Human being … shown at Gallery Priess










Just a few days after the exhibition has been taken down in Venice the paintings will be shown for the first time outside of their “birthplace”. Caroline von Grone will present some of the results at Gallery Holger Priess in Hamburg, including work of the very recent series the artist painted in the last week.

The show will open on Friday, September 27, 7-9p.m. and will last until October 19.


Repainted photographs of people, mainly men, unpretencious black and white portraits are embedded into the paintings of Caroline von Grone’s project “Human being – being framed”. To understand the reference of the male model – the center figure in the works – to Christ, here as the archetype the suffering human being is not that difficult. But who are the anonymous people?

The reflections

The reflections

In fact most of them are Lebanese actors who are trying to cope with their traumas by performing their experiences while being imprisoned in Syrian prisons. At this year’s church congress in Hamburg the group – organised by UMAM Documentation & Research and the self-help group “Former Lebanese Political Detainees in Syria” performed their impressive play “Der Deutsche Stuhl” (here you can watch it online). Caroline von Grone attended the play, talked to the men afterwards. All of them agreed on becoming part of the Venice project through the photo-portraits the artist took that day in Hamburg.

The only found photo is the one of Malala, the young girl from Pakistan, who is fighting for the female rights and who was seriously wounded by a Taliban attack half a year ago.

Even those examples of individual fate can only be visual placeholders for the sorrow of million of people right at this moment. The photos link the current with the eternal human theme of power and suppression as it is told in the story of Christ.

Exhibition view. Chiesa Luterana, Venice

Exhibition view. Chiesa Luterana, Venice

Visualizing the progress

For another week, until June 9, the German painter Caroline von Grone will continue with painting the Italien model. Those of you who are in Venice or who will go there soon are invited to wittness the progress.

Interior - Chiesa Luterana in first week of June 2013

Interior – Chiesa Luterana in first week of June 2013

Von Grone has started with a distorted copy of Titian’s “Christ” last October and continued end of May with painting Christ’s look-alike Alessandro. In fact the artist does not paint the real setting but the reflection of the scenery on a huge window-pane. On the canvas the perception of the reflection of the the baroque interior with the bearded man leaning agains one pillar resembling the flagellation of Christ or the Ecce homo-sujet merge with translated photo-portraits of unknown people.

Caroline von Grone: Human being - being framed

Caroline von Grone: Human being – being framed

Those photos, most of them taken by the artist herself, show people who have suffered from persecution, prison and torture. The ordinary faces get in suspense-packed dialogue with the traditional sujet of Christ.

Menschenbilder – Images of Man

Samstag, 1. Juni, 20.30 Uhr
Chiesa Luterana, Campo Ss. Apostoli

Die Identität und Würde des Menschen vor dem Hintergrund medialer Zurschaustellung

From left: Prof. Dr. Markus Vogt, Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet, Caroline von Grone, Bernd Prigge and Dr. Christian Schoen

From left: Prof. Dr. Markus Vogt, Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet, Caroline von Grone, Bernd Prigge and Dr. Christian Schoen

Ein offenes Gespräch mit Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet (Institut für Kunstgeschichte und Archäologie an der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn), Prof. Dr. Markus Vogt (katholische-theologische Fakultät an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität – Schwerpunkt soziale und ökologische Ethik), Bernd Prigge (Pastor der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche Venedig) und Caroline von Grone (Künstlerin). Moderation: Dr. Christian Schoen (Kunstwissenschaftler/Kurator).

Nie zuvor sind in der Geschichte so viele Bilder vom Menschen produziert und distribuiert worden, noch nie hatte der Einzelne diese technischen Möglichkeiten, sich vor einem globalen Publikum medial zu inszenieren und noch nie war die Gefahr von Missbrauch so groß. Das WWW bietet im selben Maße die große Bühne wie den öffentlichen Pranger. Wie ist Verhältnis zwischen Mensch und Bild heute, vor dem Hintergrund der Bild- und Mediengeschichte zu bewerten? Wie verhält es sich mit den ethischen und moralischen Fragen im Umgang mit den Bildern und zwischenmenschlichen Beziehungen? Welche Bedeutung erlangen Begriffe wie Würde und Respekt im Zusammenhang mit dem Thema?

