On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the Museum Folkwang in Essen is dedicating a major retrospective to the graphic artist, publisher, poster artist and lawyer Klaus Staeck, and Michael's Lädle on the corner of Weissenburgstrasse and Heusteigstrasse is dedicating a shop window. Until the vernissage on Friday, February 23, at 5 p.m., the store window of Michael Schmidt's tobacco and magazine store will be open behind drawn curtains. Then is Vernissage and all may look.
He does it like BILD
In the weeks before, the Stuttgart artist and neighbor, Klaus Fabricius, created a collage of Staeck's works, hung posters, tore out and arranged pages of books and magazines. The typefaces sometimes seem antiquated, the paper yellowed. All the more surprising, then, is the topicality of some of the sheets - on housing policy, for example, or on the subject of sexism. Fabricius loves this loud style: "He does it like the Bild-Zeitung, he just knocks it out!
But the parallel to the tabloids already ends with the style. Staeck's art is always political, it is exaggeration, mockery, distortion - in short: satire. Since the 1960s, he has commented on social issues, grievances, and crises. He has been a member of the SPD since 1960, was president of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, and has been a member of the cultural senate of the state of Saxony-Anhalt since 2004. Art and politics are always in Staeck's arms. He makes a topic of whatever is bothering him in politics, society, art and business. "He does this in an extremely pointed, mocking, sharp-tongued manner, with subtle irony, enigmatically, wittily and cheekily to bitterly wickedly. As a poster designer, he is an ingenious finder of words and images. He provokes and stimulates thought, including smiles and astonishment," writes the Folkwang Museum.
Cheaper than in oil
Klaus Fabricius sees this type of art as threatened with extinction. "Only a few are still going in this direction." Yet it would still have so much to say to people today, Fabricius is convinced. "Staeck critically questions and forces the viewer to form an opinion." Fabricius doesn't accept that the style can sometimes seem outdated: "Old or new are not categories in art! You also go to the State Gallery, look at medieval masters, and then say: 'Ugh, that's old!' There is only good and bad art.
Exhibition organizer Fabricius appreciates Staeck's loyalty to the political subject and to the "cheap" print media with which far less money can be made than with political statements in oil and acrylic, such as those by Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger or Gerhard Richter. "Staeck's art is not made for the art market, but for the viewer.
These can approach from Friday, Feb 23, at Weissenburgstrasse 8 at any time of day or night free of charge and look in the shop window.