Ben Willikens
Raum 371, Erich Buchholz (Atelier Herkulesufer 15, Berlin 1922), 2004

Ben Willikens started his series ›Räume der Moderne‹ in the late 1990s (a dialogue with pioneers of architectural Modernism from Tessenow via Le Corbusier to Neutra). The first nuances of color – by analogy with the architecture-related color concepts of ›De Stijl‹, for example – now start to creep into his paintings. Such nuances become explicit in Willikens’s painterly treatment of the constructivist spatial concepts of the 1920s, like the fusion of image and architecture in the work of Erich Buchholz (Studio at 15 Herkulesufer, Berlin, 1922) or El Lissitzky’s Proun Room (1923). Buchholz, a pioneer of Constructivism, played host to the artistic avant-garde of the era in his studio. The space was transformed into a constructivist environment by means of various elements and wall colors that were painterly and plastic in character, and that were matched to each other in terms of form and color. In stark contrast to Buchholz’ powerful color contrasts, Willikens’s painting is like a distant and washed-out memory. Notwithstanding this, it documents a radical new concept of an image-space reduced to bright colors, simple volumes and mere geometrical forms.

Ben Willikens

* 1939 Leipzig, D
Lives and works in Stuttgart, D
Ben Willikens
Auditorium: Das All, 1990
Acrylic on gypseous alabaster
Ben Willikens
Auditorium: Der Raum des Erfinders, 1990
Acrylic on canvas on wall plaster
Ben Willikens
Auditorium: Die Dynamik der Idee, 1990
Acrylic on canvas on wall plaster

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