Michael Kunze
Les Messieurs d’Avignon

Published by DuMont, Köln, 2007
Contributions by Gregor Jansen, Michael Kunze, Rainer Metzger, Raimar Stange

Michael Kunze’s »Messieurs d'Avignon« are well known great minds from the areas of art and philosophy from the end of nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth. They are the »bad boys of modernity,« - from Friedrich Nietzsche to Michel Houellebecq – whom Kunze presents over 60 pictures. Common to them all ist that they stand, each in his different way, strikingly aloof: although they cannot be imagined outside their time and place, they dodge and undermine the accepted idea of a strictly operating model of progress. This contradiction is the common theme of the collection presented.

Kunze’s cycle refers to a primal image of modernity that has today become conceptually problematic: Pablo Picasso’s painting »Les Demoiselles d’Avignon« from 1907. One thing strikes the viewer at once in this prominent starting-point of the now-official avant garde, with its private party of cubistically analysed woman’s bodies: the absence of men. They are restored in Kunzes portraits and pictures, which refer with this historical allusion to a treasury of images and ideas that gains meaning in a model of modernity beyond Karl Marx and Coca-Cola.

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