Coal to Art: Lara Favaretto in The Lehmbruck Museum

Adrastus Collection is proud to participate with The Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg in the exhibition Reichtum. Schwarz ist Gold (Wealth. Black is Gold), curated by Michael Krajewski. The show is part of an extensive program sponsored by the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, where 16 art museums from the Ruhr region participate by presenting the history of the German coal industry, which culminates this year with the closure of the last coal mine in the country.

This exhibition transforms the idea of coal as a source of monetary wealth into a visually perceptible and appealing form. However, instead of taking a socio-historical point of view, the show presents the aesthetic values found in the recent developments in contemporary art. Coal, in its materiality and haptic appearance –matte, rough surface, and deepest of black in color– has been redeveloped by a particular generation of artists. The contrast between a white “clinical” exhibition space and “dirty” black surface was also staged as an artificially enhanced contrast in the museum environment. Thus, coal is identified, elevated, and used as an aesthetic resource by the artists.

LF 16.001, 2016
Wooden table, 24 kt gold dust

In such case, Lara Favaretto’s art piece LF16001 (2016) represents the eventuality of loss through a recuperative memorialization by often recycling elements from previous installations as new works, reusing discarded industrial materials, and encasing found objects in state of ruin. Favaretto’s artwork LF 16.001(2015) balances between failure and aspiration. LF 16.001(2015) is composed by a wooden table on which the artist has intervened, filling with gold dust 24 kt the holes created by woodworm. As though in an alchemical reaction, the table – which is destined to be literally devoured by these insects over time- is thus saved from an inexorable process of decay, entering an enchanted and suspended dimension of time. Adrastus Collection is honored to have loaned such remarkable piece to The Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg.

<i>LF 15.014</i> (detail), 2015

LF 15.014 (detail), 2015

Other Adrastus Collection’s artists in this exhibition include Katinka Bock and Alicja Kwade.