KP Brehmer. Real Capital–Production

25 September to 30 November 2014

KP Brehmer (1938–97) found new ways to visualise global capitalism which are of increasing relevance today. In collaboration with his Estate, this exhibition presents drawings, prints, paintings, films, objects and publications, many of which have never been exhibited before. This is the first solo exhibition of Brehmer's work in the UK.

 

The earliest works in the exhibition are associated with Capitalist Realism, often conflated with Pop Art, which artists including Brehmer, Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter developed through René Block's gallery in Berlin between 1964 and 1971.

 

From West Berlin, Brehmer confronted the visual regimes of the Cold War, interpreting the city's double life of socialism and capitalism. Using common information systems as templates – figures and charts from educational books and magazines, maps of racism and fascism and graphics from sociological studies – he linked data-management to the operations of capitalism, and anticipated much of the effects of its globalisation familiar today. In sympathy with (though not a member of) the Deutsche Kommunistische Partei when it was banned in West Germany, he authored his work using the initials of his first names, Klaus Peter.

 

Brehmer sought ways to mass distribute his work, using his early training in graphics and printmaking to address the commodification of art. He also co-founded the co-operative gallery Vorsetzen in Hamburg, where he taught at the Art Academy until his death in 1997.

 

The exhibition is curated by Doreen Mende. A fully illustrated publication, the first in English on the artist, with texts by Jürgen Becker, René Block, KP Brehmer, Mark Fisher, Doreen Mende and Kerstin Stakemeier will follow this exhibition.

 

Schriftproben zur Bestimmung der Sehschärfe [Type Specimens for Testing Vision], 1976

Photograph by Eva Herzog

Exhibition view

Photograph by Eva Herzog

Walkings 1–6, 1970
16mm transferred to DVD, 20 minutes

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith
Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin, and Common Film Produktion, Helmut Wietz, Berlin 

 

Exhibition view

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

 

Rosa Luxemburg, 1973

Made in collaboration with exhibition visitors, 1973

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 


Messungen am Gesicht des Volkes Kulturzentrum Bonn (Konzept) [Measurements on the Face of the People: Cultural Centre Bonn (Concept)], 1977

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Realkapital–Produktion [Real Capital– Production], 1974

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

 

Made for Art into Society–Society into Art: Seven German Artists, Instituteof Contemporary Arts, London, 1974

Bedeutungsspektrum des Begriffes ‘Polizei’ [Spectrum of Meanings of the Term ‘Police’], 1978

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Rohstoffpreise für Gold Monats-Höchst und Tiefstkurse Index Juli 78 [Raw Material Prices for Gold Monthly High and Lowest Share Prices July 1978 Index], 1980

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 


Italien (2) (Lohnstückkosten Handelsbilanz-Defizit) [Italy (2) (Unit Labour Costs Trade Balance-Deficit)], 1977

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Ohne Titel [Untitled], 1975

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Die iberische Halbinsel zeigt einfache Umrisse [The Iberian Peninsula Reveals Simple Outlines], undated [1970s]

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Kultur [Culture], 1974

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Sichtweiten über der Po-Ebene (Mailand) [Views over the Po Valley (Milan)], 1978

Federal Republic of Germany – Collection of Contemporary Art, Courtesy Kunsthalle Hamburg

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Braunwerte [Shades of Brown], 1968/1971

Art intermedia Edition Cologne, edition 5/100, 1971

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith  

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith  

Exhibition view 

Briefmarken [Stamps], 1966-70

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith  

Camp Fire Girls, 1967

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

US Postage, 1970

US AIR, 1967

Kennedy, 1966

 

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Deutsches Reich/Überdruck [German Reich/Overprint], 1967

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Auswahlbeutel Kiloware [Kiloware Assorted Bag], 1967

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Brief Nr. 7 [Letter No. 7], 1968–69

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

SeeleundGefühleinesArbeiters, Whitechapel Version [Soul and Feelings of a Worker, Whitechapel Version], 1978

Made for 'Thirteen Degrees East: Eleven Artists Working in Berlin', Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1978.

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

 

Seele und Gefühl eines Arbeiters (Materialsammlung 2) [Soul and Feelings of a Worker (Collection of Materials 2)], 1978–81

 

Materialsammlung Seele und Gefühl eines Berliner Arbeiters am 27.1.–1.2. 1975 [Soul and Feelings of a Berlin worker, 27/1–1/2 1975], 1978–80

 

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

Darstellung II: Arbeiter im Ruhrgebiet (1. Anteil der Arbeiter unter den Erwerbstätigen, 2. Vermögensverteilung, 3. Gesinnungsprofile der Arbeiter 1969– 1975) [Chart II: Workers in the Ruhr(1. Proportion of Working Class Among the Employed 2. Distribution of Wealth 3. Workers’ Attitude Profiles 1969– 1975)], 1975

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Ideale Landschaft [Ideal Landscape], installation view

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Modell Ideale Landschaft (Ausschnitt) [Model: Ideal Landscape (detail)], 1968

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

 

Works from the series Ideale Landschaft [Ideal Landscape], installation view

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Farbmusterbuch Ideale Landschaft (Volkausgabe) [Colour Sample Book: Ideal Landscape (People’s Edition)]. 

Published by Galerie René Block, Berlin, 1968

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

 

 

Exhibition view

Photograph by Eva Herzog

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Eva Herzog

Ohne Titel [Untitled], 1975

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Start 3, 1968

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Aufsteller: Ohne Titel [Display: Untitled], 1965

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Hommage à Berlin [Homage to Berlin], 1965

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Clockwise from left 

Schachtel 6 [Box 6], 1966, Schachtel ‘Für Beuys’ [Box ‘For Beuys’], 1965, and Schachtel [Box], 1966 

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Schachtel 6 [Box 6], 1966

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Schachtel ‘Für Beuys’ [Box ‘For Beuys’], 1965

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Aufsteller 25. Das Gefühl zwischen Fingerkuppen... [Display 25. The Feeling Between Fingertips...], 1967

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Trivialgrafik [TrivialGraphics]

exhibition catalogue published by Galerie René Block, Berlin, 1965

StampBox, 1966

 

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Aufsteller 20/EYE-CREAM 1 [Display 20/EYE-CREAM 1], 1966

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 


 

Schachtel [Box], undated [1960s]

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Left: Anteile der Beschäftigten im öffentlichen Dienst je Einkommensklasse nach Dienst [Proportion of Employed in the Public Sector per Income Bracket According to Service], undated (1970s)

Right: Gliederung der Erdteile [Outline of the Continents], undated (1970s)

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Eva Herzog

Farbmuster Airblue – Bloodred [Colour Sample Airblue – Bloodred], 1967–70

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Korrektur der Nationalfarben, Gemessen an der Vermögensverteilung [Correction of National Colours, Measuredby Distribution of Wealth], 1972

Collection Alexander Schröder, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Flags for the States 1867/1868, 1976

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Mecca Map for Wall Street, 1977

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Ausreichend versorgte Teile der Welt [Parts of the World with Sufficient Resources], 1975

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Exhibition view 

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith

Farbengeographie 7, Lokalisierung von Rotwerten [Colour Geography 7: Location of Shades of Red], 1972–73

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith 

 

Farbengeographie 5, Lokalisierung von Rot/Rosa [Colour Geography 5: Location of Red/Pink], 1971

Estate of KP Brehmer, Berlin

Photograph by Marcus J. Leith