Contemporary prints on show in newly opened gallery
Covid-19 damaged many galleries around the world, but the business of art in Luxembourg seems to be growing against the odds.
Fellner Contemporary, a new player dedicated to Luxembourgish and resident artists, set up shop in the midst of the pandemic.
The gallery, run by Hans Fellner, is nestled in between the two spaces of the Nosbaum Reding Gallery, right next to the National Museum of History and Art (NMHA). In fact it was the owner of Fellner’s new neighbour, Alex Reding, who approached him after the previous occupant of the space, Valerius Gallery, moved to a new venue.
And so, Fellner Contemporary started its journey in the two-floored space that was already a popular meeting point for the local art scene. While Fellner Contemporary is a newcomer in the art scene, its owner is not.
Fellner is well-known for his bookshop, Fellner Louvigny, which he is now closing down. The shop sells books on art, photography, architecture and design, but Fellner also frequently held exhibitions, creating an alternative spot for artists.
Fellner Contemporary aims to bring more visibility to artists or disciplines within contemporary art that have been underrepresented.
The gallery’s third exhibition - called “Contemporary Printmaking in Luxembourg” – is evidence of that, but also reflects one of Fellner’s personal interest. Fellner focused on the history of printmaking when studying art history and started collecting old prints after his studies.
In fact, before he engaged in the book commerce in the 1990s, he used to deal in old engravings. He was also involved in the renovation of the printmaking museum, the Kulturhuef, in Grevenmacher.
The exhibition is a testimony to Fellner’s many years of research and his dialogue with printmakers. He selected 10 artists using this ancient medium in Luxembourg: Malou Faber-Hilbert, Danielle Grosbusch, Robert Hall, Diane Jodes, Sylvie Karier, Isabelle Lutz, Franz Ruf, Pit Wagner, Anneke Walch and Désirée Wickler.
The line-up gives the viewer a chance to look at diverse techniques, some experimental approaches and individual styles of the artists.
One of the most striking works is located right at the entrance. With its large format (roughly 260 x 190 cm), the print shows a tree in front of what may be a city skyline, a starry sky or the inside of a computer.
"Even if I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today," a German text in gothic script says at the top of the work.
The Martin Luther quote is a reference to the printing press - invented at roughly the same time the German founder of protestantism started preaching his church reforms - as well as to Apple computers.
“Luxembourg, unlike other countries, has historically had a rather lower appreciation of printmaking,” said Fellner.
An upcoming major exhibition on printmaking organised by BNL and MNHA may change that. Until then, viewers can discover contemporary printmakers at Fellner Contemporary until January 9.