DIGITALES ARCHIV DES KÜNSTLERS MARKUS KISTNER
Design and concept for a digital archive with over 1700 documented artworks of the artist Markus Kistner.
His brother Martin Kistner about this project: He certainly would not have liked to see his entire work, from the first unproportional nude drawing to the blurred beach photograph, from the scribbles on a beermat to the model of the room installation which was never realised, being exposed on the internet – he rarely accepted what he had left behind. Giving away as a present works which he had created earlier was the only concession that he made to his oeuvre. And wasn’t he right? Much appears clumsy and amateurish; the changing models which he followed – first German Expressionism, then Giacometti, the late Picasso, Fritz Wotruba, perhaps also Klee – are easily identified. What finally becomes visible is the change of focus from the theme in favour of the horizon and the violent refusal of everything inessential. Where all this might end was most probably not clear to him. The question remains unanswered – unless one accepts death as an answer. Which I do not. So what sense is there in making public the work of an artist who is completely unknown and who died at the age of 34 without by any means having reached early perfection? In his book „The Films in my Life“, François Truffaut describes the annoyance of the duped critic, who repeatedly confesses to a film artist, only to make the experience that the praised person denies both himself and the eulogist: what he had already achieved was not worthy of mention; the really big throw would be the next movie! My brother was not like that, nevertheless I sometimes had similar problems with his work. Now I maintain, in opposition to him and everyone else who is unable to recognize more than simple finger exercises and epigonism in his case: Certain qualities, not least the drawer’s wonderful stroke, both erratic and precise at the same time, are visible in all phases of his work, despite redundance, randomness and the adept’s dependence upon his paragon. To track these down in this work shall be the challenge left to those who deem it worth their while to exercise a few mouseclicks. Markus Kistner was born in 1962 in Karlsruhe, West Germany. He grew up in Nürtingen near Stuttgart. After completing Grammar School he studied art at the Freie Kunstschule Stuttgart, the State Academy of the Fine Arts in Stuttgart, the University of the Arts in Berlin and the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. He died in November 1996 in Exmouth, Devon. (October 2020)