This is from Leipzig – a visit to the art business

Leipzig Spinnerei,ink drawing
Ink drawing, collage of architecture at Leipzig and at the old cotton spinning mill.

Who has not heard of the school of Leipzig, Neo Rauch etc. and the Spinnerei, the old spinning mill area that was converted into an art and gallery center at Leipzig? Here in Germany it is well-known in the art world. (get an impression with a video on the walk around in September 2010

The day had come that I could go there, I was very curious, looking forward to see interesting art. The tram No. 14 takes you from the center of town in a 20 minute ride to the end station at Plagwitz. From there it is 5 minute walk to the place. It’s a big area with old, tall industry buildings. The entry building is an exhibition place which you have to enter via an iron staircase that leads you downstairs below ground level. There you find some big rooms with these typical loft like walls carrying the marks of time, faded colors peeling off etc., a great place to hang art; anything will look great there.

The man at the help desk was playing cards online on his computer, summer must be the most boring season there. I can’t remember what large format paintings were covering the walls, some smaller photographs of plants were there to. In a small side room there is a permanent exhibition documenting the former use of the place. We crawled out to see what’s on in the galleries I had heard of, perhaps there was even a chance to peek into an artists studio. Not much to see unfortunately, either the gallery was closed or no exhibition held, with a few exceptions.

There was the Robert Lenkiewicz exhibition, a painter I never had heard of. He did quirky paintings in old fashioned style. I understood that he lived a special life and was very much interested in people “outside” of normal society, but I could not see the message in the works that I would consider social kitsch paintings.
The press in Germany published the same stereotype thin text announcing the exhibition. There are also some fairly “explicit” nudes and other pieces in his oeuvre that do not fit too much to the image that the selected pieces for exhibition was presenting.

On we moved walking up and down stairs through long, dark underground transitions without seeing anything, but the fascinating industrial architecture. A small print shop was open with some nice cards and other souvenirs. Finally some of the prestigious galleries had opened the doors in the early afternoon. We could see Rosa Loy works at Kleindienst Gallery. At Eigen+Art we saw a work by Martin Eder, a monumental construction of black painted styrofoam that filled the whole room and conveyed a terrific claustrophobic feeling so we were happy to leave soon.

These galleries convey an atmosphere of exclusivity. As tourist you know that you are not part of the club and you never will be. The gallery staff ignores you in a friendly way which underlines that you just do not exist in these spheres. We saw the one or other big, black limousine coming by with some VIP guests probably. Such were our amusing encounters with art business on that day.

Photographic impressions of Leipzig, old cotton-spinning mill
Leipzig Spinnerei,photograph
Leipzig Spinnerei,photograph
Leipzig Spinnerei,photograph

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