Probably nobody at the Institute for City History in Frankfurt would have dreamed of that.

And certainly not Thomas Werner.

After all, when the artist received the invitation to show current works there, the Carmelite monastery seemed to the artist to be only conditionally suitable for exhibiting his paintings.

He didn't necessarily find the prospect of simply "distributing a few pictures loosely in the stairwell" particularly tempting.

"Actually," says Werner, he was "disappointed at first" after a first inspection.

After all, the exhibition room in the Institute for City History, which he vaguely remembered from earlier, hasn't existed for almost 30 years.

Christopher Schutte

Freelance author in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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For this reason, most of the annual changing presentations of Frankfurt artists take place in the stairwell.

The fact that Werner then accepted the invitation from the city archives housed in the monastery building is now proving to be very fortunate in view of the painting entitled “WandBild (für Jerg)”.

For everyone involved.

A work for the monastery

After all, Werner didn't hang up "a few little pictures", but, as he explains in the foyer, created a completely new work especially for this location for large stretches of the year 2021.

The city recently acquired the nine-part work, so it may stay here permanently.

In other words, where it undoubtedly belongs.

After all, the place where the work is housed can actually be seen and experienced in a completely new and different way through the eyes of the artist, who was born in 1957.

Three decades after his last visit to date, Werner has studied in detail the murals that Jörg or Jerg Ratgeb created in the early 16th century in the cloister and in the refectory of the Carmelite monastery.

And openly shows them his respect.

Of course it's also a homage, says Werner.

Nevertheless, one cannot seriously claim that the former master student of Georg Baselitz referred directly to the frescoes in his work and casually interpreted the story of salvation in the mirror of modernity.

That's not what it's about at any moment.

The New Testament is not Werner's topic here either.

His primary concern has always been painting.

And about the respective image, regardless of whether it uses a representational or a largely abstract imagery.

In any case, he thinks that it is no longer possible to say that artists can find their way from figurative painting to abstraction, analogous to the development of modernism, and hardly ever go back from there.

The whole thing is no longer so one-dimensional.

Basically, according to Werner, these are “just different possibilities” that he draws on as a painter.

And if you look at his numerous studies for the "Wall Picture" in watercolor and ink, you can understand what he means by that.

Meanwhile, when visiting the cloister together, it is difficult to overlook how intensively he occupied himself with the exhibition context for the work on his painting.

After all, with his “WandBild”, he repeatedly ties in with Ratgeb’s paintings, which he completed almost exactly 500 years ago, especially in terms of form.

With the shadow cast by the bird in the center of his picture and the roof beams, which can be read as a kind of catwalk and taken from the depiction of the birth of Christ, Werner not only included two tiny motifs in his “Wall Picture” that are easy to overlook in Ratgeb’s picture cycle, but which here mean something completely different.

In fact, one would also like the bright window, which is only indirectly visible on a wide, cinnamon-brown surface, as a reminiscence of the numerous blind,

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