„Cult Wines as an Art Object“
Among the photographs which are not only a delight to look at but whose artistic qualities also draw invite a profounder contemplation, are the works of Günter Krings. The world of wine has been among the well-known artist-photographer’s visual inspirations for a considerable time. The outcome has included unconventional „portraits“ of famous and even legendary wines, with an effect that can sometimes appear anachronistic for taking up a pictorial vocabulary that so memorably withstands the factual realism ubiquitously seen in contemporary photographs. In Krings’s object compositions with their balanced palette, weathered traces, found objects, fragmentary jetsam of civilisation and nature enter a dialogue with bottle sculptures of a surreal air.
Krings’s „set“ photographs create
illusions that appeal instantly to our capacity for (re-) discovering
once lost pictorial associations. – If photography usually holds
our gaze at the surface, the works of art in this case make one pause.
In wine these still lifes find a fitting terrain. As nature morte they
remind us of the transience of the juice of the vine but also of its origin
– of coming-to-be and passing, wine as a living product of nature
on the one hand and on the other, of its „birthplace“ –
those myth-shrouded châteaux wineries or winegrowers’ and
vintners’ businesses with their eventful histories.
„Nature Morte – Staged Photography“
Through his pictures, Günter Krings has developed a unique, highly
individual and unmistakable stance. Through his pictograms he seeks a
discreet understanding with the viewer. In a similar way, the artists
of the Baroque age found their language in allegories and conceptual
images. Those who understood their symbolism belonged to the community
of the initiated. Günter Krings shows us magnificent illusions intangible
in reality and existing only in the medium of his photography.
It would hardly be possible in the photographic
medium to articulate with greater perfection or precision what Günter
Krings seeks to express – the beauty of decay and the complexity
and communicative force of non-formal structures. It is gladdening
that his decisive and breathtakingly virtuoso work is receiving attention
and recognition. To know that is edifying in erratic times not predisposed
to making life easy for an art so continuously and consistently developed.
„The language of things“
Man has always attributed value and
meaning to the things that surround him. Yet, values change and meanings
become re-definded. One has to familiarise oneself a new with the „language
again and again, if one hopes ever to understand what lies behind.
Only thinking in pictures, what Levi Strauss calls „wild thinking“,
can provide an entrance into the committed work of Günter Krings.
The beholder thus willing to engage will find that the classical still-life,
with its reference to the past of all being, has found through the
integration of comparatively „valueless“ objects trouvés
a set of new and topical significances.