August 11th until November 5th 2023
An exhibition by German artist Michael Golz “Athosland”
an imaginative, bright, and free land somewhere between reality and
utopia, takes the viewer into the fascinating hidden world of artist
Michael Golz (1957).
Michael Golz, who lives in Duisburg, Germany, has received no formal art education and his work is difficult to categorise. In recent years, however, he has rocketed to the art world, and his works are sought after by European museums.
Since early childhood Michael Golz suffered from learning difficulties because of a severe viral infection. Mother encouraged Michael, his twin brother Wulf and younger sister Dorothee to draw and paint from an early age. This had a positive effect on Michael’s development. In 1965, the eight-year-old boy drew his first city map in coloured pencil. Starting as a children’s game of fantastical worlds and creatures with his brother Wulf, the work has now grown into a giant map. Its main part covers an area of around 130 square metres. The map is complemented by thousands of drawings within binders, illustrating each scene in greater detail, providing information about events that are happening or have happened in the past, as well as describing the inhabitants of the strange universe. Michael Golz has also written texts giving more insight into the inhabitants of Athosland and their customs and habits, as well as added a glossary of the new terms used.
Athosland is a lifelong undertaking, which has preserved its systematic and aesthetic quality and is constantly evolving. Now and then, Golz revises earlier parts of the map – for example, changes the location of the airport or renovates the historical centre. Thus, collectors must always be ready that the work they have acquired may be called back for updates.
In his youth, Michael Golz trained as an organic gardener. After he was discovered by art curator Alexandra Gersdorff-Bultmann, Golz quit gardening and now works full-time just cultivating Athosland. He is currently in supported living and attends art therapy workshops. His works were first displayed at Art Cru Gallery in Berlin. Several exhibitions followed, including the “Outsider Art Fair” in Paris and “Positions Art Fair” in Berlin. In 2018, Golz received Euward 7, the most reputable prize for outsider artists.
Curated by Mari Vallikivi and Eva Laantee Reintamm
Special thanks to Alexandra von Gersdorff
Supported by the Embassy of Germany in Tallinn
This exhibition is part of the project "Hidden World Expanding" within the main programme of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024