From May 2022, SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen presents a comprehensive retrospective of the painter Ben Willikens. The exhibition is being created in close collaboration with the artist and comprises over 100 works from all phases of his career including works from the Schaufler Collection, from the artist’s studio, and from national lenders. Ben Willikens is one of the most important protagonists of contemporary German art and is best known for his large-format grisaille paintings of fictional spaces. In addition to rarely shown, surreal-looking drawings from the 1960s, his impressive series of Institution Paintings can be seen, complemented by photographs and photographic studies from the 1970s.
Willikens’s stage designs, which have been part of his work since the mid-1980s, are also part of the show. A highlight of the exhibition is his key work The Last Supper (1976/79), from which his Counterspaces developed and which also lead to SITES as well as to the more recent series CUTS and Spaces of Modernity. In the late 2010s, painterly elements as well as colour appear in his works. Finally, the show also includes a group of works created since spring 2020 during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic and which form a provisional conclusion at the present time.
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