Alfons Knogl and Lukas Schmenger at artothek

Artists: Alfons Knogl and Lukas Schmenger

Exhibition title: ULTRA

Curated by: Astrid Bardenheuer

Venue: artothek, Cologne, Germany

Date: March 5 – June 13, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and artothek, Cologne

ULTRA describes phenomena existing on the borderline of the imaginable beyond any sensible perception.

A co-production of Alfons Knogl and Lukas Schmenger, “ULTRA” showcases aluminium and epoxy-resin reliefs presented in a unique display in the centre of the exhibition space. Their circular and rectangular oversized plaques address the classical form of expression between sculpture and architecture with reference to topical questions about figure and object. In contrast to conventional positioning with only one visible show-side and obscured rear side, this installation type reveals insights into both front- and rear views. It also allows a closer examination of the shaping  and volume that materialized according to the creation of the front side. They comprise the reductive, abstract counterpart to figurative and objective artworks.

Lukas Schmenger’s works focus on the representation of the human figure. The special theme of the work of Alfons Knogl is the divergent view of everyday objects and their integration into global chains of production and trade. A multilayered dialogue evolves through the interplay in the works of charged figuration and sober arrangement, of classical form and modern material. Both artists’ thematic association is the clash of individuality and global uniformness in today’s living milieu, including the world of things. This topic is transposed into a new form for the relief as an expressive medium that is especially attuned to our time.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of the Kunststiftung NRW, Sparkasse KölnBonn, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland and the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia. Alfons Knogl and Lukas Schmenger received the “Horizont Raum” prize of the Freunde der artothek Köln e.V. for their exhibition “ULTRA”.

Alfons Knogl studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, graduating as a master student in 2009. Postgraduate studies followed until 2012 at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. He lives and works in Cologne.

Lukas Schmenger, born 1981 in Filderstadt, studied at the City of Düsseldorf Art Academy in Thomas Grünfeld’s sculpture class, graduating as a master student in 2009. He also lives and works in Cologne.