Scheinbar abstrakte Kunst

The main focus of KP Brehmer’s work was on politically committed art and an ironically altered visualization of real socio-political processes. However, this political-critical approach never superimposed on his artistic thinking or working. For him it was important to seek out the constraints and potential of art and to employ these as a sensual instrument of enhancing emancipatory awareness. Brehmer also strove to make the critical potential of his art production relevant for society, beyond the restrictive limits of the art business, taking it out onto the streets. With this approach, he called on artists to take social responsibility. In his opinion, they should use their work not only to comment on social and living conditions but also to play an active role in shaping them.

With his early works, KP Brehmer is considered one of the representatives of the socalled “capitalist realism”, along with his contemporaries Gerhard Richter, Konrad Lueg and Sigmar Polke. His oeuvre developed in particular under the influence of Max Ernst, the Fluxus movement and Pop Art in the style of Richard Hamilton and undertakes a critical analysis of the aesthetics of advertising and the increasing presence of media in a consumerist society. From the mid-1960s onwards, Brehmer developed an autonomous political iconography with his diagrammatic and cartographic works.

The exhibition Scheinbar abstrakte Kunst (Seemingly Abstract Art) focuses on the painterly work of KP Brehmer. The group of works Thermal Pictures, produced from the mid-1970s onwards, puts the emphasis on people and shows Brehmer’s occupation with the problem of perception. Although Brehmer bases these works, as with his maps and statistics, on found technical data such as thermograms, this visualisation of bodily functions, from which conclusions about human emotions can
be drawn, to some extent gives human beings back their individuality. This is reflected in a sensual- painterly approach, which allows the artist and his style to emerge even more strongly than in his earlier work phases.