About the exhibition:

Why, to this day, does “men’s art” remain invisible? The exhibition Chromosom XY Männerkunst – Herrenkunst wants to change this. So far unseen and often-overlooked male gestures in art are explored with the help of six artistic positions.

Starting in April 2019, the Tate Britain will take down all the works by men for one year, showing exclusively works by female artists for that period – this has provoked thunderous enthusiasm.

Just a mention of the term “women’s art”, and images are immediately evoked: It relates to the body and is autobiographical. Private artefacts, one’s own body, personal histories and personal sensitivities stand front and center. Therefore, in the eyes of the spectator, “women’s art” is eroticized, fetishized or exoticized. To promote the nexus of “women and art” nearly always alleges to have emancipatory relevance. And while “female art” or “women and art” is an omnipresent topic, “men’s art” evidently remains in contrast terra incognita. Up to this point, exhibitions like Men and Surrealism or ils@centrepompidou have never been organized. We are changing this.

We, the curators An Paenhuysen and Wolfgang Müller, begin with Chromosom XY. Männerkunst-Herrenkunst. We’ve sought out a selection of six art works in which macho poses and strategies are presented. The question is asked: What does “men’s art” reveal about the prevailing structures in society? What does its future hold – society’s as well as that of “men’s art”?

Despite the fact the curators knew the topic could be seen as being somewhat controversial, and had made that abundantly clear in advance, the exhibition came dangerously close to a premature death when, merely two weeks before scheduled opening, the director of the Display project space, Marie DuPasquier, abruptly announced she would not host it. Fortunately, Lena Braun came to our rescue. Even with her program already fully booked, she offered us refuge in her art space Barbiche at the Potsdamer Straße where we got the back room − men’s art in the back room!

You can find the accompanying book in German and English at Verbrecher Verlag.

Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds