Christopher Lehmpfuhl: Between Pathos and Pastose / Forum Würth Arlesheim

The current exhibition at Forum Würth in Arlesheim (near Basel, Switzerland), is dedicated to the German artist Christopher Lehmpfuhl. Christopher Lehmpfuhl is known for his impasto landscape and cityscape paintings, which he creates outdoors (plain air) in all weathers. The exhibition at Forum Würth Arlesheim is titled Between Pathos and Pastose and features paintings, watercolors, photographs and objects from the Würth Collection and the artist’s studio. This video provides you with an exhibition walkthrough and an interview with the Director of Forum Würth Arlesheim, Myriam Rüegsegger, who talks about Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s solo exhibition and the Forum Würth. The exhibition runs until February 25, 2024.

Christopher Lehmpfuhl: Between Pathos and Pastose / Forum Würth Arlesheim. August 15, 2023.

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Exhibition text:

The Berlin-based artist Christopher Lehmpfuhl (*1972) is regarded as a shooting star of contemporary realism. The exhibition at Forum Würth Arlesheim comprises around 35 paintings from the Würth Collection, complemented by various loans from the artist’s own studio.

Those who immerse themselves in Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s work embark on a journey through the history of painting. In the tradition of the Impressionists, he paints outdoors (plein air) in all weathers and with an Expressionist conviction that art is a channel for expressing the artist’s subjectivity. In the process, he uses impasto painting to create sculptural cityscapes and natural landscapes full of light.

At the same time, his works distance themselves from the characteristics of classical landscape painting, such as the delicacy of detail, numerous brush strokes or rich color palettes. Instead, Lehmpfuhl applies kilos of oil paint by hand directly onto the canvas. He does this with such a precision that representation and interpretation coexist on the same canvas, creating a narrative power that instills in the viewer the mood in which the work was created. His works are carriers of an emotion that, like Aristotelian pathos, move and question the viewer.
The exhibition brings together mainly large-scale oil paintings and some watercolors from the last two decades. On display are landscapes and urban scenes, including works from his famous series on Berlin’s Schlossplatz in transition, as well as impressive motifs from his painting trips around the world, ranging from Iceland to India to the USA. Strong changes in light, sharp color contrasts and urban transformation processes are so skillfully conveyed by the artist to the canvas that the viewer can experience what he sees.

Lehmpfuhl’s personal work objects and three documentary films directed by Sebastian Schrade in 2010, 2014 and 2016 give an insight into the working methods and creative process of this exceptional artist.

It was a merit of the comprehensive solo exhibitions at Museum Würth in Künzelsau (Germany) in 2019/21 and Museo Würth La Rioja (Spain) in 2021/22 to have a fresh look at the artist Christopher Lehmpfuhl.

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