Opening Saturday, December 7th, from 7PM - 11PM
On view through Friday, January 24th
Songs Build Little Rooms in Time
Drag City/Soccer Club Club, in collaboration with Blum & Poe, is pleased to announce Friedrich Kunath’s Songs Build Little Rooms in Time. Kunath has been making art for nearly thirty fucking years, finding the necessary abstraction for matters of the soul in a variety of visual approaches ranging from a single painting or drawing—yer oil on canvas, yer ink on paper, and what have you—to multimedia works including sculpture, photography, and video. He has shown in galleries and museums around the US, Europe and Asia, and monographs of his work have been published on the occasions of exhibitions with Aspen Art Museum; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; and Modern Art Oxford, among many others.
From the time of his first solo show Why Are My Friends Such Finks, with Dirk Bell at the BQ Gallery in Cologne, Friedrich has drawn inspiration from all aspects of his everyday life including what was spinning on the turntable. The title for that first show, for instance, borrowed a line from song written by Will Oldham & David Berman. In a sense, this was the beginning of the mind-meld that led to the collaboration between David Berman and Friedrich Kunath, Songs Build Little Rooms in Time, opening at Soccer Club Club on December 7, 2019.
Around 2012, David and Friedrich collaborated actively together on the book, You Owe Me a Feeling, with David providing notebooks to Friedrich from which he derived text for the finished work. Several years later, as David was struggling to make sense in music again for the first time in a decade, he noted the use of his lyrics in a later collection of Kunath’s work. This discovery led to discussion between the two on the reasonable nature of such inclusion, developing from something that seemed almost antagonistic on David’s part into an eventual understanding: they would find things to show and tell between themselves and in the process, create a collaborative show. David forwarded recordings that became the eventual Purple Mountains album, and between their shared interests—music, an obsession with tchotchkes, the writing of Thomas Bernhard and other favorite philosophic and rabbinical texts—they had plenty of common ground. In the course of their correspondence, David sent additional words and images from his travels on the road toward finishing the Purple Mountains album as well as pictures of the Soccer Club Club, the space which he loved to commandeer when in Chicago (whether it was offered or not).
This collaboration was successful—with more than enough material to work with, Friedrich was deep in his process, relocating these expressions outside of their natural habitat. The painter was in the final stages of this work when David unexpectedly passed. The nature of the show is somber, as anything derived from the source material of David’s final songs might be—but the playfulness, the romance of sudden discovery penetrating ennui that is central to both Friedrich and David’s work is there as well. This work casts the contrasts of American life that fascinated David, with high and low values revolving in imperfect accord with the small details and dream-like juxtaposition of inner and outer landscapes that makes Kunath’s work its own. All these things (and more that cannot be said here), form the seventeen new works that make Songs Build Little Rooms in Time—a remix album of sorts in the lives of David Berman and Friedrich Kunath.
A book produced on the occasion of the show will be released in spring 2020 at the LA Art Book Fair, designed by longtime mutual friend and collaborator Michael Schmelling.
A work of love, endurance and friendship, “Songs Build Little Rooms In Time” opens on December 7th. We cannot guarantee admission without an RSVP, so please respond below!
Soccer Club Club
2923 North Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60641