photographied by François Besch in 2014.
June 24, 1939 |
|Known for||object and performance art|
HA Schult, born Hans-Jürgen Schult on June 24, 1939 in Parchim, Mecklenburg is a German installation, happening and conceptual artist known primarily for his object and performance art and more specifically his work with garbage. His best known works include the touring work, "Trash People", and the "Save The Beach".
HA Schult studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1958 to 1961, where he was a student of Georg Meistermann, Joseph Fassbender and Karl Otto Götz. Among his fellow students were Gotthard Graubner and, in 1961, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. At that time, he was mainly inspired by three artists: Yves Klein, Georges Mathieu and Jackson Pollock.
From 1962 to 1967 he worked as an art director for a German bank and some industrial companies. From 1967 to 1978 he lived as an artist in Munich and has also performed a range of diversified jobs over time, including a spell as a taxi driver. During the late 1970s Schult lived in Cologne and from 1980 to 1986 chiefly in New York City, where he became acquainted with Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. However, Schult had problems establishing a reputation as an artist in the USA, which he attributed to his criticism of America's consumption-driven mentality. He moved back to Germany in 1986. Schult has been situated in Cologne since 1990.
His son is the German film director, Kolin Schult.
He was married to Elke Koska for 25 years, who Schult considers his muse - she was also (and still is) his manager. In 2010, Schult married the Russian classical violinist,Anna Zlotovskaya.
Field of art
Schult works in the tradition of Pop Art, being influenced by commercial advertising and a critical view of consumerism, but also creates happenings. Peter Ludwig from the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, says: "The entire art movement of the sixties, which was combined under the expression Pop Art, was nothing more than the large-scale attempt to bring art back into a very close relationship with life. ... An action like the one by HA Schult follows here the same line, the attempt to fuse art and life again into one unit, which of course still gives the individual the liberty to accept this as art or not." For instance, in Cologne, a happening staged by Schult involving "19 luxury cars worth a total of over 4 million marks (1.8 million dollars)" caused what was described by one source as the "world's most expensive traffic jam". However, Schult primarily uses trash as an artistic material both for his object art and happenings. The artist calls himself a "Macher", a German word that can mean a "maker" or "worker." Schult's public extravaganzas have sometimes been compared with those of Christo and Jeff Koons. Schult describes himself as an ardent proponent of the "new ecological consciousness" and was referred to as an "eco-art pioneer" by Washington Post writer Rachel Beckman. Art historian Jens Christian Jensen wrote about Schult: "I do not know another German artist who grasps his tasks so comprehensively, no one who has such a sense of feeling for that what matters in our times. In HA Schult the gap has been closed that has been for 200 years between art and the public." According to Peter Weibel, "For decades HA Schult has managed to stimulate public awareness using images he has experienced. He stages topics in public places, which are normally edged away from the public. His art work is always directly related to the location where it is shown. He confronts the feudalism, which is manifested in gigantic triumphant buildings with the pauperism of the exploited workers who built them. He pays tribute to the unnamed soldiers and slaves and not to the heroes and sovereigns." According to art historian Gail Levin (Rutgers University), Schult "has made a biting commentary on the indulgent aspects of western society. He calls our attention to our own conspicuous consumption, obsessively returning to the metaphor of garbage, refuse dumps, and debris. He describes his picture boxes as expressing the 'archeology of everyday life'. Indeed, his concerns are with the excesses of western culture, the rhythms of life in a throwaway society."
In 1969, Schult and two of his fellow artists, Ulrich Herzog and Günter Sarrée, were arrested for covering a street in Munich with trash and paper; they referred to the event as a "happening" and dubbed it "Situation Schackstrasse". In the same year and during the early and mid-1970s, Schult produced Biokinetic Situations, exhibited at the Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen and the documenta V in Kassel, installed either on the floors of the museums or within large vitreous display cases, also called "picture boxes". Many of these "situations" shown in over-dimensional glass show cabinets are miniature landscapes consisting of trash, small children’s playthings and bacteria, thereby promoting the archeology of an anticipated future. For instance, in an obvious allusion to Neuschwanstein Castle, Schult created Schloss Neu-Wahnstein (1983-1987, Museum Ludwig, Cologne), "built on traditional assembly techniques of Dadaism. As is typical for collages and assemblies, they break the typical perception of the viewer and create new contexts." As these works were both inspired by the romantic painting of Caspar David Friedrich and the modern age of consumption and waste, German critics such as Siegfried Salzmann and Hilmar Frank pointed out that Schult has been called "the Romantic of the consumption age" or "Caspar David Friedrich of the consumption age." The artist describes himself as "a Romantic of the consumption age" and "a great moralist".
