Tank is proud to announce the first solo exhibition in the UK for emerging German artist Cornelia Baltes. Presenting new paintings, drawings, photographs, digital and site specific works by this exciting young artist whose style is in constant flux, playing with the axis point at which each of these disciplines meet. Recently she became the first painter ever to use the wall of the famous Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, as a canvas, making the institute itself a part of her work in this year John Moores Painting Prize. Tank is excited to allow Baltes to spend two weeks doing exactly that within our walls and spaces.
Now in her final year of MFA Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, Baltes graduated from the Folkwang University of Art Essen in 2006, with a focus on visual communication. Throughout her practice, her background in communication design is revealed through her compositional approach. Ambitious, often large scale, paintings vary in character, from complex layered works with strong and expressive brushwork, to minimal and sharp illustrative forms. Manipulated photographs, which Baltes regards as digital paintings, aim to enhance distinct elements of the original atmosphere. Simple but bold adjustments result in subtle disturbances in the image, reconfiguring how the scene is understood.
The potential for energy and gesture are important for Baltes' practice. Intrigued by the aesthetics of change and chance, she switches from carefully planed elements, to immediately expressing an internal thought or idea before it is fully formed. Baltes works fast, cultivating the opportunity for change, revelling in the freedom to destroy or dramatically change an image, canvas or construction.
Inspiration comes from the everyday, with a special love of the banal, which she often reinvents in bright graphic forms. Lonely suburbnscapes, people, animals and snapshots of daily life are all given Baltes' playful and humorous treatment. High impact and direct we have the luxury of enjoying her purely visual concept.