Art Vernissage

Klaus von Gaffron gegen den Rest der Welt


Photography, Installation, Painting, Mixed Media, Performance, Sculpture


Klaus von Gaffron | Sonja Allgaier | Nicola Arthen | Frank Balve | Gabi Blum | Corbinian Böhm | Daniel Bräg | Thomas Breitenfeld | Judith Egger | Manuel Eitner | Daniel Engelberg | Beate Engl | Karen Michio Ernst | Leonie Felle | Florian Froese-Peeck | Lisa Geller | Maximilian Geuter | Ben Goossens | Alison Grimm | Emanuel Guarascio | Lukas Hoffmann | Michael Hofstetter | François Huber | Paul Huf | Jessica Kallage-Götze | Bianca Kennedy | Nico Kiese | Felix Kraus | Victor Kraus | Lang und Troia | Christian Leitna | Kalas Liebfried | Michael Lippmann | Daniel Man | Nina Annabelle Märkl | Boris Maximowitz | Thorsten Mühlbach | Ole Müller | Gregor Passens | Rosanna Marie Pondorf | Dieter Rehm | Viola Relle | Ivo Rick | Isabel Ritter |  Felix Rodewaldt | Thomas Silberhorn | Simon Sternal | Sophia Süßmilch | Thomas Thiede | Magnus Thorén | Elina Uschbalis | Malte Wandel | Dominik Wandinger | Joseph Wandinger | Raphael Weilguni | Anthony Werner | Felix Leon Westner | Marian Wiesner | Tim Wolff | Sandra Zech | Pio Ziltz | Maximilian Zuzak

Curator – Frank Balve

All images by KUNST BLOCK BALVE and Max Geuter

Born in Straubing in 1946, Klaus von Gaffron first worked in a book shop. After studying graphics and photography at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich, he got very engaged in supporting the arts  – especially in funding the next generation of artists. At the end of the 70s he opened the non-profit Gallery Gaffron, in 1992 he became the head of the occupational union for artists and was also involved in over 2000 boards of the arts. He remained a philanthropist until the end of his life.

By providing access of both space and materials for creative work, as well as putting on exhibitions and cultural events, it will attempt to fill a palpable, dividing gap in the public creative scene, as well as in contemporary art production and reception. Furthermore, it will combat both the issue of high rent prices and a complete lack of funding while also attempting to bring the next generation’s scene closer to the already established art world of the city. The first exhibition had this very tension as its main point of inspiration – it was viewed playfully from a variety of positions:

During all of this, he always remained artistically active, and created an impressive portfolio of photographic images that all had his very unique handwriting on them. It is important to mention that he was not a traditionally trained photographer; he saw himself as more of a painter, which the viewers of his work can definitely see. While one can still define the subjects in his work from the 1990s, these become increasingly blurry as he moved on to the 2000s. But Gaffron always made a point of carefully choosing which images to exhibit, and paid close attention to both every details and to a general harmony in his compositions.

Those who observed Gaffron at work say that it almost seems as if he were looking for something he lost: he was always up as close to the subject as he could be – often these were plants and flowers – to make contact with them so he knew just when to click the shutter. The artist was indeed on a search for something – but it was not something concrete – he was actually looking for excerpts of reality, movements and dreams of colour which he didn’t sever from the photographed object…he was just putting those unusual, intangible things on centre stage.

In the exhibition, a variety of images from different eras of his work were juxtaposed with the work of many other artists. This show also presented a one of a kind project: KUNST BLOCK BALVE is planning many different exhibitions, performances and happenings which are meant to bring the various cultural scenes of the city together, so they can animate and inspire each other. The city already has a lively, active, high quality art scene – the Akademie der bildenden Künste is educating new talent every year, and there is also a large number of international artists that come to Munich in order to gather inspiration and sow the seeds of new perspectives. The traditional techniques of painting and sculpture are no longer all that is to be seen here; there is much experimentation with performance, new media and concept art – utilising unusual materials such as wax, dirt or construction foam. This variety is celebrated at KUNST BLOCK BALVE, and it has thusly become shelter for these new forms of creation to flourish in…a place where creative exchange is celebrated: Frank Balve’s casting call for this exhibition attracted over 64 artists already. In turn, the exhibition space became the expression of what both Frank Balve and Klaus von Gaffron support: a mixed selection of Munich’s current contemporary art scene.

We see a swarm of contemporary artists, who have come together to stand in juxtaposition to the expressive world of colour that Klaus von Gaffron created with phenomenal diversity. The entirety of the exhibition became an astonishing simultaneousness of past, present and future – an exciting and energising confrontation of artistic perspectives.

Text: Carolin Koch – freie Kunsthistorikerin | Translation: Katina Petrou