Der Müll des Franz Beckenbauer: In 1974, Schult stole the contents of the waste containers of the famous footballer, Franz Beckenbauer and presented what he had found in the Lenbachhaus, Munich.
Venezia vive: In 1976, the artist filled St. Mark's Square in Venice with old newspapers in an overnight action that surprised the Venetian people and authorities. He called this happening Venezia vive.
Crash: As his contribution to the 1977 documenta VI, he hired a stunt pilot to crash a Cessna into the garbage dump on Staten Island, New York. This happening, which was sent via satellite to the screens in Kassel, he called Crash.
The Flügelauto (winged car) is a car as a golden bird. Created in 1991 as part of the performance “Fetisch Auto” (Fetish Car) in Cologne, this work of art is now displayed on the roof of the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum (Museum of the City of Cologne). Citing the protection of historic monuments, Franz-Josef Antwerpes, the former District President of Cologne, demanded the removal of the car but the competent ministry decided that the artwork could stay in place “temporarily”.
Trash People : Since 1996, Schult has installed one thousand life sized "Trash People" made from crushed cans, electronic waste and other rubbish as his critical commentary on constant human consumption. They travelled to major tourist sites such as Moscow's Red Square (1999), the Great Wall of China (2001), and the Pyramids of Giza (2002).
Hotel Europe: In 1999, at Cologne-Bonn airport autobahn, Schult realized "Hotel Europe," an empty multistory building covered with 130 oversize portraits of celebrities. It was referred to as the world's largest sculpture until it was blown up on May 13, 2001.
Love Letters Building: In 2001, the artist created his "Love Letters Building" in Berlin-Mitte by covering the front of the old Berlin Postfuhramt (post office) with hundreds of thousands of love letters.
Trees for Peace (“Friedensbäume”): In 2003, HA Schult decorated the birch trees on the premises of the Zollverein coal mine in Essen with thousands of painted, written and photographic wishes for peace.
AutoDom: In 2006, Schult created the "AutoDom" sculpture, using parts from Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion cars to build a symbolic bridge between Cologne and New York City.
Save the Beach: In 2010, Schult created a hotel made of garbage in order to raise awareness of the amount of waste being washed up on European shores. According to the artist, “The philosophy of this hotel is to expose the damage we are causing to the sea and the coastline. We live in the era of trash and we are running the risk of becoming trash ourselves. Do we really want this world?”
In March 2013, he created a heart out of garbage collected by pupils from Paderborn in order to demonstrate the young people what they are throwing away daily. This happening was part of an exhibition of his works at the Diözesanmuseum Paderborn.
In an interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on the occasion of the artist’s 70th birthday, Philip Krohn noted that art critics have described Schult's work as overly commercial and shallow, and said that he has had no new ideas in a long time. Some conservative critics in the 1960s questioned whether Schult's early works qualify as art. What was being criticized were happenings such as the "Situation Schackstraße" (1969), but also happenings and installations such as the "Biokinetic Situation" in the Museum Morsbroich (1969). Others have argued that Schult's works are too bizarre for the commercial art market.
HA Schult Museum and ÖkoGlobe-Institut
In 1986, the artist founded the HA Schult Museum für Aktionskunst in Essen. In 1992, this museum was moved to Cologne. In 2009, Schult was the founder of the ÖkoGlobe-Institut, established at the University Duisburg-Essen. He is also one of the directors of this eco institute.
- David Sim, "A Load of Rubbish: Eco-Artist HA Schult's Trash People Sculptures", International Business Times, April 2, 2014.
- Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, pp. 40-41.
- Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, p. 41.
- Oliver Kornhoff and Barbara Nierhoff write about Götz: "1959-1979 professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf. His first students are Gotthard Graubner, HA Schult and Kuno Gonschior. Followed in 1961 by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Franz Erhard Walther." ("1959-1979 Professur an der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Seine ersten Schüler sind Gotthard Graubner, H. A. Schult und Kuno Gonschior. 1961 folgen Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke und Franz Erhard Walther.") See Oliver Kornhoff and Barbara Nierhoff, Karl Otto Götz: In Erwartung blitzschneller Wunder, exh. cat., Arp Museum, Remagen (Kerber Christof Verlag, 2010), p. 114.
- compArt: Karl Otto Götz.
- "In the early 1960s I studied painting at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, together with today's great painters such as Gotthard Graubner, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter." ("Ich habe Anfang der 60er-Jahre an der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf mit heutigen Malergrößen wie Gotthard Graubner, Sigmar Polke und Gerhard Richter Malerei studiert.") See Axel Griesch, "Müllkünstler HA Schult: Ich möchte Unsterblichkeit. Und die ist nicht käuflich", finanzen.net, 13 May 2012.
