Alexander Höller comes to the Kunsthalle

Mainpost 19.04.2021 - von Steffen Krapf

Alexander Höller's first museum exhibition will take place from 28 January to 27 March 2022 will be held at the Schweinfurt Kunstsalong. Why the Kunstverein is breaking with tradition.

In the midst of the flood of cancellations that has been going on for months, the Kunstverein announces a real highlight. Alexander Höller comes to the Kunsthalle. The artist, who comes from Schwebheim, is supported by the January 28 to March 27, 2022, will exhibit works from his “Forest Series,” which became an international success, at the Kunstsalong in Schweinfurt’s Kunsthalle. The 24-year-old is delighted that his start in the museum context is taking place in his home country, of all places.

“We have followed his career closely,” explains Iris Muffert-König from the board of the Kunstverein. After his youth in his home country, Alexander Höller went to study art in Nuremberg and Munich. He still lives in the state capital today. “One could envy his self-confidence,” thinks Stefan Muffert, chairman of the Kunstverein. He is pleased to be exhibiting a young, up-and-coming artist in Höller, who at the same time already knows exactly what he wants – and also adds local color. “It is important for us to show what our countryside can bring to light,” emphasizes the KV chairman, who also admits that with such a young artist he is definitely breaking somewhat with the tradition of the Kunstverein. “Although Muffert has not yet seen any of Höller’s works, which can be classified as abstract expressionism, the depth of the paintings will impress him, he suspects in advance.

Photo: Alexander Höller | Alexander Höller in his Munich studio. Next year, the native of Schwebheim will bring works from his “Forest Series” to Schweinfurt.

As a teenager Höller was almost daily in the forest

A visit to Alexander Höller’s studio in Munich’s Maxvorstadt district, just a few minutes from the main train station: the 180-square-meter, sparsely furnished studio smells of paint. It’s cool, and the senses suffer a sensory overload of the most pleasant kind. Here, the young artist usually works deep into the night, with hard and driving rock music blaring from the speakers. In what appears to outsiders to be a wild jumble of canvases, works in progress and finished works, sketches, painting utensils and art books, the man from Schwebheim is completely in his element.

Photo: Alexander Höller | Alexander Höller works to hard rock music in his Munich studio.

The 15 or so paintings, many of them in Höller’s typical large format, that will be on view in Schweinfurt were all created in months of work in this Munich backyard. The imprinting and the life of the pictures have their origin in the forests around Schweinfurt. As a teenager, he was in the woods almost every day, where he liked to lose himself, he looks back: “Here I didn’t have to justify who I was.”

Höller's new series is already in the works

In the center of the studio are already works from Höller’s new series, an almost still secret insight granted by the artist, who seems driven in the most positive sense. He has been on indefinite hiatus from the “forest series” for several months. The “Wälder” exhibition in Schweinfurt, at which he also exhibits some unpublished pictures, will thus also be a retrospective for him of his most intensive creative period to date. And somehow also one of his own youth. The park in front of the theater, where he liked to sit with friends, felt more often than over at the Celtis Gymnasium, where he went to school, are within sight of the Kunsthalle, through which he led visitors as a 16-year-old at the exhibition of the century with the collections of Gunter Sachs. “You’ll be in there someday,” he told himself at the time.

Photo: Alexander Höller | Höller’s works can be classified as abstract expressionism.

He can’t hide the anticipation and excitement of his first museum exhibition even now, nine months ahead. Nor does he want to. Culture is supposed to return with a big bang, after the seemingly endless dry spell during the pandemic. Alexander Höller, who sees himself as a total work of art, is just the man for the job. He does not yet know how much “Rockstar” Schweinfurt will get. “It has to fit, it has to be real,” he says. He will be on site for the entire duration of the exhibition to absorb, experience and feel everything. To this end, he will also guide visitors through the exhibition himself. The mix of his profound and exciting art, coupled with his offensive and authentic demeanor, will attract more than just die-hard museum-goers to the Kunsthalle. “Art has to get among the people, art has to be seen,” Höller thinks.