The Kölnischer Kunstverein is presenting a major exhibition, performance and music series dedicated to Tony Conrad’s oeuvre in Germany. It follows a retrospective in 2018 and 2019 at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tony Conrad (1940-2016) was an experimental artist and a key figure for media artists such as Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley. As a violinist, he was one of the co-founders of Minimal Music and a pioneer of drone music. As a filmmaker, he created an icon of structural film with his first film, “The Flicker” (1966). His music —in composition, performances, and self-made musical instruments—is inevitably associated with his work as a visual artist. The complex oeuvre of this key figure of the avant-garde, whose career spanned over six decades, will now once again be presented to a European audience in an exhibition, for the first time since his participation at documenta 5 in 1972.
Conrad’s first film, “The Flicker” (1966), was a stroboscopic experiment, and soon led to projects in which he treated film as sculptural and performative material (e.g. “Yellow Movies” 1972/73). He was a loud critic of the emerging culture of surveillance, control and containment with his ambitious films about power structures in the army and prisons during the 1980s and his media-critical programmes for public television during the 1990s. Conrad was a master of “crossover”, the bridging and connection of different disciplines, making it almost impossible to conceive the interdependence of art, film, music and performance in contemporary art without him. During his 40 years as Professor at the University of Buffalo, Conrad provoked and inspired generations of students and continues to do so to this day.
Ticket prices for exhibition and events:
€4.00 / €2.00 / admission is free of charge for members of the Kölnischer Kunstverein or ADKV
Exhibition opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
See above: Tony Conrad, installation view Kölnischer Kunstverein, 2020, Courtesy: The Estate of Tony Conrad, Buchholz Gallery, Cologne/Berlin/New York and Greene Naftali, New York, Photo: Mareike Tocha