HEIMSPIEL 09 – A “home game” on the occasion of the Berlin art fairs, Berlin Art Projects will be showing new painting and sculpture from the gallery’s program of artists. The exhibition at the Project Space, Auguststrasse 50b includes canvases by Christian Awe, Tom Fleischhauer, Jörg Lohse, Megan Olson, Sebastian Schrader and Meike Zopf as well as sculptures by Hal Buckner, Ewerdt Hilgemann and Yasam Sasmazer.
CHRISTIAN AWE This summer, following in the footsteps of Picasso, Matisses, Hartung and Miró, Awe moved his studio for several weeks to the Côte d'Azur. His stay resulted in the momumental painting “Cap d’Antibes” (220 x 400 cm), an energetic, atmospheric color landscape capturing the special magic of this particular place: a flaming red evening sky, streaked with aquamarine blue and natural green stripes, developed through the layering of acrylic and spray paint, by scratching away, washing out and carving layers to reveal the surface underneath. All of these layers and differentiated surface textures can be read like a journal, bringing hidden thoughts back to the light of day.
TOM FLEISCHHAUER’s new series “Piazza” takes the area surrounding the cathedral in Milan as its point of departure. The canvases, rendered in shades of brown and gray, show views of the plaza from various perspectives. Fleischhauer approaches the plaza from above, observing the comings and goings of passersby. His compositions zoom in on the scene, making the plaza seem at once familiar and strange and shifting our perception of location from the ordinary to the unusual, a place not immediately recognizable. Select reference points, such as a subway entrance and the shadow of a street lamp only seem to be a kind of orientation help; smaller groups of people criss-cross the square, anonymous and as if lost, giving a sense of the space’s powerful dimensions.
JÖRG LOHSE “collects” motifs of all kinds for his work: images and text, cropped compositions from glossy magazines, comic strips, fashion labels, music titles and sentence fragments torn from their context and pieced together to mean something else entirely. He divides the canvas into horizontal layers and fuses text and image to a reflection of what appears to be reality. In his paintings, motifs are dissolved more almost to the point of abstraction. Lohse’s work reflects an artificial aesthetic; he disassembles the mirage of the images’ artificial world by “tearing it apart,” working in the blurred margin between the figurative and abstract, between reality and illusion.
MEGAN OLSON’S abstract spray paintings are transparent, graceful structures that conjure a number of different associations. Flowing lines and signs run the length of the canvases, building layer upon layer of finely crafted layers. Their soft fragility is reminiscent of organic cell structures, allowing a glimpse into our innermost depths to bring the most fundamental level to light. Ornamental with their balanced, regular composition, they can be read almost like the artful loops of a calligraphic text, all the while maintaining the expressive spontaneity of a graffiti tag. Olson plays with these various graphic elements, associating with the origin of her interest and investigation of art, with Abstract Expressionism and photorealist botanical studies to a unique, new expression.
At the center of SEBASTIAN SCHRADER’S work is always the isolated, contemplative individual. Near life-sized figures occupy the foreground of his canvases in a usually ambiguous space, in various poses and situations, in the tension-filled space between the pause and reconsideration. Both the background of the scene and the object of the person’s musing remains a mystery. In a subtle way, the various attributes awaken conjure various associations while consciously allowing space for a number of different truths and interpretive possibilities. Schrader associates his work with an ongoing philosophical-psychological investigation of familiar myths and histories. By referring to art historical motifs and subjects with the gesture of painterly perfection, he reflects on the contemporary role of the artist and painting as well as current issues.
MEIKE ZOPF’S puzzlingly beautiful paintings are characterized by the flowing-together of contradictions; the abstract and the figurative, the lightness of a drawing and painterly concentration, the tender and the rugged. Longing and the everyday, the surreal and the real merge into complex worlds in which the strange and the familiar become one. Zopf creates her own universe in her work, appropriates various motifs and symbols, frees them from their context and places them next to and against one another, putting them – like a mosaic–into a unified composition. Her picture worlds are populated by women, men, children, crystalline forms, motifs borrowed from Christian iconography and Greek and Roman mythology; a soulful, feminine pictorial language of formidable density and endless interpretive possibility.
Drawing inspiration from art history, mass media and popular culture, HAL BUCKNER’S dynamic, precise forms merge line drawing and sculpture to capture the many facets of the female body: an ever-changing, iconic, fascinating form opening new realms of possibility with every step, twist and gesture. Sensual, powerful, and bold, the subject is rendered with striking precision and economy, often conveying a breathtaking amount of emotion, gesture and detail in a single line. Life-sized silhouettes cut from a single, lightweight sheet of aluminum are brought to life in a play of light and shadow, while minimally rendered shape, luminescence and contrast imply new dimensions in space.
Fascinated by the prospect of “forging with air,” implosion is at the center of EWERDT HILGEMANN’S work. Geometric, hollow forms made of stainless steel, such as a cube or a pyramid, are made by the artist himself, who then extracts the air inside using a special air pump. Strong, elementary natural elements deform and change the sculpture. The smooth, reflective metal surfaces fold and collapse into themselves while the shining surface remains untouched with no sign of external impact. The factors defining the creative act -- construction, destruction and coincidence—are relativised by decades of experience with the material, which has a strong influence on the development process and determines, in the end, the individual forms the sculptures take
YASAM SASMAZER’S wooden sculptures are life-sized, realistic depictions of children: an absent-minded boy holding a bird, a mischievously provocative, grinning little girl holding a lollipop, a girl lost in thought with the giant shadow of a wolf on the wall behind her. They are gestures and scenarios that we know from children and the world of fairytales – and yet Sasmazer’s sculptures deal with the “dark side” of the subconscious. Her children are no “little angels”, but rather insecure and distrustful and, like all people, they have a certain aggressive potential.