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Hempel transforms the exhibition space into a stage on which the visitor becomes an actor in a story full of cross-references and contradictions. The works are at once the synopsis, the set, the characters and the props of a play. They represent the different parts of a narrative created out of references to German history, psychology, Greek tragedy, cinema, music, political and social history, neurology, and modern dance, for instance..
Hempel borrows a number of different styles and strategies, whether invented by Dada, Constructivism, the Bauhaus or Joseph Beuys. He uses visual metaphors by incorporating images or found objects.
In 2007 Hempel’s work was the subject of the retrospective exhibition 'Alphabet City' at Le Magasin, Grenoble. Museum exhibitions include Casanova, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2008); Concentrations 42, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas (2002), and Propaganda, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2002). Lothar Hempel’s work has been included in the exhibitions Heaven, Athens Biennale (2009), Le Song D’un Poete, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Nantes (2009); Beaufort 03, Triennial for Contemporary Art, Blankenberge (2009); 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008); Pale Carnage, Arnolfini, Bristol and DCA, Dundee (2007); Imagination becomes Reality. Werke aus der Sammlung Goetz, ZKM – Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2007).
Hempel has exhibited regularly since 1991, during which time his work has been seen in exhibitions at art institutions, among them: the Venice Biennale; Tate Liverpool, ICA, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main; Secession, Vienna; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Lothar Hempel is represented by Stuart Shave/Modern Art in London and Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
Lothar Hempel is represented by Art:Concept, Paris; Giò Marconi Gallery, Milan; Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin/Oslo; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Stuart Shave / Modern Art, London
- Sherwin, Skye (29 April 2010). "Artist of the week 90: Lothar Hempel". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- Hempel, Lothar; Gillick, Liam; Bang Larsen, Lars; Reynaud, Lili (July 2007). Lothar Hempel: Alphabet City. JRP Ringier. ISBN 3-905770-47-4.
- . Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London http://www.modernart.net/artists/lothar-hempel/biography. Retrieved 28 May 2011. Missing or empty
- Lothar Hempel at Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin/Oslo
- Lothar Hempel at Stuart Shave/Modern Art
- Lothar Hempel in Frieze (magazine)
- Lothar Hempel – Painting – Saatchi Gallery