More Space | Mehr Raum Renania Libre | Freies Rheinland


Johannes Bendzulla, Alex Grein, Johannes Post, Arne Schmitt, Berit Schneidereit, Sebastian Riemer, Lucia Tollens, Anna Vogel, Nico Joana Weber.


Curator: Uta M. Reindl.


“Freies Rheinland” – that is the title of Helga de Alvear’s current presentation of contemporary photography from the so-called West German region. The title steals, the “battle cry” of some separatists in the Catholic Rhineland at the beginning of the 20th century, who wanted to free themselves from Protestant Prussians in the German capital. The artists present here follow the school of artistic photography founded in the late 1970s by Bernd and Hilla Becher, which is characterized by its documentary visual language.


In line with the ironic title “Free Rheinland” artists –all of whom were born in the important 1980s, when the Rhine- land art scene was receiving outstanding international attention– take every liberty by successfully separating themselves from their models to follow both in content and in form. This separation is completely different from what was intended to be achieved with the revolutions that took place in the Rhineland, whose attempt at independence from Protestant-style Prussia in the German capital Berlin failed, as well as the founding of a “Rheinish Republic”.


For this exhibition, photographers have adopted a similarly free interpretation of the subtitle “More space” and explore the space that is fundamentally opened by photography, both in concrete and metaphorical forms. Thus, they capture fleeting objects; seek approaches to the abstraction process; open up interior and exterior spaces bringing together painterly, installative and cinematic gestures with those of a photographer, whether analogue or digital


This exhibition is the third in the series of young Rheinish artist exhibitions organized in Helga de Alvear gallery. The first two were held in 1999 and 2012 in the smallest space of the gallery: the first floor. On the other hand, for this edition the entire gallery has been opened, giving it, literally, “More Space”.


Johannes Bendzulla (Saarbrücken, Germany 1984)

Lives and works in Düsseldorf. 2005 – 2012 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, class of Martin Gostner and Christopher William; 2012 – 2015 Postgraduate in Academy of Media Arts Köln.


Alex Grein (Köln, Germany 1983)

Lives and works in Düsseldorf, class of Andreas Gursky, Kunstakademie, Düssledorf


Johannes Post (Neuss, Germany 1983)

Lives and works in Mönchengladbach. HfbK Hamburg and KHM Köln, class of Jochen Lempert, Jeanne Faust, Beate Gütschow and Johannes Wohnseifer.


Sebastian Riemer (Oberhausen, Germany 1982)

Lives and works in Düsseldorf. Class of Thomas Ruff and Christopher Williams, Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf.



Arne Schmitt (Mayen , Germany 1984)

Lives and works in Köln. Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig and Hogeschool Sint-Lukas, Brussels.


Berit Schneidereit (Frankfurt/Main, Germany 1988)

Lives and works in Düsseldorf, class of Andreas Gursky and Hubet Kiecol, Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf.


Lucia Tollens (Köln, Germany, 1988)

Lives and works in Köln, class of Elisabeth Neudörfl, Gisela Bullacher and Christopher Muller, Folkwang Universität der Künste.


Anna Vogel (Herdecke, Germany, 1981)

Lives and works in Düsseldorf y Tyrol, class of Thomas Ruff, Christopher Williams and Andreas Gursky.


Nico Joana Weber (Bonn, Germany 1983)

Lives and works in Köln and Ludwigshafen. Goldsmiths College, London, Academy of Media Arts, Köln.


Uta M. Reindl (Köln, Germany 1951)

Lives and works in Köln. Freelance, art critic and curator.