The LUMAS Curators’ Favourites
The art market is huge and holds something for everyone. At the same time, however, not everyone likes the same pieces. Personal tastes are every bit as diverse as people themselves. Our experienced LUMAS Curators also have their own personal preferences.
Antonio de Campos
Curator Antonio de Campos has a background in various creative disciplines, including fine art, filmmaking, and architecture. One of the highlights of his career so far was being a permanent artistic consultant to the late Starchitect, Artist and Designer Zaha Hadid. This collaboration lasted over 25 years until Hadid’s passing in March of 2016. In his words: “My selection of artists was based how they express their creative visions through their craft.”
Salar Ahmadian has sold his work in prestigious galleries across the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S., including the world-famous Christie’s Auction House. His oeuvre is dynamic, moving fluidly between tradition and modernity. Inspired by Persian calligraphy, Ahmadian presents a new visual language combining elements of Pop Art symbolism and the creative process of Surrealism, in a manner reminiscent of the techniques of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
Antonio Rojas believes art evokes the mystery of the unconscious. He is at home in the realm of magical realism, exploring new perspectives through his collage work. In his Shadow Line series, the real world is transformed by geometric elements, creating an abstract juxtaposition. Following in the footsteps of his artistic role model, Rene Magritte, Rojas reminds us that what we see is a fantasy and not a depiction of reality.
The duo Geebird & Bamby create a seemingly familiar reality that is actually a stylized illusion. They call this series The New World. These imaginary buildings are digitally constructed from parts of real supermarkets, movie theaters, liquor stores, and roadside diners photographed in California, Nevada, and Florida. They reinvent these structures in collages inspired by architecture from the post-war era and late 20th century.
Heinrich Heidersberger is one of the most famous German photographers of his time. Despite working in commercial photography, he always felt influenced by the Surrealists. At one point in his career, he decided to investigate abstract photography through chemical experiments and light. As a result of these experiments, he created this legendary series Kleid Aus Licht (Dress of Light). Made with more heart than technique, the artist dresses his muses in light and shadow. He creates the illusion of a second skin that establishes a new relationship between figurative and abstract.
For nearly a decade, Christoph Bamberg has shaped the LUMAS portfolio through his work as a curator. He has specialized in photography dating back to his studies in Art History. At LUMAS, he especially appreciates the new and fresh concept that allows curators, including himself, to discover new artists and offer them a public platform for their work. Bamberg has accompanied some of his favourite artists for years, and he especially loves it when rising talents make a lasting name for themselves.
Beauty and perfect forms can be found in everyday life – you just have to go through the world with open eyes. Tim Hölscher’s study of gas stations of the 1950s and 1960s instantly aroused my enthusiasm for the architecture of these functional buildings. He isolates them in post, placing the focus purely on the structures, which I find both aesthetically and conceptually fascinating.
Bettina Flitner’s “Boatpeople” is also a very sophisticated concept, however her pieces are largely narrative and therefore very extraordinary. I like art that surprises me. Flitner’s pictures generate more questions than they provide answers. It is worth taking a closer look, and discovering all of the minute details in the composition. The water becomes a stage for these humorously odd scenes. To float a Burmese boat down the Rhine River – first you have to come up with that!
The dreamy seascape “Secret Garden” by Sven Fennema is perfect for LUMAS! Gallery visitors and I have been blown away by the harmonious interplay between the lush greens, classic composition, and the landscape. Fennema combines architectural photography with breathtaking scenery, blazing new trails in the Urban Exploration genre.
It is always worth revisiting the classics from time to time – there are still plenty of exciting discoveries for me in this area! I am especially pleased that Hungarian artist Martin Munkácsi, one of the earliest representatives of the New Vision movement, is part of the LUMAS portfolio. With his intuitive sense for unique moments, he inspired world-renowned masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Richard Avedon. To me, the picture “Sonnenbaden” (sunbathing) embodies longing, melancholy, and vitality all at the same time.
Heike Dander began her curatorial career as the Director of the International Studio Programme at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien. After that came various international exhibition projects. For over 10 years, she has been the Executive Curator in charge of the LUMAS portfolio.
Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski – a dangerous combination! Creative and unmistakeable, as seen here in Fitzcarraldo. This is a very special edition of select images straight from the film’s negatives.
Artist Miki Takahashi’s work is full of emotional depth and a great aesthetic sensitivity. The city projected onto the faces becomes a conduit for thoughts, feelings, and associations. It is a city that characterizes and inspires its inhabitants.
