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Johannes Wohnseifer

About the book project:

The value of ephemera. For 20 years, Johannes Wohnseifer has been designing the posters for his exhibitions. Unless someone is categorised as a ‘poster artist’ within the field of so-called ‘applied art’, then these printed works quite often appear only all the way at the back of a catalogue raisonné, devalued by way of drastically reduced reproductions. But what if the artist sees the matter quite differently? Around 80 posters, which Johannes Wohnseifer created between 1994 and 2014 for exhibitions of his work, have been gathered together here. The artist has reworked some of them, but always in the spirit of their former use.

This large-scale project is thus nothing less than a retrospective in the form of a book of posters. In this way the project removes the works from the no-man’s-land between utilitarian announcement and autonomous work. The book – in DIN A3 format, in keeping with the posters – functions both as a complete catalogue and as an artist’s book. It presents what are ostensibly utilitarian objects as autonomous artworks. Here an entire group of works that is always in danger of being passed over reveals itself as a treasure trove.