The exhibition HYPERIMAGE in our »THE GÄLLERY« commemorates Rolf H. Krauss (1930–2021), whose important collection of ‘Art with Photography’ was acquired by the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 1989. Most of the approximately 350 works are not stand-alone photographs but compilations of photographic images into ‘new, overarching units.’ The art historian Felix Thürlemann coined the term ‘hyperimage’ for these calculated groupings of selected images. Although hardly a new phenomenon – indeed, the practice can be traced back to antiquity – curated ensembles of linked images are one of the defining hallmarks of the digital image culture of today.
By the mid-1960s, many conceptual photographers, whose work Krauss collected, programmatically rejected the idea of the stand-alone image. Conceptual artists questioned the nature of art and renounced the traditional forms of painting and sculpture as the ultimate fetishes of capitalist commodity society. At that time, photography was not yet fully recognised by the art market and could thus lay claim to the hip counter-cultural cachet of being anti-art. It was in this context that many artists discovered the special potential of photographic images to form hyperimages and embarked on a thorough exploration of the various possibilities of grouping photographs into new units of meaning.
On display are works by Helena Almeida, Monika Baumgartl, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Gilbert & George, Rebecca Horn, Nikolaus Koliusis, Rolf H. Krauss, Dennis Oppenheim, Helmut Schweizer, Katharina Sieverding and Dolores Wyss.