Opening on November 8, Zwirner & Wirth will present a selection of paintings by German artist Konrad Klapheck. The exhibition will bring together roughly twenty paintings that span the years 1958-1998, providing an overview of the artist's unique style and pictorial vocabulary, while attesting to his singular contribution to post-war art.
In 1955, while he was still in art school, Klapheck acquired an obsolete typewriter model and reproduced it on canvas in a mysterious, deadpan fashion. This painting captured an everyday archetype of modern culture–a rational machine for transcribing information–in an impeccably precise style. Schreibmaschine (Typewriter), 1955, is a work that seems to fall somewhere between Surrealism and Pop Art, while nonetheless remaining unclassifiable. Klapheck had originally set out to paint, as he himself noted, "a picture that was as contrary to Tachisme as possible, which is to say to replace laziness with exactitude." Over the course of the following decades, Klapheck went on to develop an exceptionally focused artistic practice characterized by the depiction of typewriters and other technological objects that include sewing machines, telephones, faucets, and machinery.