Rudolf Bonvie:

“In my Tumblr works, I am examining the changing perception
of my artistic work in the World Wide Web.
While visitors to my homepage were
only passive observers (Web 1.0), they can now –
thanks to today’s social media software,
“like” my pictures or “share” or “reblog” them
by integrating them directly in their own homepage (Web 2.0).
Through an architecture that facilitates direct participation,
the perception of my works is changing,
suddenly they are being seen on someone else’s homepage
in a wholly different context.
People’s own images come together
with other people’s to form a new dynamic.
This flood of images means that the generation
of 16- to 24-year-old Tumblr users have new ways of seeing things.
The huge volume of images rushing past them
does not exhaust them, on the contrary,
they love swimming in images,
occasionally singling out one or two to reblog.
Their perceptive faculties are faster, their eyes are keener.
This raises the following questions:
Given this fleeting mass of images,
does this generation still have a need for a picture on the wall?
For something they can touch?
For something static? Something that they can’t click away?
Everyone takes high-quality photographs,
everyone posts them online, everyone joins in.
How do traditional photography and vintage prints
react to these circumstances?”

1947 geboren in Hoffnungsthal
lebt und arbeitet in Köln
né en 1947 à Hoffnungsthal
vit et travaille à Cologne
Expositions personelles

1968-73 Studium an den Kölner Werkschulen
1975-78 Studium an der Philosophischen Fakultät Köln
1979 Stipendium des Deutsch-Französichen Jugendwerks
1981 Preisträger aus dem Forum Junger Kunst
Werkstipendium des Kunstfond e.V. Bonn,
Auslandsstipendium des Kultusministeriums
des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Cité des Arts, Paris
1982 Friedrich-Vordemberge-Stipendium der Stadt Köln
1988 Stipendium der Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung für zeitgenössische deutsche Fotografie
1993-94 Lehrauftrag an der Universität GH Essen
1997 Arbeitsstipendium des Kunstfond e.V., Bonn
1998-99 Vertretungsprofessur an der Hochschule für Gestaltung,Offenbach am Main

1973  Aquarelle, Lithographien, Fotografien
          Galerie Hinrichs, Lohmar
1976  Fotografien 1973 - 1976
Galerie Haus 11, Karlsruhe
1979  vorher - nachher
          Kunstverein Gelsenkirchen (Kat.)
1981  Installation zu dem Tonbandstück:
          Ich denk nur allein an mich

          Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Trier
1982  La chasse photographique est ouverte...
          Galerie Magers, Bonn
          Produzentengalerie, Hamburg
1985  Fotoarbeiten 1974-1984
          Kunsthalle Bielefeld (Kat., mit A.Klein)
          Fotoarbeiten, Skulpturen, Zeichnungen
          Galerie Schneider, Konstanz
1986  Zeichnungen 1981 -1985
          Arthotek, Köln
          Neue Fotoarbeiten
Museum am Ostwall Dortmund (Kat., mit A.Klein)
          Fotoarbeiten, Skulpturen, Zeichnungen
          Galerie Schneider, Konstanz
1987  Rhapsodie nucléaire I
          Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Hamburg (Kat.)
1988  Rhapsodie nucléaire II
          Museum Folkwang, Essen (Kat.)
          Rhapsodie nucléaire
          Galerie Klaus Werth, Frankfurt
1989  Portrait I
          Galerie Kicken - Pauseback, Köln
          Forum Stadtpark, Graz
1990  Fotoarbeiten 1978/79, Portrait I - III
          Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (Kat.)
          Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
1991  Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München (Kat.)
          Galerie Rudolf Kicken, Köln
1993  Vorstellungsbilder, Galerie Rudolf Kicken, Köln
          Années 70 - 80
          Marie de Mazaugues, Théatre de Verdure
1994  Vorstellungsbilder und Seestücke
          Espace des Arts, Colomiers (Kat.)
          Fotohof, Salzburg
1995  Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders,
          Bergisch Gladbach (Kat.)
          Sander & Ebert, Darmstadt
1996  Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki, Sopot (Kat.)
          Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris
          Galerie Vorsetzen, Hamburg
1997  photographie /contre, Triangle, Rennes
          Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon (Kat.,mit A. Klein)
          Galerie Brigitte Trotha, Frankfurt am Main
1998  Malerei, Kunstraum Hinrichs, Trier
          Galerie Municipale des Arts, Sfax ( Kat.)
          Galerie de l´Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts, Sfax
          Maison des Arts, Tunis
          Goethe-Institut Tunis   
1999  Tunisreisen, Galerie Brigitte Trotha, Frankfurt
          Maximilian Krips Galerie, Köln
          La Sainte Victoire, Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris
          Les voyages à Tunis, Galerie Barnoud, Dijon
2000  peinture numérisée, Goethe-Loft, Lyon
2001  Börsenarbeiten, Kunstraum Hinrichs, Trier
2003  Smart Money,Maximilian Krips Galerie, Köln
          Galerie Justine Lacroix, Marseille
2004  Capture
          Galerie Priska Pasquer, Köln

2005  Galerie Barnoud, Dijon
2006  La Sainte Victoire 1997-2003
          Galerie J.Lacroix, Marseille
2008  La Chasse photographique 1980
          Youtubearbeiten 2007

          Galerie Priska Pasquer, Köln
2013  Börsenarbeiten 2001 - 2011
          Kunstverein Lippstadt, Lippstadt
          Galerie Priska Pasquer, Köln
2015  #bonvie 70s/80s
          Galerie Priska Pasquer, Köln

