty, transience, cultural development, destruction and transcendence.
Bernhard Prinz, born in 1953 in Fürth, studied art history and painting in Erlangen and Nuremberg. He has become internationally known for his photographic portraits. These are reduced to essential generalized forms, that are reminiscent rather of classical paintings than of photographs.
Prinz has gained numerous prizes and awards since he appeared in the international artscene in the early 1980s. He presented his series of works - some with installation elements - in numerous solo and group exhibitions such as documenta8 Kassel (1987), Serpentine Gallery, London (1988) , Vienna Secession (1990), Hamburger Kunsthalle (1996), Museum Folkwang Essen (2003).