30 April to 18 June 2016 ⟶ Corneliusstraße
The group "SPUR" is one of the most important groups of artists in German post-war art and occupies a key position within the development of German Informel. The founding members include the painters Heimrad Prem (1934-78), Helmut Sturm (1932-2008) and HP (Hans Peter) Zimmer (1936-92) as well as the sculptor Lothar Fischer (1933-2004), all of whom had studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. They told the story of their founding themselves in the "SPUR History", which was published in the "SPUR Book" in 1962: "[...] Gruppe Spur made in Germany 1957, name found on the slush road in January 1958." In 1958, the first manifesto, comprising 21 theses, was published, which was signed by Heimrad Prem, HP Zimmer, Helmut Sturm and Lothar Fischer, as well as Asger Jorn, Erwin Eisch and Gretel Stadler, among others. In it, the impending "cultural coup" was proclaimed both provocatively and ironically, turning against modern abstract art and announcing that the new painting would be "polydimensional". Furthermore, the manifesto contains the term "situationism" and thus a direct reference to the revolutionary artists' movement "Situationist International", founded in 1957, at whose third conference in 1959 the group "SPUR" became a member. In 1960 Dieter Kunzelmann (born 1939) joined "SPUR", and Uwe Lausen (1941-70) also made contact with the group, which gave him important artistic impulses. "SPUR" saw itself as an open platform that offered a forum for different artistic positions. Nevertheless, it was the intention of the "SPUR" representatives to establish a binding mode of artistic expression. Therefore, over the years, different sources of influence, including the distorting "facet style" influenced by Gothic and Max Beckmann's art around 1960 or increasingly figurative tendencies from around 1962, left visible traces in the works. Although the artists were intensively engaged in these formal experiments, the impulsive, vital and gestural style characteristic of Informel, the sovereign use of colour and the format-filling dynamics that almost burst the picture surface can be grasped in the paintings throughout all phases. Furthermore, there are also influences from "Art Brut" and the "CoBrA" artists. Time and again, collaborative works were created, such as "SPUR-Bau" or "Canal Grande Crescente" (both 1963). From 1960 onwards, the magazine "SPUR" was published, of which seven issues appeared. The sometimes provocative contents, especially in the sixth issue "SPUR IM EXIL", led to a criminal trial against Dieter Kunzelmann, Helmut Sturm, Heimrad Prem and HP Zimmer. The charges were blasphemy and dissemination of lewd literature, but the case was dropped years later. In 1965, "SPUR" merged with the Munich artists' group "WIR". One year later, the group "GEFLECHT" emerged from this merger.