Lisa Junghanss - the visitation of my other self
The visitation of my other self is Lisa Junghanss’ first solo exhibit at the Martin Mertens Gallery and consists of her new video work imbedded into an installation piece. As the title of the exhibit suggests, the work centers around a figure (half man, half woman) who destroys itself through the consumption or assimilation of its alter ego.
The film was shot in an extremely small and claustrophobic room not much larger that one cubic meter. Dream like sequences alternate with snippets of reality and one question - what is dream and what is reality?
In the congestion of assembled materials that frames the projection in the gallery one finds among other things the mere 100 cm tall door of the small room as well some of the objects found within it. The film and the accompanying scenario will disturb and threaten the viewer while offering no real cause for such emotions.
As in most of Junghanss’ films it is hard to ascribe a meaning or purpose to the series of acts executed by the film’s protagonist. It appears rather as a meaningless sequence of scenes devoid of any clearly defined purpose or path. Lisa Junghanss offers us only random morsels of a possible story and leaves it to the viewer to piece the rest together.
Opening: Friday, January 12th, 2007, 6 pm
Length of Exhibit: January 13th – February 17, 2007
Robert Barta - Play with your life it`s healthy for you
Born in Prague in 1975, Roberta Barta studied at the Art Academy in Munich and his completed a masters degree at the San Francisco Art Institute. The main principle of his sculpture and installation is based upon the reversal of the conventional functions of everyday objects.
Opening: Friday, February 23rd 2007, 6 pm
Length of Exhibit: February 23rd – March 31. 2007
Matthias Kanter - nur Malerei
In this latest series Kanter has taken a public Venetian ticket counter as his point of departure. This objective situation or view is then tightly condensed through a process of abstraction. The abstraction becomes the basis, or rather the means, of imparting a sense of reality- not meant to be contradictions but a different ways in which to approach the work. The exhibition „nur Malerei“ (Only Painting) offers a space for Kanter`s work, a series in which the object delivers the pretence for painting. This is the first series in which each piece has been painted on specially created 5cm deep wood panels, which serve to impart an object-like quality on the individual paintings.
Length of Exhibit: April 5th – May 12th, 2007
Katrin Hoffert - Nevereverland
The exhibition Nevereverland illustrats Hofferts ironic relation with such utopic conceptions as redeparture to a state of innocence or the to world as a serene place. Subjects such as research and progress are mirrored in the sense of the selected motives as well as with her painterly technique. Next to this attempt of an objective-scientific approach a subjective view of her surrounding is evident. Thus, departing from fotografic samples, the emancipation of her own perception is enabled.
Opening: Friday, May 18th 2007, 6 p.m.
Duration: May 18th to June 30th 2007
Jim Harris - new paintings
In his current exhibition the British painter Jim Harris presents a selection of his recent works. These paintings can be considered as “urban landscapes”. One never finds people but rather motives such as the fine netting of an aerial contact line which constitutes a strong contrast to the bright sky, mirrorings within the glass fronts of high-rise buildings which convert clean and geometric surfaces made out of glass and steel into animated wave motions or views through the tall metal fence of a sports yard which covers the space with a black grid. Herewith, he carries forward a series of urban landscapes which contains next to a number of paintings of his central city Amsterdam already two series of paintings from New York (2005 and 2006).
There is an affinity to a drawing style which manifests itself in fine lines but at the same time the paintings examine the possibilities of oil colour. Thus, areas of thickly applied colour meet almost watercolour-like and blurry spots which in their interplay present varied and vivid surfaces as have been generated earlier by Harris.
This group of paintings, as almost all of his works, have been developed in situ and outside. The direct confrontation with the motive is a central point of Harris` work. He strongly refuses a mediation of the paintings by other media (as foto or video), as is often applied by other artists. The reason for this being the immediate confrontation with a far greater depth of visual information that reality offers.
Opening: Saturday, September 1st, 2007, 6 p.m.
Exhibition: September 1st – October 13th, 2007
David Adam - Filter
Whereas Adam has been working especially with photography during the last years, he is now devoted to painting. In his current show “Filter” he presents new works which depart from a photographic view but sample the possibilities of painterly transmission.Adam carries consequently forward the exploration of painting which he already introduced in 2006 in the exhibition „Polenjob“ (at Galeria BWA, Zielona Góra, Poland). These earlier paintings were very much engaged with formal differences to photography, such as curved shapes of the canvases with an almost object-like character or the all-over presentation of digital pixels of a photo-camera that were pushed forward to the point of painterly abstraction. However, Adam’s irritating play with painting becomes more subtle now.The photographic sample, even if it is only the view of a trained photographer which is unavoidably a part of the artistic development, rests a major part of Adam’s work. This is also the case with one of the central works in the show, „Romario und Leon“, which refers to a press-photo in which the faces of the people were made unrecognisable. The conflict between presentation and disguising is even pushed forward in Adam’s work. Illusionist pictorial space and planeness of the surface of the canvas start an interplay. The extension to the complete image takes place only in the head of the beholder. Adam’s newest works present a bewildering mixture of a pictorial presentation of concrete objects and the disguising of their actual information and identity. The observer is thus placed in the paradox and desperate position to recognise less when he looks closer than at the first glance of spontaneous identification.
Opening: Friday, October 19th 2007, 6 p.m.
Duration: October 19th – November 24th 2007
As a completion of the gallery’s second year of existence we are showing a „screenshot“ of the current gallery program. All artists will take part in the show with examples from painting, object art and photography. We would like to reflect the last year and take a look at future developments at the same time. Whereas the focus of this show is on painting, we will concentrate more on other media during the next year.
The year 2007 commenced auspiciously with an exhibition of works by Katrin Hoffert at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin and our participation at the Artefiera in Bologna, where we will take part in January 2008 as well. Antje Blumenstein had a broad solo exhibition at the gallery Changingrole in Naples with paintings, sculpture and light-tube works. Works by Katja Pfeiffer were presented for the first time by Gallery Wolfgang Gmyrek in Düsseldorf. Our first participation at the Artforum Berlin, where we were showing works by Robert Barta, Katja Pfeiffer and Lisa Junghanss, was a big step for the gallery and the Preview fair has been a success as well. Together with the galleries Klemm’s, Birgit Ostermeier, Invaliden 1 and Curators without Borders we were invited to participate at the group show „Wir haben keine Probleme“ at the Kunsthalle Bergen, which was dedicated to the scene of artist-run galleries in Brunnenstrasse and where we showed works by Antje Blumenstein and Katja Pfeiffer.
During the last year we could amplify our program with such outstanding artists as Robert Barta and Miriam Vlaming. There will be a solo show of Miriam Vlaming in the beginning of 2008. Furthermore, we are happy to introduce two other “newcomers” to the gallery with their video works in the new year.
After a successfull year 2007 we have resolved a lot for the next one. We are looking forward to this conjoint end of one and departure of another year by means of this “screenshot”.
Opening: Saturday, December 8th 2007, 6 pm
Exhibition: December 8th to 29th