Sep 2, 2010

Rudolf Kicken...Gallerist.

The reading I did for this week was on Rudolf Kicken who is a Gallerist in Berlin. After earning a degree in economics he went on to study photography for two terms at the Visual Study Workshop in Rochester, NY. During his time there he met the director of the Light Gallery in New York City. After doing this he asked him if he could represent the Light Gallery Photographers in Germany. This did end up happening and Kicken and Wilhelm Schurmann founded Galerie Lichttropfen in an old bookstore in Aachen in 1974. Their bigger main gallery did not open for another two years. Kicken has worked in the art world for 30 years and has represented photographers such as Helmut Newton, Diane Arbus, Stephen Shore and Bernd and Hilla Becher. He not only represented works of art from these great artists but also from younger photographers such as Klaus Rinke, Dieter Appelt, and Gotz Diergarten. They put up photos in the gallery from both new and old artists alike. Kicken stated that "even today, when I'm buying something new, I put it up on the walls in the gallery next to a work of art we've been looking at for a long time and we see if it holds up."
A lot of things that Kicken referenced were very helpful and inspiring. Artists will bring in their portfolios to present their work to him who have very scattered ideas and will have not focused on a certain theme. Kicken suggested that they try to focus on one theme. He also stated that "a good work of art is something you always remember, where you wake up and think of that image." He had very good insights on so many things, which is great to hear from a gallery owner's perspective. He also spoke about different types of photos. "Of course you can say 'everything has been photographed' but it's the way in which a theme is approached that's exciting. In the long run, if something is merely beautiful or merely shocking, it becomes boring. It needs to be more than that."
So much to process and think about.

 Rudolf Kicken and his wife Annette.

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