The Leo Koenig Inc. gallery in Chelsea has announced an exhibition of works by German artist Norbert Bisky titled Stampede. For his third solo exhibition at the gallery, Bisky will present his latest series of paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The title of the show refers to the madness that occurs when an excited and/or nervous crowd of people trample on one another, and the pieces on display successfully convey that sense of hysteria and chaos.
The paintings, in particular, are jumbled portrayals of frantic people climbing over one another showing several isolated arms, and legs capturing the notion of a somewhat indistinct psychedelic craze. Bisky’s inspiration for this show came from a tragedy in Berlin in 2010 during the annual electronic dance and music festival “Love Parade” when a stampede claimed the lives of 21 people and injured 500 others.
In recent years, Bisky has been depicting in his work personal, but also worldwide, plights and conflicts. In 2008, he witnessed the Mumbai terror attacks, which marked a turning point in his artistic direction. For Stampede, Bisky pays tribute to German author Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, who said that “aesthetic qualities of a play (or an artwork) should activate fear and compassion and should transform the beholder into a more compassionate and attentive individual.” At Leo Koenig Inc. 545 W. 23rd St., through March 31. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.