Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf is pleased to present new works by Laurenz Berges. The artist, who studied at the Folkwang Schule in Essen and as the last master student of Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Academy, dedicates his artist's practice to the close observation of his environment.
The current work of Berges shows mostly deserted homes and urban street scenes, which tell the story of a long forgotten time and more recent present. Whether old-fashioned interiors, staircases or weathered walls and asphalt - the traces of transience are omnipresent. The pictures are reminiscent of his earlier works of abandoned Russian barracks and residential areas, which had to give way to the open brown coal pit and were left behind after former use by its residents.
In the works presented here, however, the subject deviates from the mere past to a transition of an ever-changing present. The old furniture and piles of left-behind objects add an almost narrative element to the fragmented interiors. The aura of a human presence is clearly felt and thus expands the recognizable signature of the artist to a more complex visual language and compositional possibilities.
The steps in Bei Tante Emma (2010) lead to a place that is no longer existent. The bare wall, instead of an entrance, tells of a time long forgotten. The withdrawn design and subdued colors give the image a mysterious atmosphere. Dust, mold and mildew contrast the perfect lighting and highly detailed reproduction of the preexisting interiors.
Berges? documentary style gives very personal insights of the places from his environment, which are carefully selected and recorded in a time-consuming production process with a plate camera. The highly detailed representation slows down the readability and therefore allows close observation. Shrouded in indirect daylight, these places somewhere in-between inhabited and deserted terrains convey a sense of calmness and peace. But although the works seem timeless, time is a crucial factor. These images depict traces of everyday life and the recent past in a poetic way.
Artworks by Laurenz Berges, born in 1966, are exhibited internationally and are in major collections worldwide. Works by the artist were recently presented in a solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Oldenburg.