4/11/2023, 4–6 pm
thru 31/01/2024





4/11/2023, 4–6 pm
thru 31/01/2024

Alan Butler, Dublin
herman de vries, Eschenau
Media Esfarjani, Berlin
Jörg Kratz, Düsseldorf
Rosemary Laing, Sydney
Mevlana Lipp, Düsseldorf
Gabriela Oberkofler, Stuttgart
Malick Sidibé, Bamako
Luzia Simons; Berlin
Kiki Smith, New York
Guy Yanai, Tel-Aviv

November 04 – January 31, 2024

The motif of the garden with its immense variety of forms and colors is present in the visual arts of all cultures and at all times. A recurring motif in the iconology of modern art is the Marian garden – the hortus conclusus as a protected space and place of contemplation. In contrast to the landscape, the garden describes a limited section of nature designed by man. In the Western art of the 20th century, the gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny and of Max Liebermann in Berlin at the Wannsee are the most famous. To this day, the garden serves as a source of inspiration and retreat for many artists.

In contrast to the landscape, the garden describes a limited section of nature designed by man. Following this, HERMAN DE VRIES, born in Alkmaar in 1931, created so-called “sanctuaries” at various locations in the city, protected and inaccessibly enclosed areas in which nature was to unfold free from human intervention. After his time as an artist in the Dutch “Zero” movement, de vries decided to use only plants, soils and collected artifacts as artistic material and declared his habitat, the Steigerwald, his studio. Works based on this collections will be on display in the exhibition.

The Australian artist ROSEMARY LAING, born in Brisbane in 1959, addresses the (mis)relationship of the white population to the Aborigines and to their land, which they have taken possession of and thus sensitively disrupt the “songlines,” the cultural routes of the aborigines that have crisscrossed Australia for thousands of years. Her medium for this is photographs staged in the landscape. In the exhibition we show works from the series “groundspeed”, for which Laing, in consultation with the local Aboriginal communities, covers large areas of primeval forest floor with industrially manufactured carpeting, whose floral motifs correspond to typical English carpets of the 19th century. They blend seamlessly into the environment – surreal and out of place. After the shoot, the elements are removed without a trace for their intrusion into the environment.

LUZIA SIMONS, born 1953, a Brazilian living in Berlin, is a pioneer in the development of the scanogram. She arranges flowers and leaves on a high-resolution scanner, creating impressive works of intense color brilliance and tremendous sharpness. The splendor of equatorial forests, the lush vegetation of Brazil, and the cultural implications of plant genera and flowers make up Luzia Simons’ visual world. Unlike most still life artists of our time, Luzia Simons also makes a social, cultural-historical claim: the image memories – this is how one must interpret the works from the series “Stockage” – collect information about specific plants that act as ambassadors in the “transfer through the different cultures,” according to Simons.

MALICK SIDIBÉ, 1936-2016, was a Malian artist and one of the most important contemporary photographers in Africa. In 2007, he received the “Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement” at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 1954, he photographed his first portrait under the guidance of Malian photographer Baru Koné, who taught him image composition. Sidibé himself, however, saw himself neither as a chronicler of a changing Mali nor as an artist. He was a self-employed photographer and had to make a living from his work: “I photographed my clients in such a way that they were satisfied with their picture.” And that’s how the “portrait with my flowers” in the exhibition came about. Instead of typical status symbols of the time, the lady on this portrait chose a bouquet of flowers as her favorite attribute.

The small-format paintings and gouaches by JÖRG KRATZ (*1987, Düsseldorf) are like windows into undiscovered, mystical landscapes. In creating the motifs, the artist draws on a variety of sources. His landscapes are an amalgam of reality, fantasy and the pictorial repertoire of painting history. His works are reminiscent of Arcadia or the landscapes of Dutch old masters and allow us small glimpses of wondrous natural places removed from time.

GABRIELA OBERKOFLER, born 1975 in Bolzano, lives in Stuttgart and in South Tyrol. The main theme of Gabriela Oberkofler’s works is the preservation of nature from the threat of environmental destruction. Her focus is on artistic research into forward-looking forms of coexistence and the search for new forms of collaborative practice between art and agriculture. In the fall of 2022 Gabriela Oberkofler will open the Taberhof in Flaas/South Tyrol as an institute for alternative agriculture, contemporary art and life in the periphery.The exhibition will feature drawings by the artist.

The world of plants by MEVLANA LIPP, born in Cologne in 1989, seems in its highly artificiality to have sprung from an extraterrestrial magical garden. In their ornamental world of forms and at the same time haptic surface, the paintings take on a strongly object-like character.

The flowers in the two exhibited paintings from MEDIA ESFARJANI’s series titled “Tired Flowers from Monday to Friday” are of highly earthly origin. They each show a bouquet of cut flowers whose half-life is short and obviously does not even reach the weekend. In a humorous way, she thus picks up on the flower paintings with vanitas symbolism, which had its peak in the flower still lifes of the Baroque period, and succinctly names the works with the day of the week of their “demise.” One wants to think directly of the “date paintings” of an On Kawara, which have the date of the respective day as a motif. (Media Esfarjani, born 1995 in Wiesbaden and is currently still studying at the UdK in Berlin).

In GUY YANAI’s paintings “Plant in German Office” the plant world of a garden is reduced to the sad furnishing of the interior by means of a vegetating potted plant. This becomes particularly clear in the exhibited oil painting “Plant in German Office II” with a single almost leafless plant as a decal of nature in strictly regulated brushwork and artificial coloring on a grey background. (Guy Yanai, born 1977 in Haifa, lives in Tel Aviv)

In his multimedia works ALAN BUTLER, Dublin, repeatedly explores the relationship between analog and digital image production. In the series of his “Cyanotypes” he uses as motifs representations of plants from computer games, which in turn were taken from real nature, and reproduces them in an old “pre-digital” reproduction technique for plants that was very popular in the 19th century, the technique of cyanotopy. For this, plants were laid out on chemically prepared paper, pressed on with a disc, and exposed to the sun. Analogously, Butler uses transparencies of the digital plant motifs. The result is white, slightly blurred motifs on the typical blue like 19th century. As viewers, we search irritated for the origin of the image motifs.


UP-Coming Exhibition:

Fr 08/09/2023, 6–9 pm


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