Appel, Rauschenberg, Panamarenko design high-art kites for an exhibition touring Europe

Flying art around the world

Are kites art? Dr Paul Eubel thinks so. While director of the Goethe Institut in Osaka, three years agohe’s now in Turinhe and his assistant Ikuko Matsumoto convinced artists such as Nikki de Saint-Phalle, Horst Anthes, Frans E Walther, Karel Appel, Panamarenko, Frank Stella, Rauschenberg and others to produce works of art using the sky as background. In other words, to create designs for kites, ranging in style from Pop Art to Zero and Concept Art. Artists were given the choice of seven proven kite models upon which to express their creativity. Eubel then had well-known kite builders in Japan apply designs to frames, thus producing highly original kites, each with a famous name tag. The resulting exhibition was so successful that the show went on the road, first to Munich, then to Paris, Düsseldorf, Moscow, Hamburg and Lisbon. From 15 February until 24 April it will be the turn of Brussels, in the imposing Hall of Statues of the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts. Then come Berlin, Copenhagen, Turin and towns in North America and Australia. Lufthansa, one of the sponsors, has arranged the transport of all the kites, which, because of their packing cases, weigh fourteen tons. The other sponsor is the Belgian bank Crédit Communal, interested in familiarising young people with abstract art in this light-hearted and unusual presentation which goes under the various titles of “Art in the Sky”, “Colours in the Air” and “Painting in the Sky”.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Flying art around the world'