Joachim Bandau

Artist in Residence : October – December 2009

Joachim Bandau (b. Cologne, Germany) belongs to an important group of German artists, together with Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys and Imi Knoebel, who were associated with the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the early 1960s. His famous early sculptures, made primarily in polyesters and plastic, mined the fertile and evocative interface between human physicality and modern design. Moving from plastics to bodies of work in lead, steel, wood and lacquer, and works on paper, Bandau has continued to pursue sensitive, exacting forms and the cultivation of resonance between substance and space. Since the late 1980’s Bandau has worked primarily in watercolour. Each of Bandau’s delicately layered watercolours achieve a finely-tuned balance between material fidelity and performative action. Working meticulously within a series of self-prescribed limitations, each work is developed over a long durational period, by the artist precisely and methodically moving thin pigment washes over dense hand-made paper. Soft waterlines emerge during the slow drying of each controlled gestural layer, bringing forth a softly saturated picture plane hovering between image and echo.

In 1966 Bandau was among the founders of the artist group K66. In 1977 he exhibited at Documenta 6 in Kassel and in 1986 received the Will Grohmann Prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts. Bandau has had numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Neues Museum (Nürnberg), M HKA (Antwerp), SculptureCenter (New York), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Städtische Kunsthalle (Mannheim), Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest), de Young Museum (San Francisco) and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels). Bandau’s work is held in many important public collections, including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Kunstmuseum Basel, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Museum Ludwig (Cologne).