In Christopher Woodcock’s Publicly Private series, the works are so impressively composed, they feel like sophisticated photomontages. The clever use of a large-format camera creates blur in the foreground and background.
By comparison, the buildings Geebird & Bamby depict seem to have come from a parallel world. The list of artistic influences is long: Alfred Hitchcock, Wim Wenders, Stephen Shore, et al. Their concept is an exciting game of suggestion, recognition, and idealisation.
The pieces by Eduard Erlikh and Edward B. Gordon take us into the realm of expression and exciting artistic technique. Here, light is a moment of inspiration. Portraits in their purest form!
Dr. Jan Seewald
For over seven years, Dr. Jan Seewald has overseen the international communications for LUMAS, and as the Director of Public Relations, he maintains contact with journalists worldwide. Previously, he acted as curator for renowned collections such as the Haus der Kunst and the Goetz Collection in Munich.
A couple years ago, I was in New York for several months on LUMAS business. I often found myself near Times Square even though, apart from occasionally going to the theatre, I tried to avoid this area as much as possible. The sensory overload is entirely unbearable; the noise, the crowds, the garish light! One winter evening when it was snowing heavily, I came to be at the exact spot where Christophe Jacrot took “Man on Broadway”. This piece always reminds me of this magical experience: the streets were practically empty, and the falling snow softened the noise and neon lights.
At that time, the legendary Condé Nast building was still at Times Square. These days, the publishing company resides in the newly built One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. In 2012, I spent many hours at the old location in the VOGUE magazine archives and had a chance to view images from an abundance of shoots. That included many of the works we subsequently assembled into our VOGUE Collection and Condé Nast Collection. George Hoyningen-Huene’s classic photograph “Bathers I” is one of my absolute favourites from the collection. It is a wonderful example of minimalistic and yet effective composition, which remains as fascinating as ever to this day. In the picture? None other than photographer Horst P. Horst alongside the female model. It is a perfect illusion: Under the sun’s warm rays, the bathers gaze out at an endless sea. A perfect day on the French Riviera? Not at all! It’s a bannister in the VOGUE photo studio in Paris, where the picture was taken. But the photograph is fascinating even for those who are familiar with the background, because it demonstrates the simple means with which Hoyningen-Huene created photographic masterpieces. Another of my favourites is by Cecil Beaton, who was especially active for VOGUE and Harper’s BAZAAR in the 1930s, and was also the photographer for the British Royal Family. In 1948, he put gowns by designer Charles James in the limelight. In 2014, the picture was the highlight of a major Charles James retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
I am a TV series junky! Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, House of Cards, and Suits are some of my favourites and, in my opinion, also great for binge-watching. When I learned that Patrick J. Adams, AKA Mike Ross from Suits was not only a remarkable actor, but also a talented photographer, it piqued my curiosity. The result was a collection that we introduced along with the Grand Opening of a new gallery in Adams' hometown Toronto in 2015. To me, the highlight of the series is the fascinating self-portrait “Tired”, in which Adams tosses nine large car tires into the air. Patrick’s works (including “Just Say No”) can also be seen in Suits, in a creative display in the office of Mike’s girlfriend, Rachel Zane
For three years, Christine Schellenberger was a member of the curatorial team at LUMAS. Now she heads the LUMAS Corporate Art Service, developing individually tailored art concepts for our business customers. That entails a lot more than simple decorating. She places a tremendous amount of importance on using art to create a unique atmosphere. Her personal favorites also effectively inspire a wide variety of moods.
“Mauren Brodbeck breaks up everyday architectural photographs with stark shapes to create something entirely new. The monochrome surfaces appear almost sculptural in the gray cityscapes, an exciting contrast that never fails to delight – and I see it every day on my wall at home!
“Jens Hausmann combines the clear, open structures of modern architecture with intricate painting in peaceful pastel hues for a timelessly elegant aesthetic I really appreciate. I have a special affinity for his pictures of South American buildings because they bring back a lot of memories from my travels there.
"In his large-format collages, André Monet depicts the pop icons of the times in an extraordinary way. He reinterprets photographs of stars like Cate Blanchett, David Bowie, and Rihanna, and gives them a dramatic expressiveness. The scraps of print and maps Monet uses are always directly related to the subject in some way. The impressively implemented colour accents add to his work’s unique intensity!
“This vivid portrait of silent film star Gloria Swanson is without a doubt a photo classic. Here, the film legend was photographed by none other than Edward Steichen. Even almost a century after it was taken, it hasn’t lost any of its charisma or radiance – it’s one of my absolute favorite portraits!"