Florian Krewer exhibit in Aspen a first in U.S. | AspenTimes.com

Florian Krewer exhibit in Aspen a first in U.S.

Staff report
Florian Krewer, "nice dog," 2019. Oil on canvas, 86 1/2 x 67 in (220 x 170 cm). Private collection.
Aspen Art Museum/Courtesy image

The Aspen Art Museum is presenting “Florian Krewer: everybody rise,” the German painter’s first-ever solo museum exhibition and critical survey in the United States.

Comprised of more than 20 paintings displayed throughout two of the museum’s galleries, the show will be in chronological order from 2017 to the present, tracing the significant shifts that have occurred in his practice over these years. The exhibition is curated by Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator of White Columns, New York.

Nicola Lees, Nancy and Bob Magoon, director of the Aspen Art Museum, in a statement said, “The figurative paintings in this exhibition showcase a complex picture of our contemporary lives, which, like the artist, we all have been evaluating through a new lens. Visitors here have the chance to engage with a body of work that examines our individual selves and the tensions so recently felt between our lockdown solitude and our public identities in an increasingly globalized world.”

Higgs said, “I am thrilled that visitors will have the opportunity to explore recurring themes in Florian Krewer’s work while discovering the more recent emergence of a more intense and, at times, almost-hallucinogenic palette in his paintings. Viewers will find an increasing sense of freedom and fluidity in the artist’s recent work, an unabashed shedding of inhibitions — painterly or otherwise — especially in their depictions of intimacy and desire, that is at once unexpected and profoundly seductive.”

Florian Krewer, “one and only,” 2019. Oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 78 3/4 in (240 x 200
cm). Private collection.


The exhibition traces Florian Krewer’s (b. 1986, Gerolstein, Germany) career from 2017, the year of his graduation from Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, where he studied painting under the mentorship of Peter Doig. The artist lived and worked in Germany until his 2020 move to New York, coinciding with the global pandemic’s onset. The five-year arc of work on view amplifies key moments and shifts in the artist’s practice, often made in relation to significant biographical events.

“everybody rise” takes its title from Krewer’s 2019 painting that shows a group of young people choreographed in a shared moment of embrace, set in an otherwise drab urban landscape. Ambiguity and uncertainty play a central role in this image, as in much of the artist’s work, where the narratives at play remain open while still conveying a sense of empowerment and potential, the museum’s statement said.

The representation of individuals — in groups, pairs, or on their own — remains a recurring subject for Krewer and this exhibition. The artist’s work explores the tensions between private lives and social identities.

The exhibition will travel to the M WOODS Museum in Beijing following the presentation at the Aspen Art Museum.

Krewer’s solo exhibitions include “boogie nights,” at Tom Dick or Harry, Düsseldorf; “pinkflavor,” at TRAMPS, New York; “Car Park Godiva,” at Michael Werner Gallery, London; “Eyes on Fire,” Michael Werner Gallery, New York, and TRAMPS, New York; and “Florian Krewer: ride or fly,” Michael Werner Gallery, London. 

The artist is a recent recipient of the Prix Jean-François Prat awarded by the Bredin Prat Foundation and was included in Es liebt Dich und Deine Körperlichkeit ein Verwirrter-Carina Brandes, Florian Krewer, Raphaela Simon at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf this year. Krewer lives and works in the South Bronx, New York.

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum is a globally-engaged, non-collecting contemporary art museum. Following the 2014 opening of the museum’s facility designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, the museum has had increased attendance, renewed civic interaction, and international media attention, according to museum officials.

In July 2017, the museum was one of 10 institutions to receive the U.S. National Medal for Museum and Library Services for its educational outreach to rural communities in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and its learning partnerships with civic and cultural partners within a 100-mile radius of the museum.