A – The Mail Art Archive of Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Robert Rehfeldt
15 September – 11 November, 2017
The exhibition The Mail Art Archive of Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Robert Rehfeldt presents the archive of Mail Art works received by the two German artists Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Robert Rehfeldt, from the beginning of the 1970s until the early 1990s.
Ruth Wolf and Robert Rehfeld met in Berlin in 1954 and married one year later. They played a central role in the dissemination and development of the Mail Art Movement in Germany. Their activity, spanning for more than two decades, created an impressive web of connections between artists and artistic groups from all over the world.
The archive of Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Robert Rehfeldt represents a unique chance to begin to explore the Mail Art movement, with all the intricacies and richness of the personal relationships and artistic conversations of its protagonists. This project brings to light an important part of this puzzle, much more remains to be uncovered, hidden in personal archives.
The exhibition presents all correspondence with artists whose surname (or name of an artistic group) begins with the letter A. Every single piece will be available to be accessed by the public, while a publication will present an indexed list of the contents.
A selection of works will be displayed in vitrines while the rest will be alphabetically numbered and archived inside folders, that the visitors can browse through and take out to closely review.
Another section will be dedicated to some of the books from the artist’s archive, again books whose title or content is connected with the letter A or which address the alphabet as such. A video slide show presents a collections of stamps created and used by different artists in their Mail Art correspondence.
The exhibition will be further the beginning of a large scale publication project also titled “The Mail Art Archive of Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Robert Rehfeldt”. To each letter of the alphabet a single book will be dedicated, where again the same criteria apply. Each book contains a long alphabetical numbered list, showing artists’ names, title, description, country of origin and year of what they sent. The books also include some of the works, following the order in the list. The correspondence is reproduced in original size. When this exceed the A4 format or scaling is necessary because of layout the scale of their reproduction is made clear in the caption of the image.
Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt (b. 1932, Wurzen, Germany) lives in Berlin.
In 1950 Wolf-Rehfeldt moved to Berlin to attend the Workers’ and Farmers’ Faculty. Later she was employed by the department for exhibitions at the Academy of Arts, and spent her spare time making drawings. By 1970 she started to develop her typewriter graphics (Typewritings) and was part of the Mail Art Movement. Wolf-Rehfeldt became member of the Association of Fine Artists of the GDR in 1978. She stopped her artistic production in 1989 consequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Robert Rehfeldt (b. 1931, Stargard, Germany – d. 1993, Berlin).
Robert Rehfeldt graduated at the University of the Arts in the Western sector of Berlin in 1953. While working as a freelancer in graphic art and press illustrator he carried on his artisti practice. Since 1963, he was one of the experimental artists in the Eastern part of the city and became a member of the Association of Fine Artists of the GDR. In the first years of the 70s he came into contact with the international Mail art movement and he quickly succeeded in building up an international network. In 1986, Rehfeldt organized the East Berlin meeting of the first “Decentralized International Mail-Art Congress”. Robert Rehfeldt died in 1993.