"INTO THE DEEP END"
Friday, April 21st, 2017, 6 - 10 pm
Curated by Peter Ungeheuer
Opening speech by Tina Sauerländer
Apr 22nd – May 20th, 2017
Tuesday – Friday: Noon – 6pm
Samstag: Noon – 4pm
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Apr 28th, 2017, Noon – 9pm
Apr 29th, 2017, Noon – 9pm
Apr 30th, 2017, 11am – 9pm
Sunday, Apr 30th, 2017, 11am – 3pm
INTO THE DEEP END
Watercolours? Male artists only? Especially in Germany this concept seems somewhat weird.
We are showcasing different perspectives on watercolours, with distinctive choices on techniques and materials. In order to be somewhat puristic, we have only framed five of the works. The variety of the oeuvre will be perceivable going through the maps with additional works which are part of the show. I am glad and deeply thankful to the participating artists, that they all agreed to show their watercolours in this unconventional way. This is one reason for the title of the show, as it translates to something like „jumping into the cold water“ in German.
The artist line-up comprises positions which are mostly (too) rarely shown in Berlin, both young and established artists. Most of them are better known for other media. Wrongly, in my eyes. Please allow some introductory remarks by an art lover, who is not a graduated art historian.
Otavio Schipper (*1979, Brasilian, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro) is well known for his large scale installations, dealing with scientific phenomena, anachronistic mechanics, the communication between machines or science history. Interestingly, he is a graduated physicist, one of the reasons he is digging more deeply into the matter than most of his fellow artists; and he also invents in his work „alternative“ facts or biographies. He is taking us by the hand to rediscover our own world or to question it, visually and sometimes acoustically. In his own aesthetical perspective he rounds up his artistic views by accompanying watercoulours which add another perspective.
Clement Page (*1967, Briton from Bristol, UK) and his watercolours (which play an important role in his painting oeuvre) could seduce me to an exhaustive analysis. Well, no, I leave this temptation alone. We can observe monochrome motives (or paintings with few colours but a monochromatic look), which can leave the impression of a photographic negative. A reversal of opposites in art can signify a preliminary perception, a distorted image, but also a visual equivalent of oneiric images experienced during sleep. The boundaries of figurative and abstract painting are permanently questioned by Page, as well as our own perception.
Ulrik Møller (*1962, Dane, lives and works in Berlin), another scientist. Well known for his also technically impressive oil paintings, he has provided us with some of his rare early watercolours. Only at first glance they seem monochromatic and monothematic. Behind every motive, there is something like an abyss; the formal or extrinsic aesthetic of a helicopter or a Berlin subway station leads us to more questions than answers.
Wolfgang Lugmair (*1976, German, Berliner by choice) is widely known for his reduced and puristic perspective on painting. He is among others inspired by folk art from all over the world, far east classical painting, and European medieval book painting. Lugmair is an outsider position in this exhibition as, at first sight, he seems less interested in watercolour techniques. In addition, his choice of material is unorthodox. And (with one exception) the shown works are not pure watercolours, he combines them with coloured pencil drawings which add up to his typical world of images. It is all about people in somewhat everyday situations, sometimes calm, sometimes turbulent. Nevertheless, you can feel the suprising tranquility in his works, without being stylized. What seems to be a figure at first glance, really is a portrait of a human. By the way, a good portion of the works for this exhibition have been prepared in Mexico. I would like to thank KWADRAT gallery for the cooperation enabling us to show Lugmair’s works.
Paris Giachoustidis (*1990, Greek, new to Berlin) is a precise observer of his environment, in person or on the internet. These studies are the initial motives for his works, he processes them with a certain personal distance and shows us in a subtle way the absurdity of our times. His paintings, whether oil, acrylic or (technically) photorealistic drawings are a perfidious game with subjects like sexuality, obsolete rituals or excesses in our society. The common denominator in his oeuvre is a staged interaction of different techniques in one and the same work, combining technical brilliance with apparent naive interventions in the last phase of painting, thereby taking the risk of destruction.
This text can only give first insights into the work of the five artists. Let me reaffirm my thankfulness to all of the contributors; also for the fact that a big portion of the watercolours have been explicitly painted for this exhibition. We hope you enjoy jumping into the deep end or the world of watercolours.
Peter Ungeheuer, Berlin, March 2017
Photo credit: ©Kostas Kopailas