Gruppenausstellungen (Auswahl)
Expositions collectives sélectionnées

1986  Reste des Authentischen
          Museum Folkwang, Essen
1987  Blow up
          Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart
1989  Das Foto als autonomes Bild
          Kunsthalle Bielefeld
1993  Fotografie in der deutschen Gegenwartskunst
          Museum Ludwig Köln
1994  Another Continent
          Museum of Photographie, Tokio
1997  Deutschlandbilder
          Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
2000  Das Gedächtnis der Kunst
          Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
2003  Zeitgenössische, deutsche Fotografie
          Museum Folkwang Essen
2005  Sich selbst bei Laune halten
          Kunst der 70er aus der Schenkung Ingrid Oppenheim 
          Kunst Museum Bonn
2011  Neuerwerbungen für die Sammlung

          Museum Folkwang, Essen




bonvie 70s/80s

Galerie Priska Pasquer, Exhibition, May 1 - June 27, 2015

Tumblrwork 10 (lemons after Chernobyl)
Photowork, 2015
226 x 120 cm, Edition of 3

Priska Pasquer 2015

Priska Pasquer 2015

Priska Pasquer 2015

Priska Pasquer 2015

The exhibition will feature Rudolf Bonvie’s photographic works, polaroids, drawings and ceramics from the 1970s and 1980s. Even at that early stage, the artist was exploring themes that define our everyday lives more and more today, such as a growing narcissism and fears of nuclear disaster.
RUDOLF BONVIE (born 1947) is regarded as one of Germany’s first media artists, one whose work explores the function and impact of communication with images. In his multifarious body of work, he combines social questions with aspects of photographic theory. The artist’s critical observations revolve mainly around three thematic issues: the growing narcissism in our society, the exuberant flood of images and the looming threat of nuclear disaster. Having presented BONVIE’s latest series of works – digital collages generated via Tumblr – last year, | PRISKA PASQUER is now shifting its focus to his works from the 1970s and 1980s. The selected photographs, montages, drawings and photographic works shed light on the artist’s undeniably media-critical outlook and on the analytical rigour that has always characterised his work. And: they are alarmingly relevant to the times we live in.
One of the central themes in RUDOLF BONVIE’s work is the impact that the reproductive media have on society and how they determine how we see people. In 1977, he published the photo series “14 Personen – 25 Narzissen” (14 People – 25 Narcissists), half-length portraits of naked young men holding bunches of flowers. Conceived as counterparts to the bodybuilder series “Kraft” (Power), the unusual shots call into question common stereotypes. Both series of pictures can also be seen as early critiques of the growing egocentricity in our society. In this connection, BONVIE also drew on the famous words of Madame de Pompadours “Après nous le déluge” (After us, the deluge). Today, almost 40 years after these works were created, the self-centred mania for self-optimisation has reached a level that would have been unimaginable back then. And the contemptuous, self-obsessed utterance by the famous mistress – a master of self-staging, incidentally – seems to sum up the attitude of much of our society.
Over 30 years ago, RUDOLF BONVIE was already denouncing a society that was obsessed with taking photographs. In his 1980 series “La chasse photographique est ouverte” (Hunting season for photographs is open), he criticises the kind of sensationalist photojournalism that wields cameras like weapons. In the following years, BONVIE continued to develop the theme centring on how the human image is typecast and reduced, alienated and deindividualised. Faceless figures feature not only in his drawings but also in his photographic works – stereotyped shapes that call to mind the figurines of Oskar Schlemmer. A prime example of this is the expansive photographic work “Piktogramm”, developed by the artist in 1984 based on a video recording. The pictogram projected through a screen is a symbol of the radical reduction of the human image through the reproductive media of photography and video.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 was a historic event to which RUDOLF BONVIE devoted one of his most important works. He immediately understood that the magnitude and significance of this event could not be conveyed by means of conventional (image) reporting. The “Rhapsodie nucléaire” is based on starkly alienated photographs of nuclear power plants. The buildings appear detached, abstracted and flattened, almost unreal – yet at the same time with an objective, rational identifiability in their symbolic character. “The power of these pictures lies in their inadequacy when compared with the unimaginable, incomprehensible reality.” (Erich Franz).While his photographic works attempted to capture the permanent threat posed by nuclear energy, BONVIE also explored the response to the disaster in the print media. Between 30 April and 1 June 1986, he collected all reports about the nuclear accident published in Cologne daily newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and assembled them chronologically and column by column into a three-part picture diagram. This visual interpretation alienates the verbal news material while at the same time exposing the speechlessness masked by the supposed readability: the remembrance work is a monument to our ability to be horrified by something directly and then to forget about it quickly. BONVIE has now compiled the texts together again in a small book.The work cycle “Rhapsodie nucléaire” met with an enthusiastic response ten years later in an exceptional project. To coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor disaster, RUDOLF BONVIE designed a dinner service called “Über die Schönheit des Atomkraftwerks” (On the beauty of the nuclear power plant). The ceramic service consists of an underplate, a large plate, a plate and a coffee cup. All pieces feature hand-painted decorations from stylised nuclear power plants. The service is an angry, ironic comment on the human tendency to suppress and forget: how are we supposed to eat from plates decorated with reactor images without the food sticking in our throats?All the series of works that RUDOLF BONVIE has created on the subject of nuclear power plants are still very relevant to the present day – 29 years after Chernobyl and five after Fukushima.

lemons after chernobyl

Lemons after Chernobyl (26.04.1986)
photowork, 1993, 31 x 40 cm, edition of 100
Tumblrwork 10 (lemons after Chernobyl)
photowork, 2015
226 x 120 cm, edition of 3

Rhapsodie nucléaire 2212, 1988, 197 x 127 cm