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© ifa, Philippa Walz

A Natural Order of Things

10 Apr 2021
26 Sep 2021
ifa Gallery Stuttgart
Charlottenplatz 17
70173 Stuttgart

Lothar Baumgarten and Gabriel Rossell Santillán

The exhibition 'A Natural Order of Things' contrasts a selection of the artistic work of Lothar Baumgarten (1944–2018) from ifa's own collection with more recent works by Gabriel Rossell Santillán (born 1976). The exhibition includes artist's books, photographs, installations, and videos.

Both artists explore encounters between cultures. They address the effects of the appropriation of land and the exploitation of nature and people. Both of them work with indigenous communities in the Americas, Baumgarten with the Yãnomãmi people in the border lands of Venezuela and Brazil, and Rossell Santillán with the Wixárika community in northeast Mexico. Their artistic works look at alternative forms of recording, categorising, and making images. In this, Baumgarten and Santillán always take their own perspective into account and search for an artistic form of expression that permits blanks and yet still shows an individual position.

Lothar Baumgarten and Gabriel Rossell Santillán are also interested in the classification, collection and presentation of indigenous works in European museums, where the original significance of these artefacts is changed or even lost. Therefore, Rossell Santillán invited a 'cantador', a spiritual leader of the Wixárika community to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin-Dahlem. The 'cantador' named and explained the sacrificed items there, and his stories restored their meaning. This led to a temporary space of memory and experience that was able to create links, while the fundamental distance between ownership and possession and between the Western and indigenous narratives remained. 'Creating an image of this can reconcile and enrich,' however, as Lothar Baumgarten said.

Interview with Gabriel Rossell Santillán

About the Artists

Lothar Baumgarten

Lothar Baumgarten (1944, Rheinsberg  ̶  2018, Berlin) studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts at Karlsruhe, Germany and at the State Academy in Düsseldorf, Germany. He received numerous awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1984.

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Gabriel Rossell Santillán

Gabriel Rossell Santillán was born in 1976 in Mexico City, he lives and works in Berlin. 2006-2008 he was Master student at Berlin University of Arts, UdK with Prof. Lothar Baumgarten. 2002-2006 he studied Fine Arts at Berlin University of Arts, UdK with Prof. Rebecca Horn and Prof. Lothar Baumgarten. 1998-2002 he studied photography and fine arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, with Prof. Cristina Garcia Rodero. 1998 study visit in Italy. 1996-1997 he studied architecture, painting and drawing at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

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Exhibition Views

ifa Galleries

Thw ifa Galleries in Stuttgart und Berlin present contemporary art from  a global point of view. The work of the ifa Galleries is based on seeing the world from a diversity and plurality of perspectives, discovering new stories, and shaping emancipatory processes, interactions, and artistic spaces. Our focus is on long-term relationships with artists, partners, and visitors, and our exhibitions and education programmes are developed through practices of collaboration that trace global entanglements and piece them together in new forms of narrative.

ifa Gallery Berlin

ifa Gallery Stuttgart


ifa Gallery Stuttgart

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.173