Final exhibition “The Beauty of Decay”

Haus der Wirtschaft Stuttgart

From 7 to 24 March 2022, Marieluise Bantel will be exhibiting her flower paintings in Stuttgart. The exhibition is called “The Beauty of Decay”. It is the final exhibition of the series of the same name that she has been working on since 2019. The flower paintings on display are all oil on canvas.

The exhibition will be held at the Haus der Wirtschaft Baden-Württemberg. The building with its facades in the style of the Italian Renaissance was built 125 years ago. As part of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labour and Tourism, it is an institution of the state for the promotion of its small and medium-sized businesses. The listed building with its rooms provides a unique atmosphere for Marieluise Bantel’s exhibition.

About the series „The Beauty of Decay”

In a world of standardised mass products, the individual loses its perceived value. Only the attentive look at individual characteristics allows us to recognise the essence and uniqueness of life.

Plants serve here as a metaphor for beauty and individuality in this world of mass products. The project “The Beauty of Decay” shows flowers in the process of withering, in which they reveal themselves once again in their splendour and at the same time in their fragility – each plant is thereby shaped and formed differently by the influences of the world and thus shows itself in its unique beauty.

The artworks are still lifes and combine three typical aspects of this genre: figurative painting, flower painting and the reference to mortality. But while most classical flower still lifes show whole bouquets, Marieluise Barbara Bantel concentrates on individual flowers. This gives her and her works the opportunity to relate the vanitas motif, which points to the transience of life, directly to the individual. At the same time, she expands the admonishing still-life concept with the element of beauty in her series of paintings. But new meaning also emerges the other way round: the concept of beauty is expanded by Bantel to include the dimension of decay. For it is precisely in decay that vitality is transformed into the fragile and noble grace of life and its individuality. This gives the pictures in this series a special depth that goes beyond what is seen, as art demands.

Looking towards decay, one understands that any turning away from this theme is not only due to the fear of the transience of life, but is at the same time a denial of beauty. In this respect, the pictures do not allow any distractions. So there is no need for a “around” that distracts from the beauty that reveals itself in passing and desires our recognition.  Therefore, in this series of paintings, no background was painted on the canvas. This makes the painting technically very demanding, but at the same time allows us to concentrate fully on a subject that is so often avoided: transience.

All the paintings in the series “The Beauty of Decay” are oil paintings on canvas. The series of paintings was also featured in the internationally renowned “Art Market Magazine”.

Venue of the exhibition:
Haus der Wirtschaft Baden-Württemberg

Johannes Kepler Saal
Willi-Bleicher-Strasse 19, 70174 Stuttgart

Exhibition duration:
7 to 24 March 2022, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.