Prinzip Papier

14 November 2020 - 9 January 2021 Aachen

In the new exhibition entitled "Prinzip Papier" we present paintings, drawings, collages and gouaches by four internationally renowned artists, most of them from the current year. As different as the themes are, but also the techniques the artists use, all of them have used paper or cardboard for the works shown here.




Ransome Stanley was born in London in 1953 to a Nigerian father and a German mother.  He studied at the Merz-Akademie Stuttgart from 1975 to 1979 and was a master student of Professor Merz. Stanley's work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and Africa. He lives and works in Munich. Stanley's paintings, drawings, sketches and collages contain recourse to ciphers of African art and shed light on his own identity, which is marked by the influence of two cultures. Ransome Stanley creates figurative drawings, partly with quotation fragments, which only superficially suggest a statement, but on closer inspection leave room for the viewer to engage in thought and his own interpretation.


Gary Stephens was born in Arizona in 1962. From 1982 he studied painting at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and in 1984 drawing at the San Francisco Art Institute in the United States. In 2008 he came to South Africa. His works are in public and private collections in the USA, Europe and the Middle East. Gary Stephen's large-format charcoal drawings are a homage to the traditions of braided hair and urban style in South Africa. By capturing an ornate braided pattern or a particular angle of a hat when viewed from behind, Stephen's monumental portraits focus on the iconic strengths of his models rather than their personal characteristics. His meticulous technique of drawing in vertical stripes, folding the paper and using string grids gives the pictures a subtle visual vibration and vitality. The portraits seem to shift or dance when viewed from different angles, as if to capture a slight movement or breeze rather than being fixed or static.


Dominique Zinkpè was born in Cotonou in 1969 and is one of the most famous contemporary artists of his native Benin.  He was awarded the Prix Jeune Talent Africa in 1993 and won the Prix Umeoa at the Dakar Biennale in 2002. Zinkpe has participated in numerous exhibitions in Africa, Europe and Asia. His work is influenced by the rich history of the country and its African environment. Zinkpès paintings have a surrealistic quality. Figures fight and swim on the canvas. The care of fertile women appears frequently in Zinkpè's work and reminds us of themes like lust and motherhood. He uses a mixture of oil, acrylic and found objects on his canvas and leaves large areas of empty space. Zinkpè's paintings can be harrowing and disturbing, influenced by animism, religion and his own inner struggles. 


Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne was born in Accra-Ghana in 1983 and studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design. He has been living and working in Germany since 2013. The selection of his medium ranges from canvas to cardboard to cotton of African fabrics. As an autodidact he learned how to use a sewing machine himself and created his absolutely unique style - a patchwork of African materials - within a decade. These are often supplemented with Adinkra symbols from West Africa and drawings with charcoal and acrylic. Thus Mayne combines the traditional and socio-cultural influences of his native Ghana with modern aesthetics. The works shown here take up his typical motifs, but in this case they are painted on cardboard.