- "HA Schult: Aktionskünstler, im Gespräch mit Sabine Reeh." Alpha-Forum, BR-Online, 3 January 2003.
- See Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, p. 41.
- Philip Krohn, "HA Schult, Der Müllkünstler", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 August 2009.
- "HA Schult hat geheiratet", schwäbische.de, 3 November 2010
- José Pierre, DuMont's kleines Lexikon der Pop Art (Cologne: DuMont, 1978), pp. 126-127.
- See Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, p. 138.
- Diözesanmuseum Paderborn: Die Zeit und der Müll: Trash-Kunst und Konsumkritik.
- news24: The world's most expensive traffic jam.
- Hermann Glaser, Kulturgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Zwischen Protest und Anpassung 1968-1989 (1989), p. 63.
- Heiner Stachelhaus, "Achtung! Der Macher geht um! HA Schult in Essen". In Auf den Punkt gebracht: Heiner Stachelhaus, Kunstkritiken 1963 bis 1985 (1985), p. 93.
- Levin, Kim (2011). "92-93". ARTnews (New York) 6: 92–93.
- "HA Schult: Beautiful Trash.", Deutsche Welle: Inspired Minds.
- Museumsplattform NRW: HA Schult.
- Beckman, Rachel (April 12, 2008). "Throwaway art: don't trash it". Washington Post.
- "Ich kenne keinen deutschen Künstler, der seine Aufgabe dermaßen umfassend begreift, keinen, der die Witterung für das besitzt, was unsere Gegenwart umtreibt. Bei Schult ist die Kluft geschlossen, die seit fast zweihundert Jahren zwischen Kunst und Öffentlichkeit klafft." Jens Christian Jensen, "HA Schult – bleibt die Kunst auf der Strecke?" in HA Schult: Die Welt in der wir atmen, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Kiel, 1974, pp. 47-49. Reprinted as Jens Christian Jensen, "Kunst und Leben" in Eugen Thiemann, Christel Denecke, Dieter Treeck and Hans Rudolf Hartung (eds.), HA Schult der Macher (Cologne: Rheinland Verlag, 1978), p. 380.
- Ernst Wasmuth and Elke Grapenthin, HA Schult: Art is Action (Distributed Art Pub Incorporated, 2001).
- "Seit Jahrzehnten gelingt es HA Schult immer wieder, das öffentliche Bewusstsein durch gelebte Bilder zu beleben, indem er auf öffentlichen Plätzen Themen inszeniert, die genau diese Öffentlichkeit zu verdrängen beliebt. Stets stellen seine Arbeiten Beziehungen her zu dem Ort, an dem sie ausgestellt sind. Dem Feudalismus, dessen Macht in gigantischen Bauwerken triumphiert, stellt er den Pauperismus der Ausgebeuteten gegenüber, die die Bauwerke errichteten. Nicht den Namen der Helden und Herrscher, sondern den namenlosen Soldaten und Sklaven zollt er Tribut." Cited in Diözesanmuseum Paderborn: Die Zeit und der Müll: Trash-Kunst und Konsumkritik.
- Peter Weibel (Graz 2006), cited in HA Schult: Art is Life.
- Ursula von Kardorff, "Kunst oder Müll? Geteert und verurteilt", Die Zeit, 27 March 1970.
- Ludwig Leiss, Kunst im Konflikt: Kunst und Künstler im Widerstreit mit der 'Obrigkeit' (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1971), pp. 467-68.
- Thiemann E, Denecke C, Treeck D, Hartung HR, ed. (1978). HA Schult der Macher. Cologne. , pp. 28-39.
- Internationale Biennale der Papierkunst. Exh. cat., Leopold-Hoesch-Museum der Stadt Düren, 1988, p. 32.
- Rolf Wedewer, HA Schult: biokinetische Situationen, exh. cat., Städtisches Museum Morsbroich, 1969.
- See Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, pp. 10-11, 34-35.
- Caroline Sternberg, in Peter Wolf, Richard Loibl and Evamaria Brockhoff, eds., Götterdämmerung: Schloss Herrenchiemsee, exhibition catalog, Darmstadt 2011.
- "Under Caspar David Friedrich’s sky HA Schult proves to be the Romantic of the consumption age" ("Unter Caspar David Friedrichschem Himmel erweist sich HA Schult als der 'Romantiker des Konsumzeitalters.' ") See Siegfried Salzmann, Mythos Europa: Europa und der Stier im Zeitalter der industriellen Zivilisation, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bremen, 1988, p. 316.
