Stefan Kürten gives Modernist architecture a colourful new spin

‘Forbidden Lake’, 2015. Courtesy of Stefan Kürten and Alexander and Bonin

The homes we want but can’t obtain

At first glance, artist Stefan Kürten’s paintings are about Modernist architecture. But the Düsseldorf-based painter sees something more in the houses he conceives on canvas, delving deeper into what the home means beyond a roof over our heads.

‘For me they are also a retreat, a place of memories and dreams, a place to reflect and, to look forward,’ says the artist, who is showcasing several new paintings at The Art Show in New York’s mammoth Park Avenue Armory until 6 March.

‘They are about an artificial, “perfect” world — one that is unattainable.’

Clockwise: ‘Double Ultramarine’, 2015; ‘‘Heile Welt’, 2015; Soul of Light’, 2016; ‘Sunday morning comedown’, 2015. Courtesy of Stefan Kürten and Alexander and Bonin

Kürten’s intrigue in houses stems from his childhood, when his family spent several years looking for a ‘perfect’ home that was affordable and fulfilled their dreams. In his work, he collects photos of architecture and landscapes to inform and inspire his creations on canvas.

‘I am not interested in painting a specific house or scene — I use photos of real-life architecture as an orientation point,’ he adds. ‘They allow me to create my own world…’

Left to right: The Crying Light’, 2015; ‘Unfolding Shadow’, 2015; ‘Yesterday Is Here’, 2015. Courtesy of Stefan Kürten and Alexander and Bonin

New York gallery Alexander and Bonin — which is opening a new site on Walker Street this September — is showcasing Kürten’s new works for The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory until 6 March

Words Tomo Taka

Originally published at on March 4, 2016. Like this story? Recommend it to a friend.

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