Samuel Henne

Shifts & Tilts

Exhibition   09. November 2019 – 19. January 2020

New York Stipend 2018 by the State of Lower Saxony and the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung

Samuel Henne’s show “shifts & tilts” takes place in the frame of the 2018 New York Grant of the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony and the Niedersaechsische Sparkassenstiftung. The one-year grant includes a comprehensive catalogue and two exhibitions at art societies in Lower Saxony. The Halle fuer Kunst, as the second stop following the Kunstverein Goettingen, is delighted to offer insight into Samuel Henne’s work.

The title “shifts & tilts” that Samuel Henne chose for his exhibitions in Lueneburg and Goettingen describes his working method. The starting points of his works are often artefacts from the history of art and culture, archaeological relics and archive images from museums, which he extracts from their (museum) contexts, restages and transfers to photographic images of his own. The photos created in this manner are then integrated in expansive installations in which photographic, architectural and painterly moments permeate each other. Henne thus executes a vast number of superimpositions, shifts and tilts, and, in doing so, generates numerous levels of meaning that supplement, overlap with, and also undermine each other. 

At the center of Samuel Henne’s show in Lueneburg is the series of works titled »hand to hand« (2019), whose associative point of departure is the alleged Rodin sculpture »The Hand of Rodin« (1917) that Henne photographed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art during his stay in New York. The sculpture is composed of a cast of the sculptor’s hand that in turn holds a female torso. While the cast was made not by Rodin himself, but by his assistant Paul Cruet, who took it at the sculptor’s deathbed, the female torso was created by Rodin during his lifetime. This narration mystifying the artist and his work alone raises questions of originality and authorship. But Henne takes this game of referencing and shifting meanings and motifs bundled in »The Hand of Rodin« further in his series of works. For example, he places a bronze replica of the sculpture, as offered in countless numbers by the online art trade, covered with blue liquid rubber in his series of photographs. It is either held by a woman’s hand or appears as an image-in-the-image in the form of a rolled photo print or a framed photograph. A further level is added with the portraiture of Camille Claudel, Auguste Rodin’s longstanding student, assistant and secret lover, who was twenty years younger than the artist, and to whom art-historical research since the 1980s attributes a large portion of Rodin’s oeuvre. By interweaving links and levels of meaning in his works, Samuel Henne explores concrete references to Rodin’s oeuvre and its reception, while also putting the original and its reproduction up for negotiation in various media – from replica, to photographic depiction, to its digitized form.

The annual program at Halle fuer Kunst Lueneburg is generously supported by Niedersaechsische Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft und Kultur, Lueneburgischer Landschaftsverband, Sparkassenstiftung Lueneburg and Hansestadt Lueneburg. The Exhibition was made possible by Niedersaechsische Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft und Kultur and Niedersaechsische Sparkassenstiftung. The education program is supported by Land Niedersachsen and Lueneburger Buergerstiftung. 

Works by Samuel Henne (*1982) have been presented at Kunstverein Goettingen (2019), Artron Art Center, Shenzhen (2019), Deutschen Haus at the New York University (2018), Sanya Museum of Contemporary Art, China (2018), Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art (GCA), Chongqing (2018), Kunstverein Hannover (2018, 2013), Galerie Feldbusch Wiesner Rudolph, Berlin (2017), White Box Art Center, Beijng (2017), Staedtische Galerie Iserlohn (2017), Staedtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen (2017), Staedtische Galerie Kubus, Hannover (2017), FLAT 1, Wien (2017), Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich (2017), Kunstverein Hildesheim (2016), aff Galerie, Berlin (2016), World Art Museum, Beijing (2015), Kunstverein Familie Montez, Frankfurt (2015), Museum fuer Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt (2015), Kunstraum Alexander Buerkle, Freiburg (2015), GAK - Gesellschaft fuer Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2015), Museum fuer Photographie, Braunschweig (2014) and Galerie Berthold Pott, Cologne (2013).