Hans-Peter Feldmann, The Three Graces.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ausstellung 1.

Hans-Peter Feldmann.

Hans-Peter Feldmann.

A Practice Given Over to Collecting the Culture that Surrounds Us

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Gespenst Telefon.

Hans-Peter Feldmann

Hans-Peter Feldmann, David, 2006.


Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
+ 44 (0)20 7402 6075
Hans-Peter Feldmann
April 11-June 3, 2012

A new comprehensive survey exhibition by the artist Hans-Peter Feldmann presents seminal works from throughout his career, from his influential early photographic series to new works displaying women’s handbags.

Born in Germany in 1941, Feldmann soon became a key figure in the Düsseldorf art scene and is a contemporary of Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. Through his lifelong dedication to collecting, Feldmann has called attention to the cultural material that surrounds us by gathering images and everyday objects from disparate sources into meticulous installations.

Amongst Feldmann’s earliest works are a series of booklets consisting of photographs of everyday subjects and situations from views of mountains to aircrafts in the sky to women’s knees. In his latest works the artist has taken collecting a step further by purchasing a number of women’s handbags along with their entire contents and displays them in traditional museum vitrines.

The exhibition also includes examples of his portraiture, a theme that Feldmann has returned to throughout his career. Whether reproducing a series of amateur snapshots from a friend’s family album or meticulously documenting a woman applying her make-up in a series of photographs, Feldmann uses the genre of portraiture to explore the interior life of the individual as well as the material world that surrounds them.

Feldmann’s exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery is his first solo presentation in a UK public gallery since winning the 2010 HUGO BOSS PRIZE and the resulting exhibition at Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011). Feldmann has presented many solo exhibitions internationally, including at Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010), Arnolfini, Bristol (2007), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2003) and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1992). His work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2003 and Take Me I’m Yours at the Serpentine Gallery in 1995.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Hat with Photograph.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Closet.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, House Made of Measure Sticks.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Curtain with Golden Rings.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, 1 pair of Old Paintings.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Golden Shoes With Pins On Velvet.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dollarnote Rot.


Hans-Peter Feldmann, two girls, one clipped, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York, and the artist.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Hidden Associations and Sentiments

Hans-Peter Feldman, House made of Measuring sticks, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York and the artist.

Hans-Peter Feldman, Lips, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York and the artist.


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York
Annex Level 2 Gallery
Hans-Peter Feldmann

May 20-November 2, 2011

German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (b. 1941, Düsseldorf) is the eighth artist to win this prestigious biennial award, established in 1996 by HUGO BOSS and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art.

Feldmann has spent over four decades conducting a profound investigation into the influence of the visual environment on our subjective reality. Composing images and objects into serial archives, uncanny combinations, and other illuminating new contexts, his work unearths the latent associations and sentiments contained within the landscape of daily life. As the 2010 prizewinner, Feldmann received an honorarium of $100,000, and for his solo exhibition at the Guggenheim, he has chosen to pin this exact amount in overlapping one-dollar bills to the gallery walls.

The installation, which uses money that has previously been in circulation, extends the artist’s lifelong obsession with collecting familiar material into simple groupings that reveal a nuanced play of similarity and difference. Throughout his practice, Feldmann has frequently demonstrated the impulse to divide an apparent whole into separate components; he has photographed every item in a woman’s wardrobe (All the clothes of a woman, 1973), presented individual images of the strawberries that make up a pound of fruit (One Pound Strawberries, 2005), and created a sequence of 100 portraits showing individuals of every age in a collective lifespan of a century (100 Years, 2001).

Feldmann also has a history of resisting the art world’s commercial structures, issuing his work in unsigned, unlimited editions and at one point retiring from art making altogether for nearly a decade in the 1980s. Bank notes, like artworks, are objects that have no inherent worth beyond what society agrees to invest them with, and in using them as his medium, Feldmann raises questions about notions of value in art. But his primary interest in the serial display of currency lies less in its status as a symbol of capitalist excess than in its ubiquity as a mass-produced image and a material with which we come into contact every day. At its core, this formal experiment presents an opportunity to experience an abstract concept — a numerical figure and the economic possibilities it entails — as a visual object and an immersive physical environment.

THE HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010: Hans-Peter Feldmann is organized by Katherine Brinson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

In November 2010, Feldmann was selected as the prizewinner from a shortlist of finalists that included Cao Fei, Roman Ondák, Walid Raad, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The award is given to an artist whose work represents a significant development in contemporary art and sets no restrictions in terms of age, gender, race, nationality, or medium.

The jury for the 2010 prize was chaired by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the jurors were Udo Kittelmann, Director, Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Yasmil Raymond, Curator, Dia Art Foundation, New York; Joan Young, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art and Manager of Curatorial Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Tirdad Zolghadr, independent writer and curator. In the official award statement, the jury described its selection: “A key influence on generations of younger artists, Feldmann’s work exhibits a vitality and keen originality that places it among the most compelling work being produced today. It is this critical engagement with the moment that we recognize in awarding him the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010.”
Publication In conjunction with the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010, the Guggenheim has published a catalogue that explores the work of the 2010 finalists and features a specially commissioned project by each artist. The catalogue, designed by Project Projects, includes essays by Maria Lind, Jessica Morgan, Yasmil Raymond, Angeline Scherf, Helena Tatay, and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, with an introduction by Katherine Brinson. It is available for $19.95 at guggenheim.org.


Hans-Peter Feldmann, Hat with photograph, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York, and the artist.