- Hilmar Frank, "Raum/Zeit-Schichtungen: Bemerkungen zu einem Chronotopos", in Tatjana Böhme, Klaus Mehner and Tatjana Böhme-Mehner, eds., Zeit und Raum in Musik und Bildender Kunst (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2000), p. 100.
- For a discussion of the influence of 19th-century German Romantic landscape painting on Schult, see also Karlheinz Nowald, HA Schult: Die Welt, in der wir atmen, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Kiel, 10 March-14 April 1974. Reprinted in Thiemann, Denecke, Treeck and Hartung (eds.), HA Schult der Macher (Cologne: Rheinland Verlag, 1978), p. 384.
- Barbara Sichtermann, "Nichts zu sagen", Die Zeit, 11 (1990).
- Hans-Jürgen Jendral, "Epochale Müll-Entdeckung", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 10 December 1974.
- Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, pp. 36-37.
- Gregory Battcock and Robert Nickas, The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology (Boston, MA: E.P. Dutton, 1984), pp. 330-31.
- James Wines, De-Architecture (New York: Rizzoli International, 1987), p. 184.
- Hermann Glaser, Kulturgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Zwischen Protest und Anpassung 1968-1989 (1989), p. 387.
- See Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), HA Schult: Die Zeit und Der Müll, exhibition catalog, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2013, pp. 13, 41, 156-157.
- Edward Lucie-Smith, Art in the Seventies (Cornell University Press, 1980), p. 88.
- HA Schult and Thomas Höpker, Now! Überdosis New York (Munich and Lucerne: Bucher Verlag, 1984).
- "Papering the Streets", New York Times, 31 October 1983, B4.
- Kim Levin, "My Weekend as an Artwork", Village Voice, 15 November 1983, p. 103.
- Thomas Höpker, Klaus Honnef and Eva Windmöller, Ha Schult, Fetisch Auto (Düsseldorf 1989), p. 125.
- Horst Johannes Tümmers, Der Rhein: Ein europäischer Fluss und seine Geschichte (Munich: C. H. Beck, second edition, 1999), pp. 279-80.
- Greverus, Ina-Maria (2005). Ästhetische Orte und Zeichen: Wege zu einer ästhetischen Anthropologie'. Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 19–23.
- Pain in Soul: Performance Art and Video Works by He Chengyao (2007), pp. 15, 59-60.
- Ina-Maria Greverus and Ute Ritschel, eds., Aesthetics and Anthropology: Performing Life, Performed Lives (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2009), p. 109.
- Birgit Zamulo, HA Schult: LoveLetters (Düsseldorf, 2002).
- Nico Schröter, Kai Giesler and Philipp Kohde, Love Letters Building - Postfuhramt Berlin Mitte - ein Denkmal im Sog von Werbung und Marketing (Technische Universität Cottbus, 2002).
- HA Schult, Wulf Mämpel, Trees for Peace (Essen: Klartext Verlagsgesellschaft, 2003).
- HA Schult: "AutoDom" Made From Car Parts From Ford Models Fiesta and Fusion Builds a Bridge From Cologne to New York.
- "This place is a tip! The hotel made entirely from rubbish". Daily Mail. June 5, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Save the Beach 2010.
- Ein "Herz aus Müll" im Herzen Paderborns.
- Kunstaktion in Paderborn: Herz aus Müll.
- "HA Schult bringt Müll in christliche Hallen", Die Welt, February 21, 2013.
- "An action like the one by HA Schult ... of course still gives the individual the liberty to accept this as art or not." Peter Ludwig (1970), cited in Diözesanmuseum Paderborn: Die Zeit und der Müll: Trash-Kunst und Konsumkritik.
- Leiss, Kunst im Konflikt (1971), pp. 467-468.
- Jürgen Schilling, Aktionskunst: Identität von Kunst und Leben? (1978), pp. 168-169.
- "Initiiert wurde der ÖkoGlobe im Jahr 2007 vom Aktionskünstler HA Schult." Universität Duisburg-Essen: ÖkoGlobe: ÖkoGlobe-Institut.
- Jürgen Schilling, Aktionskunst. Identität von Kunst und Leben? Eine Dokumentation (Luzern and Frankfurt am Main: Verlag C.J. Bucher, 1978), pp. 168–71.
- Juliane Roh, Deutsche Kunst der 60er Jahre (Munich: Bruckmann, 1976), pp. 256, 271-73, 292.
- Martin Schuster, Rituale, Kunst und Kunsttherapie (Berlin: Medizinisch-wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2008), pp. 122–23.
- Stefanie Stadel, "Aktionskünstler HA Schult: Der Macher und sein Müll", Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 June 2009.
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