Baloise Art Forum: Amelie von Wulffen

Basel, The works of Amelie von Wulffen are on show at the "This is how it happened" exhibition until 5 June 2015.

Exhibition at the Baloise Group Art Forum

27 November 2014 – 5 June 2015
Art Forum opening hours: Tuesday, 27 January and 2 June 2015 both at 5 pm
for a guided tour by curator Martin Schwander or by appointment. 

Born in Germany in 1966, Amelie von Wulffen is exhibiting watercolours at the Baloise Art Forum which are in surprising contrast to her previous work; they are cartoons of vegetable, fruit, tool and sausage figures depicting brief narrative scenes. They address issues such as education, morality and the rules of interpersonal behaviour. The images are reminiscent of children's books from the 1950s, found by the artist at her grandmother's house, which often use humorous stories to convey moral values. Von Wulffen's cartoons are not necessarily intended for children, however, as they always contain a latent tension, a trauma or an act of violence or sexuality.

The title of the series, This is how it happened, comes from one of the images in Francisco de Goya's series Desastres de la guerra (The Disasters of War), thus subtly incorporating the metaphor of war. The cartoon images are also intended to be interpreted as an ironic comment on the economic excesses on the contemporary art market. By deliberately showcasing the applied arts, dilettantism and naivety, they ask questions about the seriousness and the conceptual and material value of a work of art. Von Wulffen resists hierarchies, categorisations and the predominant view of style with humour and emotional directness.

Amelie von Wulffen's cartoons can be viewed as a homage to Francisco de Goya. His unsparing Los Caprichos (from the Italian capriccio – a light-hearted whim or notion) were created between 1793 and 1799 and can be seen as a catalogue of social ills. Goya's Los Caprichos have been called outlandish, mad, erratic and funny and are completely bubbling over with imagination and ideas, making a clear and conclusive interpretation impossible.
It is this deliberate ambiguity and openness to interpretation that draws in viewers of Amelie von Wulffen's works, who are sure to find one or other of the vices portrayed reflected within themselves.

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