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Klaus Staeck: Nothing is Done

Klaus Staeck:
Nothing is Done - Es röhrt zum Himmel, 1974 (It bells out
Es röhrt zum Himmel, 1974 (It bells out loud)

Media Release

Goethe-Institut, level 6, 150 Cuba St, entrance Garrett St
18 February – 28 March 2013
Open Mon-Thurs, 11am-5pm

Since the 1970s the artist, publisher and lawyer Klaus Staeck has been causing a stir in Germany. He is a political artist who has never lost faith in the value of expressing one’s own opinion via artistic means about socio-political issues. The artist’s satirical text-image-montages compell the viewer to look below the surface as he illustrates the ecological, social and political weaknesses of Germany. The mass circulation of his posters and post cards in public spaces made Klaus Staeck famous beyond the limits of the feuilleton and made him one of the most important German poster artists.

Staeck has focused mainly on subjects like freedom of speech, peace and the environment. Long before the founding of the Green Party, Klaus Staeck’s art - through evocative images and slogans - called attention to global warming, ever growing piles of rubbish, nuclear waste issues and the pollution of the air and oceans. The dialectic contradiction between the image and the text not only causes an intrinsic friction, but also a deep engagement of the viewer with the artwork.

Forty original posters will be shown in the Goethe-Institut as a representative cross-section of over forty years of artistic work. Some of the oldest environmental posters remain deeply relevant to current situations: “Many themes just do not seem to age” notes Klaus Staeck. Hence the title of the exhibition: NOTHING IS DONE.

Klaus Staeck (b. 1938) has been the president of the “Berlin Akademie der Künste” since 2006. He worked as a lawyer before he changed his profession to become a publisher and graphic designer. As an autodidact his oeuvre comprises more than 300 posters and numerous postcards and images that have been displayed in over 3000 exhibitions.

NOTHING IS DONE in two sentences:
German artist Klaus Staeck practises art as an artistic-political reference framework. Images from the mass media, logos and names are treated as testimonies to the spirit of a certain age and retrofitted to serve as an interpretation of the same.


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