Das Gespräch findet aus Anlass der Ausstellung „Human being – being framed“ von Caroline von Grone parallel zur 55. Internationalen Kunstausstellung – la Biennale di Venezia statt.

Das Gespräch ist eine Veranstaltung des pilotraum01 e.V. (München, organisiert von Dr. Serafine Lindemann und Dr. Christian Schoen

Staging the scene

Caroline von Grone: Human being - being framed

Caroline von Grone: Human being – being framed

Last week German painter Caroline von Grone started with transforming the ground floor hall of the baroque Scuola Sant’ Angelo Custode into her studio. The building which housed originally a confraternity is hosting for exactly 200 years the German Lutheran Church. In fact the Venetian commune is one of the oldest outside Germany, and a letter from Martin Luther of 1543 documents his pride for the rapid development of his belief even in the territory of the pope. The Lutheran church survived the centuries under the protection of the German trading house next to Rialto bridge. It was Napoleon who disappopriated the Fondaco dei Tedeschi at the end of the 18th century. A decade was needed to find the new location at the Campo opposite to the Catholic Church of SS. Apostoli.

Caroline von Grone: Human being - being framed
Caroline von Grone: Human being – being framed

The interior of the ground floor hall of the Scuola is forming the setting for Caroline von Grone’s painting project, where she just started to work on various paintings at the same time. She will work with a model, leaning against one of the old columns, include elements as other paintings in the church or photos of humans, and she will let herself be influenced by the changing light and mood of Venice.

The proceeding of the work can be witnessed from May 28- June 9, daily from 10-20h.

Press release

Caroline von Grone
Human being – being framed

28 May – 15 September 2013Chiesa Luterana di Venezia
Campo SS. Apostoli, Cannaregio
Vaporetto station: Ca’ d’Oro (or Rialto)

Opening: Tuesday 28 May 2013, 6.30pm

Opening times:
Painting project with model: 28 May – 9 June, 10am–8pm
Exhibition: 10 June – 15 September, Wed–Sun, 3–8pm

Project website:
Artist’s website:

The venue-specific exhibition concept for the Chiesa Luterana in Venice by Hamburg artist Caroline von Grone will examine the fragile situation of mankind today. The exhibition will be held in parallel to the 55th Venice Biennale.

From 28 May until 15 September 2013, the art­ist will be performing the painting project Human being – being framed curated by Christian Schoen at the Chiesa Luterana di Venezia.

Inspired by the Renaissance architecture of the for­mer Scuola dell’Angelo Custode and the building’s religious use, Caroline von Grone plans to carry out a painting action involving a male model with na­ked torso leaning against a pillar in the foyer in di­rect reference to the Passion. By integrating a pho­tographic portrait of a homeless person and other photos, Caroline von Grone will place the theme of ‘suffering’ in a contemporary, everyday context and also confront herself with it in her painting.

A large pane of glass will allow the artist to see what’s going on in the room from the reflections, yet simulta­neously create distance and different points of view.

During the project, Caroline von Grone will ex­press in her painting her observations of the model and the room as well as well as light, shade and reflections in the broadest sense. Up to twelve variations of the topic will be painted in different formats, giving the room an especially in­tense atmosphere. When the painting project is un­derway between 28 May and 9 June, the artist will turn the church’s foyer into a studio where visitors can see the painting process at first hand. After­wards, the room will become an installation space where the artworks created can be experienced.

Debate: Saturday 1 June, 8.30pm

‘Images of man – The identity and dignity of mankind against the background of depiction in the media’ with Professor Anne-Marie Bonnet, Professor Markus Vogt, Pastor Bernd Prigge and Caroline von Grone.

Moderator: Dr Christian Schoen

Organization: pilotraum01 e.V. with kunst I konzepte and artcircolo

Curator: Christian Schoen

Contact: info(at), t:+49-(0)981 205 96 80, m:+49-(0)170 966 31 91