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Aspen Art Museum


Florian Krewer: everybody rise

May 25, 2023-Sep 24, 2023

The Aspen Art Museum presents everybody rise, the first institutional solo exhibition by Florian Krewer (b. 1986, Gerolstein, Germany) in the United States. A painter, Krewer is recognized for his expressive representations of lone humans and animals, as well as pairs and groups that merge both species, often set in cityscapes or against vibrant backdrops of color. A feeling of anonymity pervades Krewer’s canvases despite his subjects’ particular modes of dress and interaction. Tucked around corners, running down streets, contorting and touching in raw states of sexual abandon, the figures that populate Krewer’s paintings are in pursuit of action, though the precise intent of the activity is left unclear. This persistent tension between private desires and public identities unite the artworks gathered in this exhibition—the most comprehensive overview of Krewer’s practice to date.

Focusing on works made over the past five years, everybody rise proposes a chronological reading of Krewer’s work, one that amplifies key moments and shifts in his practice often made in relation to significant biographical events. Krewer graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2017, where he studied under the mentorship of the artist Peter Doig. Prior to this, he apprenticed for three years as a house painter. Based in Germany until 2020, and now living in New York, the vigorous social currents of his new home city shape the more recent works in the exhibition.

In the galleries, canvases are hung low and close together—a succession of portals into Krewer’s dreamscapes. As such, the exhibition becomes a walk-through of Krewer’s ambiguous and anxious city, populated with people and animals in states of stress and release, disillusionment and pleasure, unity and discord. Rules and hierarchies are made slippery through Krewer’s fluid brushstrokes and thick applications of paint, resulting in polychromatic melts that obscure depictions of dominance and submission. Evocative in equal parts of Eugène Delacroix’s vivid studies of animals in conflict and at rest, Chaïm Soutine’s carnal still lives of meat and flesh, and Nan Goldin’s unflinching portraits of countercultural youth, the work of Florian Krewer maps the threat and seduction of being vulnerable with others.

everybody rise takes its title from Krewer’s 2019 painting that shows a group of young people choreographed in a shared moment of balletic embrace, set in an otherwise uninviting city street. As in much of Krewer’s work, the narrative remains elusive. Two figures are held by a third who remains faceless. A fourth stands nearby with open arms, while a fifth stalks the background. Through Krewer’s precise rendering of movement and bodies, the painting, and more broadly, the exhibition, crystalizes moments of solitude and togetherness, and pictures how grappling might give way to uplift.


Curated by Matthew Higgs.

The exhibition will travel to the M WOODS Museum in Beijing directly following the presentation at the Aspen Art Museum. The M WOODS exhibition will be curated by their Artistic Director Victor Wang and will include additional works.

AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund.

Additional support for everybody rise is provided by the AAM National Council, Rubio Butterfield Foundation, and Michael Werner Gallery.

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