THANK GOD I'M PRETTY!
Four very diverse artists join forces in this exhibition. The common thread between them is wit, irony and a healthy dose of narcissism practiced at a discreet distance - Thank God I'm Pretty! Everyday culture meets art history: between the artistic attitudes and the works exhibited lay references and cross-references; self-reflection and artistic soliloquies are made public and make private obsessions visible.
The sheer joy of painting is as characteristic of the paintings by the Danish artist, Per Adolfsen (*1964), as is the visible relation to the image: a deep emotional connection derives from the blunt and honest confrontation with the subject matter. Adolfsen’s 'unacademic' style of painting is exceptionally energetic, sometimes a little nervous and maybe even a little eccentric. The pictorial content, the peculiar scenes, even the self-portraits remain perplexing and gain their authenticity and vitality through the seemingly intuitive paint application. Adolfsen brings his personal microcosm on large canvases, leaving the narrative in the background as much as possible - in the favor of energy and open questions that are both conscious and demanding. The gallery is presenting Adolfsen for the first time with this exhibition.
The sculptures of Frederik Foert (* 1971) are gracefully mounted on long-legged tripods and are partially brought into constant motion by means of electric motors. They are arranged in the gallery in a way similar to that of a herd. Foert’s primary materials are everyday items, engineering and physics are further participants. A personal realm of experience is achieved through one’s own associations– which is surprisingly easy. Foert encounters the relation-ship problem between the figure and the pedestal (a problem of art production, art presenta-tion and art reception) through the transformation of a flower stand from the 50’s, where he, as he says, “plants technical growths onto the custom designed bases.”
In his collages, Foert combines etchings and old encyclopedias illustrations with speech balloons from Walt Disney comics. New coherences are linked to the familiar, but what is not to be missed is how appealing the new look is. Foert arranges the collages on the walls of the gallery together with ink drawings and smaller objects.
The German-Canadian artist, Vanessa von Heydebreck (* 1980), previously a master student of Prof. Hanns Schimansky, follows a process of self-reflection and a reflection on the histor-ical and social phenomena of the image with her drawings, paintings, collages using cutouts from magazines.
The use of everyday imagery is developed further through her collection of larger collages, which are created from the inventory of her own large-scale paintings and drawings on paper from previous years. Through the act of cutting up and reassembling these work, von Heydebreck creates portraits of women that are a result of the process of her own artistic value and are therefore found somewhere between destruction and reconstruction.
The ironic game Andreas Amrhein (* 1963) plays with his cutesy subject matter and the as-sembly of figurative or ornamental fragments, leads to a narrative moment in which tem-poral and spatial aspects are transferred into unresolvable ambiguities.
The figures, intricately painted in the foreground, are realistically enlarged depictions of porcelain figurines often found in numerous German lounge showcases. Ornamental struc-tures and almost transparent landscape drawings remain in the background; their weight is maintained because of and paradoxically next to the bright colours of the central subject matter. This also applies to the purely painterly traces, whether generous brushstrokes or the traces of fine watercolours.