An exhibit from the new exhibition in the Frommann Sculpture Garden.

Art and neighbourhood

Paula Gehrmann presents the exhibition "VARIABLE" from 17 May to 28 July in the "Frommann Sculpture Garden"
An exhibit from the new exhibition in the Frommann Sculpture Garden.
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
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The artist Paula Gehrmann.
The artist Paula Gehrmann.
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

How do we want to design public space? This year's "Frommann Sculpture Garden" at the University of Jena provides an answer to this question. From 17 May to 28 July 2024, the garden will be inhabited by a group of sculptures by Leipzig artist Paula Gehrmann. Her minimalist sculptures made of galvanised steel open up a route through the garden and support its idea as a public space.

In keeping with the exhibition title "VARIABLE", the sculptures are modular and constantly reconnect with the spatial and social contexts with which the artist comes into contact. In the garden of the Frommann estate, the focus is on the encounter between the artwork, the neighbourhood and visitors. The VARIABLE sculpture group offers a variety of opportunities to become active together or alone on site: They can be used as a work table, as a presentation area for ideas and art or simply as a starting point to discover the garden and linger there.

"I see the art space as an opportunity to practise mutual support and friendship. My works are a tool to make the structures of the place tangible, accessible and therefore negotiable. The sculptures aim to start a dialogue, provoke closeness, initiate joint actions and make potential for action conceivable. At first glance, they appear sober and await a dialogue and also the courage of the viewer to step forward and into the public sphere," says the artist about her sculptures.

Showing room for manoeuvre

Paula Gehrmann's installations attempt to give a place to those conversations, actions and people that are often not visible in the exhibition space, for example. For many years, the artist has been exploring the barriers and potentials of the art space, which should be accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, she often works with groups and individuals on site.

"Paula Gehrmann's sculptures create room for manoeuvre and allow more people to participate in the art space and thus in the public space. This democratic approach was important to us for this year's exhibition. It allows us to ask what structures we need for social exchange and participation," says Luise Thieme, curator of the exhibition and research assistant at the Chair of Art History.

A central component of this year's exhibition is therefore a programme of events that has been developed together with students from the University of Jena and local initiatives. Every week, usually on Wednesdays at 4 pm, there will be an opportunity for local and university initiatives and visitors to meet and exchange ideas in talks, workshops and pop-up exhibitions.

The "Frommann Sculpture Garden" has been a cooperation between the Jenaer Kunstverein and the University of Jena's Chair of Art History since 2012. This year's exhibition is curated by Luise Thieme (Jena, Leipzig).

The Frommann Estate (Fürstengraben 18, 07743 Jena) is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 10 pm. Admission to the exhibition is free.

The exhibition is sponsored by:

JenaKultur, Cultural Foundation Free State of Thuringia, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen, Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Holzland, Foundation Art Fund, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien 
Exhibition programme: Local Partnership for Democracy Jena, Student Services Organisation Thuringia, Wagner e.V.

Paula Gehrmann

*1982 in Berlin, lives in Leipzig. She is a freelance visual artist, photographer, craftswoman and always a collaborator. Participation in numerous (inter)national group exhibitions, including Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig, Gallery for Contemporary Art Leipzig, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (RU), Osservatorio Fotografico Ravenna (IT), long-term collaboration with Open Art Workshop Lebenshilfe Leipzig e.V. link


"Neighbourhoods" supporting programme:

Friday, 31 May 2024 | 6 pm Long Night of the Museums, pop-up exhibition with artists from KONTRAKUNST Curation: Juan-Carlos John
Wednesday, 05/06/2024 | 3 pm "Open workshop" with "Culture for all" and Christiane Tänzler (VHS Jena, Kunstwerk Jena e.V.), 4:30 pm pop-up exhibition
Sunday, 16/06/2024 | 12 to 6 p.m. Special opening hours for the Jena Open Gardens Day
Wednesday, 19/06/2024 | 4 pm Pop-up exhibition Janusz Korczak day-care facility
Wednesday, 26 June 2024 | 4 pm Talk "VARIABLE - Spaces for Art and Practice" with Paula Gehrmann and students of art and politics, Prof. Verena Krieger, Prof. Tilman Reitz (Friedrich Schiller University Jena) Moderation: Ellen Engel
Wednesday, 03.07.2024 | 16:30 Guided tour through the exhibition with Paula Gehrmann and curator Luise Thieme
Saturday, 13.07.2024 | 4 pm Celebration for all - programme concludes with Music and drinks

Current information on the exhibition and programme: External link


Luise Thieme
Lehrstuhl für Kunstgeschichte
Frommannsches Anwesen, Room 220, Zenkerhaus
Fürstengraben 18
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link