The Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden/Germany is holding an exhibition devoted to the motif of the candle in 20th and 21st century art. Starting with one of the most important works in the Collection Frieder Burda, the “Kerze” (Candle) by Gerhard Richter from 1982, paintings, sculptures and installations from important museums and galleries around the world, as well as works gathered from private collections, will be shown to illuminate the motif of the candle in greater detail.
As a pictorial object, the candle has deep cultural and art historical roots. In addition to its practical function as a source of light, its use is also replete with symbolism: candles can stand for transience and death, illustrate biblical scenes and charge them with emotion, express feelings such as grief or melancholy, illuminate portrayals of science and the arts in the true sense of the word or subtly add an erotic layer to the scenes depicted.
The exhibition will attempt to examine how artists in the 20th and 21st centuries use and vary the motif of the candle, with its diverse visual traditions, and place it in new contexts of meaning.