room for humour


Renate Hammond is the founder of room for humour, a visual arts project specialising in the representation of humour in contemporary art.

P A S T   E X H I B I T I O N

Stadttheater Fürth, built by the architects Fellner and Helmer 1901/1902. © John Hammond




Manfred Hürlimann




Stadttheater Fürth

Königstr. 116, 90762 Fürth, Germany

20.09. - 24.11.2020



Video: Slavo Sedlak

Vernissage: Sunday 20.09.2020

Artist Profile

Manfred Hürlimann


Whoever looks at Manfred Hürlimann's paintings first recognises something concrete.

Then he will see that they are pictures of people; Images of people in a special condition.
A large part of the image area is empty: with a coloured or black background.
Whoever addresses Hürlimann's paintings asks less about the way in which they were made than about their content.
The low perspective view of the figures, the artist's handling of the colours, his painting technique become a minor matter in view of the background composition of the picture. The decorative appearance quickly turns out to be an optical trap; the second appearance turns out to be a negation of the aesthetic.
Manfred Hürlimann's imagery is embedded in the elegance of the sophisticated world.
Life is a theater, and theater in all its diversity is the subject of this exhibition.
Both the actor and the viewer play their part.
Image content and its painterly representation challenge the viewer: to see, to recognise, to understand.
Dr. Claus Pese

Press Archive


Fürther Nachrichten, 24.10.2020, CLAUDIA SCHULLER


The whole Canvas is a Stage

John Hammond's Art Agency presents paintings by NN art award winner MANFRED HÜRLIMANN at the Stadttheater

Manfred Hürlimann, here next to his man-murdering Lulu, provides characters and scenes from the world of theatre with sometimes ironic comments that have congealed into acrylic works. In 2005, the 62-year-old draftsman and painter from Switzerland was awarded the 1st prize at the annual art competition of the Nürnberger Nachrichten. Photo: Hans-Joachim Winkler


FÜRTH - Manfred Hürlimann has no reservations. The 2005 NN art award winner works like Giotto on sacred things, like Picasso captures scenes in passing. He paints figuratively, narrating and likes to take a satirical approach.


The works that he is currently exhibiting in the Stadttheater often drift into fairy-tale-like acrylic on canvas, playing with narrative elements. However, it happens rather coolly and with a clear overview, cheerful Chagall colours are missing. Although he was also looking for proximity to the theatre - just like Hürlimann.


Born in Switzerland in 1958, he has dealt thoroughly with the world of the stage. The result is dramaturgical comments or stage directions as to how the piece should be interpreted. His Medea, for example, is sublime in its despair, dominant through its pain. Hürlimann brought her to the screen, naked and yet regal.


King Lear is desperately trapped in a cruel universe that no longer offers any salvation. We encounter Wedekind's Lulu naked with a pistol, tempting and dangerous at the same time. Hamlet appears as a bagged man with a skull, Papageno as a weird owl with a panpipe. Beethoven in the orchestra rehearsal lets the baton fly.


Yes, everything that the educated citizen knows and likes is put to the test by fire. In addition, there are the loving poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, who could never become a couple in their life and only related to each other in their poems. Hürlimann lets a rose float between them, their gaze directed away from each other to the side.


"We say dark things to each other" is the name of a Celan poem about this unfulfilled love: this is how the painter also called two works. Once they stand there wrapped around day and night and entangled with ribbons, then he seems to grow out of her and pull her towards him while the male figure turns away and the female suffers.


And then there are the ironic comments on the theatre audience, there is blasphemy in the box, the break scene could just as easily happen in any theatre. The love dance that Hürlimann's putti dance can be found in many temples of the Muses. And is never free from the suspicion of kitsch.


Hürlimann doesn't just seem to hear theatrical sounds, to see the colours and shapes of the stage, to hear the text and the plot - with him everything grows together into an inner image that takes shape on the outside.

Invitation Archive

P R I V A T E   M U S E U M


John and Renate Hammond are celebrating forty years as curators and practising artists with the opening of their private museum in Dover which houses their collection of art.

P R I V A T E   C O L L E C T I O N


The Hammond Collection evolved through purchasing works of art and gifts from artists exhibited by curators John and Renate Hammond over the last four decades, running their Galerie am Theater (1979 – 1992) and Art-Agency Hammond (since 1993).


The collection contains 650 works of art, of which over 400 are by Renate Hammond  who is a graduate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg.