art, Berlin, Life in Berlin

Erich Kissing at Galerie Schwind

Last night was the opening of an Erich Kissing exhibition at Galerie Schwind on Auguststrasse in Berlin Mitte. The artist, as well as gallery owner Herr Schwind, attended.

Erich Kissing exhibition, Galerie Schwind, 2014

Erich Kissing, painter of the Leipzig school and former student of Werner Tübke paints fantastical tableaux in a precise, realist style. He is known for his high-precision glazing technique which consists of several layers and takes months to complete. This fine technique in combination with images of flying, centaurs and dream-like landscapes creates a stunning effect. You can see his work on his website.

The Erich Kissing Exhibition is on at Galerie Schwind, Auguststrasse 19, 10117 Berlin until 8 November 2014.

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art, Berlin

Exhibition Opening: Condition Humaine at the Laden Gallery

Eva, by Lilli Hill
Eva, by Lilli Hill

Yesterday saw the opening of Condition Humaine, an exhibition organised by the Ingeborg-Leuthold-Stiftung, a foundation promoting the art of women – especially realistic fine art in Berlin, at the Laden gallery in Tempelhof.

The exhibition brings together the work of three artists living in Berlin from different generations:  Lilli Hill (b.1976) Ingeborg Leuthold (b.1925) and Heike Ruschmeyer (b.1956).

Although they are distinct, their work displays a common theme; the body.

Heike Ruschmeyer, winner of the Marianne Werefkin prize 2005, paints corpses. Her huge canvases are most affecting, depicting blown-up images of the dead subject up close, taut in their rigor mortis, tinged yellow, purple and green. The images invoke eeriness and contemplation, reminding us that violence and death are part of the human condition.

In contrast, Lilli Hill’s paintings of fat women are solid, celebratory, lacquered and Rubenesque in their sensuality.

Ingeborg Leuthold’s naked bodies, bejewelled and tattooed, with mobile phones and sunglasses, are displayed in the context of modern leisure, evoking a bright, lively atmosphere.

Gehen, Bleiben, Durchdringen, by Johannes Grützke
Gehen, Bleiben, Durchdringen, by Johannes Grützke

In addition, the Laden Gallery is crammed with paintings and drawings by Berliner Johannes Grützke, whose works were celebrated in a retrospective at the Germanischen Nationalmuseum Nürnberg earlier this year and of which the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (09.29.200) said, “In a hundred years, people will hardly use our contemporary art to look for information about our life and bustle. Primary image sources are photography, film, television. The work of John Grützke is a rare exception because Grützke’s images are unique…They comment on bizarre social role- playing, attempts at emancipation and infantile regressions, single culture and obsessive group behavior, the battle of the sexes, women’s power, sexual liberation and sexual tensions, ideological contortions and collective neuroses…”

Condition Humaine by the Ingeborg-Leuthold-Stiftung is on at the Ladengalerie, Alt-Tempelhof 26, 12106 Berlin (U-Bahn 6 Alt-Tempelhof) until 26th July 2012. The gallery is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 12.00 and 18.00 or by appointment.

art, Berlin, Life in Berlin, politics

Exhibition Opening: Compass, drawings from MoMA New York

twombly, Kompass Zeichnungen aus dem Museum of Modern Art New YorkThe Bavarian, ever since deciding that we ought to buy some art for the flat, has been insisting that I refer to him as A Collector of Contemporary Art. I wouldn’t mind, if it weren’t for the fact that he has collected exactly zero pieces of art thus far. As usual, unlike a normal person, he has gone completely over the top with this art-business; we’ve visited artists’ studios, planned a trip to Leipzig (home of the New Leipzig School and Germany’s thriving art scene), and most ridiculously, he has convinced a gallery to DHL us a couple of paintings to hang in our flat while we decide whether we want to buy them or not. They arrive today.

It’s due to this new obsession that we attended the opening of Compass, a collection of 250 drawings from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, curated by Christian Rattemeyer from over 2500 works aquired by Judith Rothschild between 2003-2005 and subsequently donated to the Museum.

Penis Hat, Paul McCarthy, 2001, Compass MoMAThe title of the exhibition – as well as referring to the compass as a drafting tool – reflects its aim of representing geographically distinct artistic centres; London, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York, Cologne/Düsseldorf and Berlin. It features a wide range of artists including Jasper Johns, Georg Baselitz, Robert Rauschenberg, Hanne Darboven, Jeff Koons, Mona Hatoum, A.R. Penck, Donald Judd, David Hockney and Martin Kippenberger, bringing together historical, minimalist, abstract and conceptual works, detailed narrative drawings, collages and large-scale installations. The works range from the 1930s to 2005, providing a panorama of the state of drawing today, and are displayed in the freshly renovated rooms of Martin Gropius.

AereiThe Bavarian, due to his other obsession – planes – was particularly impressed by Alighiero e Boetti’s Aerei (left) and Mona Hatoum’s map of flight routes. He was unimpressed by the fact that the wine was not free, and that we had to sit through some boring speeches before getting to see the collection.

On the subject of speeches, the American ambassador made one and I was shocked to discover that he speaks German like a two-year-old. Yes, that’s right; the American ambassador to Germany cannot speak German because, unlike Britain and Germany who choose their ambassadors based on sensible criteria such as political experience, knowledge of the language, culture e.t.c, the Americans simply give these positions away as thank you notes. So it turns out that the US ambassador to Germany, Phillip Murphy, is a former Goldman Sachs banker who gave a massive donation to the Obama campaign. I never knew that…

Compass – Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art New York is open from 11 March to 29 May 2011 at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin