Exhibitions

2017

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Focus and Seriality

6/9/2017 – 7/15/2017

The economics of attention is a post-industrial approach. In the cultural sphere, it describes strategies that direct and focus a viewer’s attention towards a subject and aim to keep it there for as long as possible. How does one achieve this in contemporary art? For the exhibition "Focus and Seriality", WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to present two artistic strategies who address this approach and consequently create a fruitful dialogue.

The first is by the painter Peter Dreher (* 1932), who has repeatedly painted the same glass of water since the 1970s, in the same format  - 25 x 20cm -, and in the same way: thus removing all distractions. The extreme repetition of the motif transcends the individual painting and lends it a serial nature. Reducing the examination of each water glass to absurdity causes the viewer’s discerning gaze to be both perplexed and liberated, with the realisation that the ‘disoriented glance’ has, in turn, become the ‘focussed view’. In this regard, the series encourages heightened attention.

Conversely, the ‘classic’ photographic works of the Finnish photomedia artist Miklos Gaál – created between 1999 and 2010 – indicate another way of attracting attention. By employing partial focus in his large format photographs, the observer’s eye is irritated: the largest part of the photograph is out of focus and eludes our conscious perception and merely a small, focused section offers the opportunity for the gaze to linger. Through these conceptual photographs, Miklos Gaál consciously places into view the incidental and the mundane – that which the day-to-day unconscious anthropocentric view removes. By means of this subtle strategy, the viewer’s attention is manipulated.

The exhibition aims to juxtapose both artistic strategies and to make their aesthetic and perceptual effects palpable. Popular images of Miklos Gaál’s such as Event on a shopping street, Speed below 40 or Cemetery visit are placed in opposition to Peter Dreher’s water glass series, Tag um Tag guter Tag (Day by Day, Good Day), including other of Dreher’s serial painting series’. 


Interview with Peter Dreher on studio international

Interview with Miklos Gaál on artnet

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eckart Hahn

Limbus

4/28/2017 – 6/3/2017


To coincide with Berlin Gallery Weekend, WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to present the new solo exhibition of Eckart Hahn. Set amidst a play of colours, the newest paintings of the Reutlingen-based artist come to light and reveal – as always with Eckart Hahn – his unmistakably fascinating atmosphere and approach. The premise for this body of work is based on the theme of ‘limbo’, from the Latin, Limbus, which signifies an edge or border. Based on the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Limbus is a temporary place for dead souls, which can be understood as an intermediate state; where neither joy nor sorrow prevails. 

Eckart Hahn likens the signs of the times to that of Limbus and transition. From where we’ve come, we cannot return, and there, where we want to be, we aren’t yet. Humankind stands at the edge. Nonetheless, we search for our place in the world, embedded in the nature of being. Although it is impossible for humans to undergo this process without reflection and observation and one appears to stay in a state of limbo, animals undergo this process as a matter of course: on the city outskirts, foxes scavenge food from bins instead of hunting alone as they did in former times; in the city, raccoons compete for food with cats …  


Hahn’s exhibition employs the notion of these animals as proxies for this process of change. Inspired by the scientific observations of Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859), Eckart Hahn has created a multifaceted and aesthetic cosmos, which will leave the viewer with a sense of both the force, but also the fragile and transitory nature of life.

Worlds (2017), chalkboards, cards, wood, chalk, variable dimensions Galerie Wagner + Partner
Untitled (2017), room installation with foil, torch, paint Galerie Wagner + Partner

Sophia Pompéry

Gravity is just a Habit

3/10/2017 – 4/22/2017

With Gravity is just a Habit, WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to present Sophia Pompéry’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Installation, photography and sculpture are employed by Pompéry to address the exhibition’s concept of “visual projections”, in which everyday objects such as maps and vases are transformed into parables. These impartial works enjoy various levels of interpretation and evoke associations of current political events such as migration or the destruction of cultural heritage. Consequently, Sophia Pompéry almost incidentally examines philosophical questions regarding the nature of spatial and temporal perception. The joy of the physical experiment, including the illusion of common ways of seeing is what characterises Pompéry’s oeuvre. The exhibition title’s proposition, of gravity being a habit, targets precisely our unquestioning lethargy of accepting the familiar and given, instead of changing things. 

One room in the gallery is devoted to the notion of borders and restrictions and has the title, Worlds. Here the visitor encounters a universe of school-like blackboard maps. Presented processionally, all these maps depict different parts of the world and are covered in blackboard paint. Measurements, political borders and cities disappear. The visitor is invited to draw their own version of a map – also an inner map – and thus a sponge and chalk become tools to create our own vision of the world, with the blackboards becoming a metaphor in which to comprehend space. Worlds questions the use of space, geopolitical power structures, ownership, migration and the state of the environment. If the visible becomes invisible and demarcations disappear, then all that remains is imagination. Worlds invites us to liberate our thoughts. Usually, these are caught in our everyday and it is seldom that we reflect upon our time and space and indeed who its custodians are.

A large work that covers an entire wall also presents us with questions of borders and visual projections – and suggests the infinity of outer space. The distance between stars is deceptive for the human eye and we often have difficulty in perceiving what these distances may be and instead see the sky as a sprinkled expanse. On maps, stars are also depicted across a single surface area. In the exhibition, this surface area can be viewed from both sides. The rear view of the Milky Way is infinity x 2.

Whereas Worlds invites us to use chalk and explore the volatility of fixed definitions, the photographic series Éloge du vide (praise emptiness) presents the reverse: a fleeting moment of exploding chalk, cemented in time, not unlike a still-life flower arrangement. Beyond this, it also questions our perception: the black and white photos of exploding vases, shrouded in a peculiar white smoke cloud, indeed have nothing in common with the usual, falling porcelain vessel, which has been affected by gravity. As if the explosion had set off a magical energy, we nonetheless underestimate these innocent, white vessels in our daily lives. Similarly, they arouse strong associations with the bombed and destroyed cultural assets in war zones, which serve to erase the cultural memory of a place.  

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Thomas Wrede

The Luminous Screen

1/20/2017 – 2/25/2017



Wagner + Partner are pleased to announce the fifth solo exhibition of the German photo artist Thomas Wrede. The Luminous Screen is both the exhibition’s title and that of a large-format landscape photograph from his well-known series, Real Landscape. This photograph also illuminates his artistic approach, because for Wrede, photographs are always images about images. On the one hand they clarify the relationship of contemporary media with its subject matter and on the other they elucidate moments of perception, such as longing or memories. In The Luminous Screen an empty, brightly lit, drive-in movie screen is situated in the midst of a night mountainscape. Although the photograph is composed from miniature models, it suggests a plausible reality. More than this, it initiates associations and memories of countless films and photographs and consequently represents a quasi projection surface for our inner worlds.

The exhibition situates new works from Real Landscapes with older works from the Wrapped Landscapes series. For the latter, Wrede pursued an opposing approach: Instead of a mise-en scène with the help of models, he photographed model-kit trees and grasses in close-up as ‘found objects’ through their original wrapping and enlarged them to such an extent that the comical plants appear like prehistoric giants. Without the helpful visual references, the inversion of size allows the viewer to perceive these photographs unconventionally, as well as to interpret them. Both series appropriate and challenge our notions of perception and invite an inspiring dialogue around “image production”.

Thomas Wrede was born in 1963 in Iserlohn and studied in Münster and Berlin. Since 2015 he has been Professor for Photography and Media at the University of Fine Arts Essen. Wrede’s position as a celebrated, German, middle-aged generation photo artist is confirmed by countless national and international institutional exhibitions. The upcoming solo exhibition, Modell-Landschaft (Model-Landscape) in Museum Sinclair-Haus of the Altana Cultural Foundation, Bad Homburg will be an extensive survey of the last 20 years of Wrede’s work. Website Museum Sinclair-Haus

Collections: National Art Collection Berlin, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, LWL-Museum Münster, Hudson Bay Company New York, The West Collection Philadelphia, Hall Art Collection New York, HBC Global Art Collection New York, ING-Collection Amsterdam, Kunst-am-Bau Berlin (federally funded public art projects in Berlin), UBS and DZ-Bank.

 

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Claas Gutsche

Shadow

11/25/2016 – 1/14/2017

Wagner + Partner is pleased to announce the fourth solo exhibition of Claas Gutsche, whose remarkable and often large-format lino prints have become increasingly popular. These lino prints plumb not only the medium – in terms of a multi-faceted, subtle gradation of greys – but also thematically shift through similar ‘transitional states’. A darkly romantic landscape, as an atmospheric place of collective as well as subjective horror, including ambivalently modern architecture of the fading former Eastern bloc, are examples of the explorations for his work in recent years.   

With the central work, Leak, Gutsche takes up this thread and twists it further. This monumental lino print at 250 x 375 cm, illustrates the abandoned US espionage station on Berlin’s Teufelsberg. The work depicts the once futuristic and now decaying white radomes that the NSA employed, to listen in as far as the Eastern bloc. The buildings in Gutsche’s work still refer to a former era and yet nature is at work to reclaim it. Leak is an ambiguous title, given that espionage is no longer active and has moved on to the Internet. We are currently in the midst of a fundamental transition.

Whilst the function and symbolism of architecture is subject to historic change, it is apparent that nature has always known continuity and transformation. For instance when nature reclaims human settlements or buildings it is often coupled prematurely with romanticism. Claas Gutsche twists this thread ever further by supplementing his lino prints with unique objects cast in bronze, which unite fragments of nature and civilisation. These objects are situated within the exhibition context through their subtle associations and acquiescence.

Gutsche was most recently recognised in the Swiss museum Franz Gertsch with a solo exhibition and catalogue.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Unease - Das Unbehagen

(during the Berlin Art Week)

9/8/2017 – 9/16/2017

This group exhibition featuring gallery artists and guests can be understood as a commentary on our times. Installed associatively, all the works in the exhibition approach the feeling of unease.

Particularly since US President Trump’s inauguration it seems that predictability, certainty and even reliability have become irrelevant. An all-pervasive unease abounds – will tomorrow bring the next environmental catastrophe in the wake of impending climate change? Which country will follow on from Brexit? Is it possible that even tourists might be arrested in Turkey? Will the Klu Klux Klan overtake The White House? And what about North Korea’s nuclear threats? The world seems upside down.

This exhibition is an artistic comment with works by Bastian Börsig, Claas Gutsche, Eckart Hahn, Benedikt Hipp, Susi Jirkuff, Stefan Kürten, Eva Lauterlein, Erwin Olaf, Lars Ramberg, Jakob Roepke, Natascha Stellmach, Raissa Venables and Rob Voerman.

2016

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Body*Self

Andreea Cioran, Izabella Gustowska, Ren Hang, Eckart Hahn, Natascha Stellmach

10/21/2016 – 11/19/2016


*CLICK FOR MORE IMAGES*

Our times are seeing an increasing move towards ‘the body’ – correspondingly reflected through various trends such as fitness, tattoos and diet – in which physicality becomes more than ever a defining element of identity. Are we as modern, individualised people, persistently thrown back on our bodies for our identity formation?

Analogous with “identity” is our tussle: between inner and outer, between bodily sensations and movement in a social context, and between affirmation and differentiation. What does it then mean, to have a body and to form an identity? This exhibition addresses these questions in numerous ways: through photography, installation, film and painting – and by artists that span several generations.


Izabella Gustowska (*1949 Poznań) has investigated the role of women in social processes from an early stage, always referring back to the inextricable link between body and identity. Her work focuses on intimacy between women: as sisters, friends and homoerotic relationships (the latter was politicised given it occurred during the Iron Curtain era). In 1988 she represented Poland at the Venice Biennale with her questions of identity. For Relative Similarities she imagined a twin sister, who acts as a double and designs a fascinating game around the creation of a new reality.

Ren Hang (*1987 Peking) approaches the subject of physicality with his own visual language. The analogue photographs illustrate a relational concept of self-to-others and to oneself. Young people – mostly the artist’s friends – pose nude in oft-vulnerable, oft-provocative stances and these bodies are beguiling in their partly sculptural and self-determined roles.

Natascha Stellmach (*1970 Melbourne) has composed an installation of The Letting Go documentation: a project in which Stellmach guides participants through an artistic-somatic process that also involves a bloodline-tattoo. The installation reveals participants’ oft-fragile and frequently powerful relationship towards their bodies and being. The work Shame also goes beyond the personal in its role as a wound, by taking on a current and culturally political relevance.

Andreea Cioran (*1985 Bucharest) explores the desired goals deemed necessary to attain a female identity in terms of the ideal body. Her work #bodygoals, comprises of plaster casts, such as “beauty bones” and “bikini-bridges” that are so artificial, they are almost elevated to ‘brand’ status as products. Can we build and buy our own bodies – and by the same token, ‘design’ our identity?

Eckart Hahn (*1971, Freiburg) interprets the exhibition’s theme in his idiosyncratic painting style and by depicting birds as a symbol of freedom and openness. The idea of intellectual and physical optimisation – and its supposed self-development – is viewed critically by way of dressing up in borrowed plumes and in this case with a fake beak: a fracture remains.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

All I wanted was a Pepsi

9/16/2016 – 10/15/2016

Extended opening hours during Berlin Art Week: Sunday, 2-5 pm


WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition of the painter Bastian Börsig. Based in Karlsruhe, his dynamically abstract painting has recently become known to a larger public and in the spring of this year his first major catalogue was published by Distanz.


What makes Börsig’s art significant? Initially the appeal relates to the brash use of colour in these large-scale canvases. Given their comic-like characteristics, they are brightly alluring and not only punchy but also witty. However at further consideration, their insightful depth is revealed. Dr. Marc Wellmann approaches this question by reference to Börsig’s perception of reality, in which he analyses his compositional technique: calculated deterioration or damage of the canvas, a fragile balance of the distribution of coloured areas, an interlacing of motif-layers and an accomplished use of diverse painterly styles. 


Börsig most often utilises this technique in his large-scale works, which results in an oscillation between reality and abstraction: „Still, one senses a fundamentally speculative approach to reality, in the sense that Börsig´s painting unearths structures of things that have broken free of the conventional conceptual framework in which we apprehend our world.“


Bastian Börsig (1984*) was born in Schwäbisch Hall and studied under Prof. Erwin Gross at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe. Börsig was awarded the city of Karlsruhe’s visual arts stipend as well as the art prize. Furthermore, his grants include the Baden-Württemberg Arts Foundation scholarship and in 2010 he was awarded the Heinrich-Hertz-Prize.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Simon Schubert

Jenseits von Ideen

6/24/2016 – 7/30/2016

During the artist talk Amely Deiss, Directrice of Kunstpalais Erlangen, asked Simon Schubert about his plans of creating a fictional house from his paper works and about the meaning of secrets. WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to announce Simon Schubert’s first exhibition with the gallery, whose unique paper folds push the limits of drawing. Schubert works across several mediums and his installation-oriented exhibitions are often inspired by literary and philosophical sources. In Jenseits von Ideen (Beyond Ideas) he leads us – like Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s story – through the earth and into a room dressed with papered pictorial reliefs. This room is the beginning of a major artistic project, in which the artist will create a kind of accessible, fully-clad paper house, in which his reliefs – due to their association with one another – create the illusion of an actual house that reveals views both through and to the outside.

The visitor arrives in this room after they have traversed the gallery corridor, which is covered with soil. In the first room of the exhibition one is introduced to Schubert’s play with spatiality and narrative, in which time and space appear to be overruled. The symbol of the rabbit hole as a ‘transition room’ becomes a recurring theme for the entire show. For instance: there is a view through a top hat, in which a video work illuminates a further spatial illusion. Correspondingly, Schubert’s unique paper folding technique establishes further spatial illusions: where lines and shadows complicitly amass space and make subtle gradients visible. It is Schubert’s treatment of each piece of paper that makes the installation possible and in so doing; an illusionary, two-dimensional concertina drawing becomes a spatial drawing.

The primarily white paper folds are contrasted with white-through-black graphite drawings, which through the aid of strong light/dark contrast, illustrate rooms and houses at night that are illuminated only via the reflection of light sources. These houses are partly engulfed by a blaze or are only dimly visible in the twilight. Simon Schubert harnesses paper, sculpture and video to create individual images of rooms and actual constructed rooms as parts of a near endless, steadily expanding network. The visitor is transported into a surreal and suggestive world, in which endless entrances and exits are revealed from inside and out.


 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Erwin Olaf

Skin Deep

4/28/2016 – 6/18/2016

Artist talk: The curator and art critic Jurriaan Benschop in conversation with Erwin Olaf about aesthetics and the political aspect of the series Skin Deep.

WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to announce the third solo exhibition of the Dutch photo-artist Erwin Olaf (b 1959). In this new series, Skin Deep, Olaf addresses the human body in striking ways. These sensitive and insightful nudes show people of differing ages and genders. Each scene is situated in an empty room, where the faded elegance and desaturated colors stand in stark contrast to the powerful rendition of these bodies’ skin.

The naked body is a classical theme in art history and the series Skin Deep explores it from a fresh viewpoint. Erwin Olaf also references his earlier series’ such as Hotel or Hope. Despite Olaf’s signature aesthetic, there is an unadulterated and pared back quality that this new body of work demonstrates. The rooms are now free of objects and its subjects have also done away with their clothing. In this way their skin and resulting forms come to the fore. Through the dramatic lighting and the painterly backgrounds they indeed appear akin to a Baroque portrait.

For this exhibition and congruent with installations of recent years (Keyhole Installation, Karussell or Waiting), Olaf departs the medium of photography and takes it into a three-dimensional realm. Alongside the photographs in the exhibition Skin Deep at WAGNER + PARTNER, Erwin Olaf will premiere sculptural works. Under the influence of global political and cultural quarrels it is of high importance for the artist to show the naked body as a sign of freedom and liberalism.

Erwin Olaf was born in 1959 in Hilversum, The Netherlands and graduated with a BA in Journalism at the School of Journalism in Utrecht. His work has shown in countless international solo exhibitions and has been honoured with numerous awards.




 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Mona Ardeleanu & Alfred Ehrhardt

Lost and Found

2/26/2016 – 4/2/2016

The painter Mona Ardeleanu (*1984) and the photographer Alfred Ehrhardt (1901–1984) are two German artists posited together for this exhibition, notwithstanding their differing generations and mediums. Whilst Ardeleanu’s painted objects combine fabric and geometry in unique ways and oscillate between abstraction and realism, Ehrhardt’s avant-garde black-and-white photographs from the 1940’s display high-contrast close-ups of natural objects. Both practices share comparable compositions and a serial, conceptual approach; nonetheless their unifying factor is the separation of the object from its background. This intensifies the focus on the represented structure, yet it also renders the object as somewhat lost – appearing like an aimless entity in an empty room.

When viewing the patterns and fabrics in Ardeleanu’s paintings, it appears as if we are looking at something familiar; however the structures are disrupted, so that nothing specific is actually identifiable. The arrangements are not based on a reference; they are created on the canvas during the painting process and Ardeleanu paints these on a monochrome background so that amorphous figures of intense materiality and spatiality appear. This is also the case in Ehrhardt’s photographs of shells, snails and corals. Over a period of years he documented a wide variety of creatures and crystals, all photographed in front of a black background. Due to the object-background separation, geometric forms also arise in the images.

However what exactly do these objects – set in their uniform focus – tell us? Whilst Ehrhardt titled his photographs with the exact animal and species, Ardeleanu’s titles (i.e. Circuit, Incline, Fold), remain equivocal and tend to concentrate on the form or characteristic of the object. Both artists emphasise conceptual concerns related to familiar objects, and by employing defamiliarisation and serial investigations of similar materialities and structures, these objects attain a new abstract nature.

Mona Ardeleanu (*1984) completed her undergraduate studies in Fine Arts (painting) at The Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design from 2003 to 2010. During this period she studied under Franz Ackermann in Karlsruhe (2004), and from 2008 until 2009 under Daniel Richter at The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, as well as under Karin Kneffel at The Academy of Fine Arts Munich in 2009. Grants include the Baden-Württemberg University Scholarship (Landesgraduiertenstipendium) and her works are featured, amongst others, in the collections of Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, The State of Baden-Württemberg, Marta Herford and The WÜRTH collection.

Alfred Ehrhardt was born 1901 in the State of Thuringia and studied Fine Arts in Gera and Hamburg. Between 1928 and 1933 he studied at Dessau’s Bauhaus, amongst others under Oskar Schlemmer, Josef Albers as well as Wassily Kandinsky. His work, primarily his photographs on natural philosophy, is concerned with the discourse around the principles of structure and form. Ehrhardt’s oeuvre is classed as one of the influential documents of the New Objectivity movement (Neue Sachlichkeit). The Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation in Berlin has maintained Ehrhardt’s estate since his passing in 1984.


 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Jan Berdyszak + Małgorzata Szymankiewicz

In / out of all proportion

12/11/2015 – 2/13/2016


WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to present the duo exhibition of two Polish artists, Małgorzata Szymankiewicz (*1980) und Jan Berdyszak (1934-2014). Despite their generational differences, both focus on nonrepresentational painting and the process of multifaceted transformation that this medium has undergone from circa 1945 until today. This is undoubtedly painting after the end of painting – self-critique and analysis that despite addressing (and ignoring) the relationship with reality, also debates the genre’s tradition in itself.

Szymankiewicz and Berdyszak are driven by the following questions: which approach persuasively depicts space on a surface? To what degree is it possible to de/re-construct and fragmentise a painting, before its identity is stripped? What potential does a hole or negative space have in a painting? How is it possible to play with phenomena of absence in order to realise new and surprising aspects of space? Is there potential to go beyond a painting’s boundaries and yet still stay within the genre? Do we still need traditional, harmonious and balanced compositions with an almighty central focus?

Szymankiewicz’s and Berdyszak’s paintings are always contextually consistent and hence act like a kind of trap for a space. They oscillate between modern and postmodern, ignoring all of Art History’s prevailing divisions. Berdyszak’s paintings are among the so-called ; those that are no longer rectangular, and these atypical formats create a strong tension between painting, wall and space. The Polish artist defined this from an ontological and transcendental perspective: the concept of space as the nature of being draws on similarities with the theories of the German philosopher Max Bense, who viewed space as a metaphysical phenomenon: “In the beginning there was the space. It is only in the space that everything happens, day turns to night. […] Space and being are fundamentally identical, they are the one and the many, and therefore they are conclusive.” It is up to the viewer whether Berdyszak’s paintings speak only of formalism or allude to a play on the universe.

Szymankiewicz often works with self-styled and handcrafted brushes in order to create the desired appearance of a gesture on a canvas. Her paintings maintain a balance between impersonality and individuality, but also between order and expression. The contemporary character of her paintings is also striking: the series can be interpreted as an examination of whether originality is possible in the Internet age. Szymankiewicz enjoys working across media: she develops objects that exist in a fascinating dialogue with her paintings. That which can only be virtually three dimensional on a canvas, materialises in the form of an installation. The elements from the series simultaneously inspire associations with forms of nonrepresentational art together with sport equipment, which serves today as the body’s self improvement. Szymankiewicz – as a representative for her generation – mixes several aesthetics together: the tradition of elite modern art and current pop cultural phenomena.

In Szymankiewicz’s art – as in that of Berdyszak’s – the viewer is confronted with fragments, which perform together in unison. The answer to the question about the difference between fragment and whole is no longer possible. However, is this a question that is only relevant in the field of painting – or one that is universally pertinent today?

Prof. Dr. Marta Smolińska

University of Fine Arts Poznan


The works of Malgorzata Szymankiewicz are shown in cooperation with BWA Gallery in Warsaw.

2015

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Sophia Pompéry

Berkeley's Cat

10/23/2015 – 12/5/2015

During the Artist Talk on 18th November Maurin Dietrich (KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin) reasoned with Sophia Pompéry about speed, the analogue and the deceptiveness of perception.

With Berkeleys Katze (Berkeley’s Cat), WAGNER + PARTNER is pleased to present Berlin artist Sophia Pompéry’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition presents a series of works in differing media – installations, video and photography – that reflect upon the elements water and fire.

Sophia Pompéry (*1984) began her career as one of the first students of the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), under the direction of Olafur Eliasson. Her work has shown at the Stedelijk Museum, the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Akademie der Künste Berlin and at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, amongst others – and thesesubtle and ambiguous works have their origin in scientific observations. Pompéry explores this comprehensively from a perceptual perspective: with a penchant for the absurd she illustrates the unreliability, ambivalence and conundrum of perception. Media reversal and transformation are important aspects in Pompéry’s minimalist and refined works, which astutely bridge the fields of art, philosophy and physics. Almost incidentally and with a unique formality, Pompéry utilises everyday phenomena to illuminate great philosophical questions.

With this in mind the exhibition title Berkeley’s Cat is inspired by George Berkeley, an Age of Enlightenment sensualistic philosopher who proposed that ‘being’ is fundamentally linked to ‘perception’. In so doing he examined the question, whether a cat is still a cat if it swells to the size of an elephant and if one were able to reach through it. What then, is the essence of an object that we perceive? This question is approached playfully through several works via the complementary elements fire and water: in the installation Plopp Plopp a magically lit bathtub fills itself with milk dripping from the ceiling. Palindrom (palindrome) is the title given to a kind of seesaw made from two candles, whose longest part tilts down so that it burns quicker and hence the shortest part tips upwards etc."Water in the boat" means normally that a ship is sinking, but in Dry Run the boat is carried by the water. Pompéry’s titles allude to a deeper philosophical level of a work, for example in the video Sheherazade, in which a water surface is filmed in a contemplative manner. However upon a closer look, one sees the fishing line that is almost hidden in the water depths after a catch. The photographic series Stilles Wasser is a play on perceptual illusions with respect to a simple water glass that appears to either hover above a table edge or throws an impossible shadow.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Bastian Börsig

9/4/2015 – 10/17/2015

The Artist Talk will take place September 24th, 7 pm. Bastian Börsig talks with Adrienne Braun, art critic and journalist for art magazin, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as nachtkritik.de For the first time, Wagner + Partner is exhibiting the powerful works of Bastian Börsig (b 1984, Schwäbisch Hall), who this year received the City of Karlsruhe Cultural Award, at a solo exhibition in Berlin.

When we look at an artwork, we usually begin by glancing quickly at the label to the side that lists the title, year and dimensions of the work as well as information about the technique. Bastian Börsig’s works also have these labels – but they do not help us much, as they only reveal technical details. In the absence of a title, we have to look directly at the pictures in order to understand the language of painting in which Börsig communicates with us.

Börsig’s pictures hover between representation and complete abstraction, to the extent that the actual object of depiction is dissolved: he deliberately uses paint to evoke representational associations, to produce representational images in our minds; but never to actually represent objects himself. A pale pink form on three legs evokes an udder painted by a child; but it is not actually an udder. A tiny man in galoshes and dark trousers dissolves up into a large pink tube; it is not a person, but rather the eruption of the man’s emotions. Something does not seem right. Bastian Börsig deliberately plays with our associations, thoughts and expectations, only to confound them.

A pastose application of paint makes the inconceivable tangible, while varnished sections create a pole of calm. The varnish often creates a peculiar craquelure effect, and in places the paint has been applied in a crude manner. Sometimes, the execution is extremely fine and precise: brush-width sections of colour shot through with squiggles and signs that are concrete yet delicate. Archaic, emotional and yet playful, his pictures recast the qualities of situations. We peer into his dynamic narratives and find that everything looks completely different at second glance. Completely detached from the transmission of sensory impressions, the pictures address us without titles so as not to mislead.

Börsig – who sees himself as an abstract painter – believes that good pictures convey a meaning while also saying something about painting. Just as Magritte perhaps wished to make clear that the represented object and the object itself are not identical, no matter how realistic the representation, in his pictures Börsig shows that we must rigorously distinguish between representation and reality.
 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Tim Plamper + Sophia Pompéry

Der Raum der Worte ist nicht der Raum der Bilder

6/19/2015 – 8/1/2015

Artist Talk with Dr. Anke Hervol (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Berlin), July 2nd at 7 pm In the double exhibition gallery WAGNER + PARTNER is featuring two young Berlin based artists who use a range of media – installations, drawings, video – to examine perception in a manner that is both phenomenal and irritating, engaging with the differences and interferences between the communication systems of word and image in a highly unconventional way. It is the first time that Sophia Pompéry is presented in an exhibition at the gallery. She studied with Karin Sanders, was a participant at Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) and has been awarded with several prizes and scholarships.

The separation between the different communication systems of word and image alluded to in the exhibition’s title plays with their interconnectedness and emphasises both the linguisticality of images and the imagery of our language. At the same time, Tim Plamper and Sophia Pompéry inquire into the functioning and comprehensibility of metaphors in word and image, symbols and signs. Each of their works has a double bottom, as it were, concealing a further metaphorical level. At the same time Plamper and Pompéry are able to create simple and subtle works, engaging with their materiality in a strikingly poetic and assured manner.
As the exhibition’s starting point, each artist is showing an installation dealing with one or several classics of German literature: Tim Plamper’s HK-MK transforms the sentence structure of Heinrich von Kleist’s novella Michael Kohlhaas into a sculptural work made of long wooden poles. It is surprisingly easy to recognise the translation of the centered type into a three-dimensional form, even though the installation is at the same time somewhat reminiscent of Morse code expressed in spatial terms, or of the protein sequence in DNA. Sophia Pompéry’s work Und Punkt (Full Stop) uses a microscope to enlarge the final periods of the first editions of 15 German love stories from three centuries. These full stops disintegrate into fibrous structures, creating a melancholic link between the ends of stories in terms of both their form and their content.
These two key works are accompanied by other works by the two artists that deal with the topic of communication: Plamper’s small-format series of digital prints Chiffren für zehn Dispositionen (Ciphers for Ten Dispositions), which takes an industrially manufactured garden chair as its subject, is complemented by small pencil signs in which the movement of the pen imitates the chair’s lines, its gestures, so to speak. These signs are reminiscent of illegible writing, produced by a shaky hand. The drawn lines preserve and render visible the gestures of the writing hand, turning the chair into a sign without a seating function. Besides these works, the exhibition also includes the video Which direction, which seems like an absurd black and white film that simply strings objects together, but actually uses ambiguous English phrases to tell a story.
Pompéry states that she “doesn’t do language“, and in her works we are able to follow how she wrestles with the confusion that is created by and inherent in language. She is exhibiting a series of works using mirrors that she has engraved with statements such as: I can see a real future for us or Don’t worry, I’ll find you a new problem. Here, she plays ironically with the change in perspective that results from reading out the words and seeing oneself in the mirror at the same time, asking: who is actually speaking to me? For the Video Eratnac Imetaishal (Lasciatemi Cantare) Pompéry is singing one of the most catchy Italian popsongs just to then flip it back and mirrow it.
Pompéry thematises the language of gestures in the photographic series Rhetorische Übung (Rhetorical Practise) in which glass hands re-enact familiar gestures of politicians. Gestural communication as a means of demonstrating power is contrasted with the virulent topic of the transparency of power relations. In a virtuosic sensual and at the same time controlled manner, Plamper draws in Körper und Gedächtnis #01 + #02 (Body and Memory #01 + #02) cinematic-looking transitions of gesturing hands, so the boundary between still image drawing and moving image is shifted.




Tim Plamper
(*1982 in Bergisch-Gladbach) likes to work across a range of media, but his main artistic focus lies on drawings. He studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Art and Design with Prof. Alexander Roob. He has taken part in exhibitions in the Nassauischer Kunstverein, the Kunstverein Eislingen and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien.

Sophia Pompéry (*1984 in Berlin) studied sculpture with Karin Sander und Eran Schaerf at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin, where she was a master student. Subsequently she took part in Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2015 she was awarded the Jaqueline Diffring Prize and took part in exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum, 's Hertogenbosch / NL, MARTa Herford, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Kunstverein Kassel and the Nassauischer Kunstverein in Wiesbaden, among others. Her works feature in the collections of the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the René Block und ARTER Space for Art, and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Ruud van Empel

Souvenir

5/1/2015 – 6/13/2015


With Gallery Weekend Berlin, Wagner + Partner is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Dutch photo artist Ruud van Empel (b 1958 Breda). It was the series World that established van Empel, a series in which he situates spruced up black children in exotic jungle locations.

The survey exhibition Souvenir showcases Ruud van Empel’s expressive photomontages, which illustrate and illuminate afresh the theme of childhood among others through the lens of memory and innocence. One of his central motifs are fascinating and yet also disturbing portraits of children, located in faux landscapes, which remind one of artificial photo-studio arrangements.

Van Empel’s photographs are based on the Flemish portrait and still life tradition, although his works maintain a stylistic balance between the visual language of nostalgia and mass media. His affinity with popular culture and advertising is obvious in his choice of gaudy colours as well as his children’s typecast appearance. In this way van Empel’s plays with clichés as well as their alienation, thus maintaining an ambivalent attitude from the viewer.

Wagner + Partner will also exhibit earlier works, such as Office (1996), in which the references to advertising and film are even more pronounced.

Each series shares van Empel’s homogeneous approach to his photomontage motif. Similarly, each photograph guides the viewer into an apparently real world, in which van Empel has virtuosically re-enacted people and objects from his imagination, comparable with that of a theatre director. His collage technique works with the suggestion of the photograph as truth and yet through the possibilities of digital manipulation it reveals its fiction – thus creating a contemporary discourse around the medium of photography.






 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eckart Hahn

Myzel

3/20/2015 – 4/25/2015

Artist Talk with Marie Kaiser (radioeins) in the gallery, 15 April 2015

With Myzel (Mycelium), Wagner + Partner is thrilled to present Eckart Hahn's (*1971) fourth solo show in Berlin. In recent years, Hahn's idiosyncratically disturbing and oft apparently surreal paintings have become increasingly popular. Although each painting is in itself autonomous, the connections are multifaceted when viewed as a whole. Hahn is led here by an intuitive response, which he finds analogous to a network of fungal threads (mycelium):
"It is the delicate and unseen underground network. It is the actual mushroom, for what we see above the surface is its 'fruit'. This is how I see my work: a web of invisible strands, that become visible through each painting." (Eckart Hahn).

Hahn's treatment of colour in these most recent works is particularly notable. The tension between defined colour fields and their surroundings is one fascinating aspect. This is achieved in works such as RGB via a reduced, almost monochromatic background. Here the small red, green and blue regions function succinctly against the almost white foundation.

Nonetheless in Concerto Fragile the impact is due to a central darkening of the image and a small overlaid band of colour. Whilst the group of animals appears to fade into black, the coloured bars serve as a disruption for the viewer. This differentiated modulation also connects – the network – beyond each painting's individual declaration.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner
 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Dreams & Disappointments

Peter Bialobrzeski, Stefan Kürten, Jyrki Parantainen, Ina Weber, Thomas Wrede

12/19/2014 – 2/21/2015

Cities are spaces both for living and for economic activity. What scope do they offer for dreams and for change? What kind of space do they provide? How does living in a small town or a metropolis change people?

Each of the five artists exhibited here touches upon these issues in their own individual manner. In his images of architectural fantasies, the Düsseldorf painter Stefan Kürten (*1963) takes up the theme of the attraction and repulsion of houses, stylising one`s own house as a symbol: "The house reiterates the borderline between security and abandonment and threat that also runs between individual subjects and the world that surrounds them" (Stefan Berg).

The photographic artist Thomas Wrede (*1963) represents cities and settlements as spaces offering scope for projection. Wrede's series "Domestic Landscapes" show private houses with photographic wallpaper which turn into a romantic or cliched location.

This theme is taken up by the sculptures of Ina Weber (*1964), who also includes the transience of architectural fashion in her work, causing us to ponder, as Katja Blomberg writes on the exhibition in the Haus am Waldsee, "what possessions, value, consumption, humour, sustainability, time and change mean for us today."

In his photo-series "Case Study Homes" from 2008, Peter Bialobrzeski (*1961) studied the urban structure of housing, that is squeezed in between two container terminals in Manila. These bizarre constructions made from various waste materials, honor men's creativity building themselves a home.

While the four German artists use architecture as a way of dealing with urban spaces and the people that bring them to life, the gaze of Finnish photographer Jyrki Parantainen (*1962) focuses directly on human beings. His eponymous photograph "Dreams & Disappointments" shows a monolithic skyscraper, surrounded by words such as "hope", "secret" or "birth"; in its palpable ambivalence, it stands as a symbol both of awakening and of resignation.

2014

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Miklos Gaál

Pieces of the Sky

10/31/2014 – 12/13/2014

Artist Talk with Dr. Lars Mextrof in the gallery, 13 Nov, 2014

For Berlin's 6th Month of Photography Miklos Gaál (1974*, Finland) Wagner + Partner presents a collection of works from recent years including photographs, video and a series of silkscreen prints.

The works in Pieces of the Sky share a joint sense of open-endedness and transitoriness that display the existing actuality as a kind of artificial stages. For Miklos Gaál, what is actually being observed is not the subjects themselves, but the depicted commonplace scenes stand for what is "natural", in a broad ideological sense, of something that is taken for granted. It is the way how the depicted subjects respond to and describe our ideas about them that make the basic focus of Gaál's practice. He introduces relativity to our experience, that can provide a comparison to recognize how actuality is habitually constructed, and how reality is granted to things.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Claas Gutsche

Changing truth

9/12/2014 – 10/25/2014

Artist Talk with Sven Drühl at the gallery, 16 Oct 2014

Claas Gutsche (*1982) makes linocut prints, a traditional graphic technique that is recently experiencing a revival. His oft large-format works on Japanese paper explore the reinterpretation of media-related images.

With Changing Truth Gutsche investigates his heritage further, exclusively exploring former East-German (GDR) architecture and remains. How does architecture influence our memory of a specific time and how do images, particularly photographs, retrospectively alter these impressions?
In these deserted scenes Gutsche refers to the fact that architecture is always associated with its historical context. The original photographs sourced by Gutsche once salvaged this history. Through the characteristic high-contrast black and white look of the lino print they are now reduced to light and shadow – to visibility or erasure.

The "Kunst am Bau", like exterior wall paintings is a German public art scheme that continues to engage public appeal. Similarly a tapestry shrouds the themes and symbolism of the facade's figures – and hence the actual building's function.
The work Der neue Mensch (The new men) highlights a typical sidewall, often presented as an exterior painting or mosaic and here as the former Magnet department store in Eisenhüttenstadt. Walther Womacka's painting Produktion im Frieden (peacetime production) is emblazoned on a building like an advertising banner and although it was once a political declaration, today it is still publically visible and yet hard to decipher. With the fall of the GDR the meanings of the large-scale wall paintings and mosaics have lost their prominence. When the buildings are destroyed, the notions gleaned via the original photographs will be what remain.

Concrete illustrates façade elements that are so strongly associated with GDR architectural history, although they can no longer be assigned to any one particular building or function. The adornment is a discreet and yet very "concrete" symbol. Seemingly banal exterior and interior aspects conceal dozens of images that only GDR residents will recognize and associate with memories related to occurrences, encounters or historical moments.
In this respect Gutsche's lino prints are clearly grounded within a historical context and are characterised by a multi-faceted subject matter, which reveals itself to the viewer over time.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Mona Ardeleanu

Kaleidoscope

6/27/2014 – 8/9/2014

Artist Talk with critic Birgit Sonna in the Gallery, Jul 10, 2014

In a style reminiscent of the old masters, Ardeleanu paints constructed fantasy creatures, sticks and poles in costume and fluttering accessories – creatures that seem familiar to us, for they draw on our memories of textures and patterns. Haptic and olfactory associations are quickly formed. We can feel thin gauze or the smoothness of fur and even catch the smell of old clothes. A thread flutters; thick Molton cotton is draped over a ball that is both head and lampshade.

Ardeleanu's irritatingly alive objects express creature-like qualities in the way a successful portrait does, even though they never depict faces. They point us towards our memories – seeing grandmother's wardrobe, blue patterns on porcelain cups, coathangers or back-to-front wigs.
Ardeleanu's shapes are never based on templates or models. Using titles like Schnürungen, Zwirbel or Falter, she always orders and investigates her work in series. At first glance, the logic of her creatures, floating in empty space, seems perfect. However, their proportions are not correct and the internal and external spaces contradict one another. There is no way of understanding what is really going on. Her focus on details such as patterns and functional elements such as laces and knots leads viewers astray. Ardeleanu's painted creations give rise to irritating connotations that remain unresolved.
Besides those stories that viewers discover in her pictures and that remain inscrutable, Ardeleanu is concerned with a sensual style of painting that appears quite natural in its materiality.
Following the success of the solo exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Wagner + Partner is pleased to present new works by this artist.


 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Raïssa Venables

Clearing Space

5/9/2014 – 6/21/2014

Raïssa Venables is well known for her photographs depicting distorted rooms, created digitally from hundreds of close-ups arranged into a single seamless image. Their luminous surfaces lure the viewer into an altered depth of field, generating a sense of wonder and even giddiness, as the multiple layers of the photos reveal themselves as separate and yet inextricably intertwined. Because each of the individual close-ups is taken from a different perspective, together they create the illusion of movement, disrupting our everyday spatial awareness and causing our vision to waver, as if the floor has literally fallen away.

Up until now, Venables has primarily photographed interiors. Her works have investigated private spaces such as bedrooms and hallways, but also caravans and tents, and public buildings such as churches, train stations, and elevators.

For her recent series Venables has moved outdoors. She applies the same combination of analogue and digital photographic techniques to natural spaces. This represents a significant departure from her work, which was dedicated primarily to architectural spaces.

The process for the series is also new to her: rather than revealing every visible part of the place that she captures with the camera, she removes, or clears away, what she perceives to be distractions in the environment. In these images, the white space is not only the result of her dissolving color and matter in an effort to transcend the quotidian; it also is the visible effect of her attempt to remove excess information. Her works respond to the over-saturation of technologically communicated information in our society. In this way, the white becomes a meaning in itself.

These works make the artistic process conspicuous; rather than concealing the contours of each image fragment, the photos show some of these raw edges, and in doing so evoke the distortions and simultaneity of Cubist paintings. They also bring to light the notion of digital manipulation. The composite characteristic of the photos is allowed to reveal itself, and Venables' photographs distance themselves even further from the conventional perspective that has characterized images since the Renaissance.

Peter Dreher

Day by Day Good Day (series 1974 - 2014)

3/14/2014 – 5/3/2014

It was 1974 when the painter Peter Dreher (*1932) began his inimitable project Day by day Good Day. Since then Dreher has created around 6000 oil paintings of an empty water glass where each canvas is 25 x 20 cm in size. Created under similar conditions (format, size and composition), the same glass is always depicted, sometimes at night, or during the day. On the occasion of this project's 40th anniversary, Wagner + Partner honours the artist for a longterm cooperation with a jubilee exhibition, showcasing the most recent works in the series, Day by day Good Day.

Never before has a conceptual painter pursued an idea so consistently and poignantly. At the same time Dreher – who was Professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe for many years – continues to maintain his joy for painting. Each glass is simultaneously part of a much greater concept as well as an 'ode' to painting. In this way Dreher demonstrates once more that beauty, simplicity and contemporary art make good bedfellows.

In recent years Dreher's practice has gained international acclaim. Given that his work is frequently positioned alongside that of younger artists, its perpetually evolving interpretation has also earned Dreher esteem as a highly valued post-1945 German artist. Peter Dreher's paintings are exhibited in respected institutions such as the Cologne Kolumba, the Karlsruhe Kunsthalle and MAMCO in Geneva as well as held in numerous international private collections.

Peter Dreher signs his new catalogue: May 2 at 3 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Josef Wittlich

Celebrities

1/24/2014 – 3/8/2014

With the exhibition Celebrities, Wagner + Partner is pleased to announce the premiere of the work of Josef Wittlich. 11 paintings will be shown from one of Wittlich's themes – celebrities – that of queens, potentates and aristocratic families.

Wittlich's paintings have been categorised as outsider art and recognised in countless exhibitions since the end of the 60s. Nevertheless his clear choice of colours and unabashed outlines are beyond this genre. The classification of his painting within 20C art history also requires a redefinition away from "marginal art" and "the Sunday painter". Not to mention the interpretation and appraisal of his manner of painting with respect to his personal life and living conditions, which also falls short. In fact, his manner of painting with its recognizable style is more akin to the work of Warhol or Lichtenstein. Wittlich developed his style before the Pop Art boom of the 60's and being removed from and uninfluenced by the art world, created a body of work that remained long hidden. Prof. Dr. Grewenig (Director, World Cultural Heritage Site Völklingen Ironworks) maintains that Wittlich is the new discovery of Avant-pop.

Wittlich, who never studied art, was born in 1903 in Gladbach, Westerwald and grew up poor. He worked as an unskilled agricultural labourer and then as a farm labourer near Höhr-Grenzhausen. There he painted in his sitting room and mainly at night under bad lighting. Whenever he finished a painting – often large formats – he would roll it up, lay it aside and begin a new one.

After Worldwar II he returned to Höhr-Grenzhausen, where he worked up until his retirement in a ceramics factory. Wittlich was unrecognised and ridiculed by his co-workers and painted tirelessly in his spare time. In 1967, the painter Fred Stelzig discovered Wittlich's paintings at his workplace in the ceramic factory. It is thanks to Stelzig that Wittlich's prolific body of work was exhibited for the first time, in 1967 at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart. Josef Wittlich died in 1982, unmarried and childless.
Wittlich's imagery essentially encompassed three themes: battle scenes and soldiers, portraits of queens and potentates as well as many paintings of women. Although his inspirations stemmed from magazine photographs, his paintings were far from photo-realistic and always abstracted, often focussed on specific details.

He worked terrifically fast, laying down his pencilled outlines, then blocking the ensuing areas with colour notations – red, green, blue – then painting his distinctive black lines and finally painting in the colour. This method is reminiscent of Andy Warhol's "Do it Yourself (Landscape)" of 1962. His intuitive and yet clearly defined manner of painting portraits incorporates decoration and abstraction in fascinating ways.

Wittlich's view of the "celebrities" of his time conjures up both admiration and alienation. His paintings provide an insight into a world that he himself never belonged to and was only ever privy to through magazine imagery.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Scheitern - So many ways to fail

Anna und Bernhard Blume, Marcel Broodthaers, Miklos Gaál, Claas Gutsche, Eckart Hahn, Mike Kelley, Lars Ø Ramberg, Natascha Stellmach

11/22/2013 – 1/18/2014

Haven't we all failed at least once? Although painful, failure is quintessential and it is virtually impossible to journey through life without it. In fact to not play along with society's norms and values these days will almost guarantee failure. Moreover, failure is affected by deeply personal views related to self-worth and is also synonymous with self-determined and yet unrealised aspirations. Although 'failing' is a daily occurrence, it is indeed still perceived as negative in western society where we are so geared towards success and efficiency: "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?" croons the American musician Beck.

But how is failure viewed in art? Is it even possible to fail? And isn't failure almost a prerequisite for the creative process? The exhibition, Scheitern - so many ways to fail examines this phenomenon. The artist Christoph Schlingensief summed up failure with his performance and political party "Chance 2000" and his election campaign slogan "Scheitern als Chance" (Failure as Opportunity) couldn't be a better motto for this exhibition. The works on show explore not only how to accept failure as something essential, but also as a crucial and fruitful component of the artistic process. Diverse aspects of failure are investigated, together with those that illustrate positive outcomes and ultimately it is the breadth that is explored here, where mishaps, flops and blows are interpreted creatively, addressed humorously or transformed into liberating beginnings.

The advice? Forge on! This applies for example to Marcel Broodthaers whose film La Pluie (Projet pour un texte) shows him stoically writing a text while pouring rain washes it away, and yet the artist never gives up. Contrastingly, Anna and Bernhard Blume battle with the constructivist canon in the photographic series de-konstruktiv by literally arranging a broken Piet Mondrian. And in Miklos Gaál's photograph it was the fence that was broken before some improvisation fixed it. In contrast, Eckart Hahn's painting Wallpaper can be viewed referentially in relation to scientific hubris, despite the fact that scientific research with its constant experimentation is based on the principals of trials and failure. Likewise for Mike Kelley who regularly tackled failure–or rather the mixing of high and low-brow–uses children's artwork to question the approach of art education as well as the therapeutic analysis of art made by children. On the other hand Claas Gutsche and Lars Ø Ramberg address the collapse of the GDR, or rather the fall of political systems. And in Natascha Stellmach's Letting Go project, intimate, personal 'failings' become the literal foundation for self-awareness and transformation.

Discussion with Claas Gutsche, Eckart Hahn and Natascha Stellmach: Jan 16, 2014 at 7pm. Moderation by Jan Kage.

2013

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Erwin Olaf

Homage to Berlin

9/6/2013 – 11/16/2013

For Homage to Berlin, Erwin Olaf visited seven locations around the capital and already this fact differentiates the series from his studio photographs. Each location, from the Olympic Stadium; the Schöneberg town hall, iconically associated with Kennedy's famous proclaimation, "Ich bin ein Berliner"; Clärchens Ballhaus; the old city hall in Klosterstraße; the Neukölln public bath house; a Westend fencing hall, to the interiors of a Freemasons lodge, is representative of a subjective aesthetic and historical significance.

The photographs with their perfectly composed atmospheric moods lead us into a bygone Berlin. We find ourselves in the 1920's of Franz Bieberkopf's sinister, violent and steadily growing metropolis or also in a city with an escalating National Socialism stronghold.
From this historically inspired viewpoint, Olaf gazes into the Berlin of today – known internationally as an unconventional, creative, young and free-spirited city.
As in all his photographs, Erwin Olaf works purposefully and precisely with light and skilfully masters the colour spectrum. With his painterly style of photography he also references the era of New Objectivity.

Nonetheless, the dark and cool precision of Olaf's photographs is irritating. Children on the edge of adulthood confront the viewer with domineering confidence. For Olaf, these children have more power over their world than the children of over a decade ago. Subliminally, these photographs unleash in us the feelings of a mounting, uncontrollable and sprawling power. In other roles, old women display the last of their appeal and in doing so, cannot hide their old age.

Succinct simulations of realities and intuitively built scenes allow for the remarkable tension in Erwin Olaf's imagery, which is bound to leave the viewer with as much discomfort as voyeurism.

Artist talk with Celina Lundsford (Fotografie Forum Frankfurt): Oct 11 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Natascha Stellmach

I Don ́t Have A Gun

6/7/2013 – 7/20/2013

In 2008, the Australian-German artist Natascha Stellmach achieved international acclaim with her controversial and socially critical project Set me free: Who will smoke the ashes of Kurt Cobain?. Her highly-charged and yet intimate installations have since inspired and enthralled the public.

I Don't Have A Gun is Stellmach´s latest exhibition of photographs, text and happenings, opening at Berlin-based gallery WAGNER + PARTNER. This exhibition explores Burnout – a syndrome first classified in 1974 – that has gained much media attention in recent years due to its prevalence in the workplace. Informed by an experience of burnout in the artists' own life, this new body of work is a celebration of renewal. Stellmach does not dwell on the negative aspects of the syndrome – instead her insights are evocative, scurrilous and hilarious.
As always, Stellmach blends fact and fiction – blurring the boundaries of the personal, the historical and the imaginary. Co-opting images from her own life, creating new pop culture texts, and offering a series of 'live' tattoo experiences, this exhibition is a unique and empowering exploration of taboo and self-image.

Inspired by hypnotherapists, buddhists, shamen, crisis centres, yogi's, catholic nuns, psychoanalysts, healers, doctors, lovers, friends, tattooists ... Stellmach's self- experiments form the basis of this exhibition.
One gallery is devoted to enlarged photographs taken from Super-8 family movies. Through these one-off images, the artist transforms her self-image through erasure, drawing and handwritten, provocative invitations to the viewer. Another gallery is dedicated to larger than life hot-pink digital and ink drawings of empowered women playing with "guns" and, in amongst it all, is Stellmach's succinct diary, written across the walls.

At the exhibition's opening and weekly throughout the exhibition's duration – visitors will be able to experience the intimacy and exposure of inkless tattoos administered by the artist. Utilizing the same wit and personal interaction of Stellmach's prior happenings, these inkless, text- based tattoos promise to provide a unique, and cathartic act.
Previous happenings attracted queues of participants at dOCUMENTA (13) and Pulse Miami – where Stellmach wrote text on skin and photographed the results. With the addition of the inkless tattoo "gun" to her practice, the work addresses fear, self-image and notions of attachment in a more potent fashion.

Artist talk with Katja Blomberg (Haus am Waldsee): Jun 26 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Thomas Wrede

Katastrophe und Idylle

4/26/2013 – 6/1/2013

Almost ten years in the making, the internationally acclaimed series Real Landscapes by German photographer Thomas Wrede (*1963), combines landscape panoramas with scenes using miniature models. In doing so, the suggestive power of images from the media as well as our own ways of seeing is questioned. In the overall context of Wrede's practice, there are ironic, clichéd as well as romantic accents in his photographs.

His newest works focus impressively on recent global catastrophes – ones that we are all more than familiar with through the Internet and television: Tsunami's, Fukushima, Hurricane Katrina or the recent Sandy. Wrede works through a phenomenology of destruction via exemplary compositions and through subjective recreation.

Whilst Wrede utilises anthropogenic or natural catastrophes like archetypes in this new series, the viewer will simultaneously experience the strength of their romanticism, which despite the times of digital manipulation, still retain their power. Thomas Wrede perfectfully transforms these photographs with intentionally idyllic sunsets, winter or night scenes.

"I see the world as a big model, as a big set-design and simulation" (Thomas Wrede).

Artist talk with Dr. Frank Schmidt (Kunsthalle Emden): May 23 at 7pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eckart Hahn

Asphodeliengrund

3/15/2013 – 4/20/2013

According to Greek mythology, the underworld was divided into three and one of these lands was the Asphodel Meadows (Asphodeliengrund), where the so-called mythical Asphodel flowers grew.
Eckart Hahn's third solo exhibition with the gallery showcases a sophisticated view of the South German artist. Hahn's paintings have long been favourites of collectors. Most recently they have received acclaim in numerous institutional shows including; Kunstpalais Erlangen, Kunstmuseum Singen and the Mannheimer Kunstverein, who have all presented successful solo shows of his work.

Art critics would define Hahn's work as Fantastic Realism; nonetheless this categorisation insufficiently describes the artist's œuvre. Over the years he has noticeably reduced his colour palette to the base colours of red, yellow and blue, as well as black and white – an aesthetic emphasis that corresponds with a further visual emphasis, namely, his use of space. In contrast to his earlier works, which played out in vast, partly dark landscapes, his current, almost elusory works play out in chamber-like scenes.

"Hahn places irritations in the world, that influence and alter how we see – nothing is certain in his paintings, everything is in perpetual change and yet nothing seems to move. His scenarios appear as if they are frozen; artefacts from the well of a bygone world… Hahn's art contains that certain something that one does not forget, that which still makes painting exciting. Even after years one still finds newness in his paintings, as well as sculptural highlights." (Martin Stather, Kunstverein Mannheim).

Artist talk with Guido Faßbender (Berlinische Galerie): Apr 26 at 7pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Mona Ardeleanu

Softskin

1/20/2013 – 3/9/2013

With Mona Ardeleanu's Berlin debut, Wagner + Partner open their new gallery premises at Strausberger Platz. Under the title of Softskin, the 28-year old Stuttgart painter exhibits her most recent works. Following her studies under Daniel Richer, Franz Ackermann and Karin Kneffel, Ardeleanu has forged her own unique path in the field of painting.

Ardeleanu's compositions investigate interiors, although other than this fundamental enquiry, everything remains open. The associative references of the collage-like arranged objects are primarily situated within the interior themselves and seldom within the picture's environment. Nonetheless, Ardeleanu's paintings are also not entirely abstract. Through her conscious placement of patterns, fabric textures and visual allusions to pieces of clothing, one gains the impression of seeing something familiar. However, the non-referential background or rather the interior of these paintings creates a necessity for revision in the viewer. What remains is uncertainty.

The carefully considered tension between abstraction and realism is also mirrored through forms (shapes, bodies) and material (fabrics, textures). Beyond these formal criteria, it is with questions related to dissociation and transition that the artist concerns herself with. Originating with the epidermis's function, her paintings question the constraints of what one labels inside or out. What is skin? What is a cover? The series Schnürungen (Lacings) 2011 refuses to answer these questions through the use of imaginative, fabric-clad bodies and aims to redefine the body through these means. In this way Mona Ardeleanu's paintings also encourage a compelling discourse beyond the stereotypes of male and female. In doing so they reveal the aesthetic tensions within the confines of our own patrimonial bodies.

Artist talk with Roland Nachtigäller (Marta Herford): Feb 28 at 7 pm.

2012

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Groupshow

I am not interested in reality

11/2/2012 – 11/30/2012

I am not interested in Reality showcases five international photomedia artists exploring the notion of reality, conceptually and innovatively and through approaches other than documentary. The conceptual approach in photography has gained new ground, especially against the current backdrop of how we view images and the fact that any image has the potential for perfect digital manipulation. Documentation and fiction hover dependant upon the concept.

New York artist Raϊssa Venables creates rooms with multiple perspectives that then gain anthropological dimensions. The Finnish artist Jorma Puranen visualises the disappearance of a remote culture, that of the indigenous Sami people. The German photographic artist Thomas Wrede stages romantic landscape clichés and exotic holiday destinations, thus transforming the photographic image into a projection of his own yearnings. The Australian artist Natascha Stellmach explores fears and taboos through worry doll scans and a new poetic installation involving an erotic tale. The portraits of the Dutch artist Erwin Olaf are both erotically loaded and possess a high aesthetic sensibility. His installation Key Hole is a German premiere, in which the visitor can become a voyeur to strange worlds.

Wagner + Partner presents this exhibition as part of the 5th European Month of Photography.

Peter Dreher

The Clover Flower (Die Kleeblume)

9/7/2012 – 10/27/2012

How does art deal with time and how does time treat art?

The solo exhibition of the Freiburg painter Peter Dreher on the occasion of his 80th birthday explores this question. Dreher's paintings appear here pleasantly behind the times. They resist quick consumption, loudness, superficiality. Dreher's paintings require time. Without being heavy, they demand immersion. This is illustrated in particular by his central series of glasses, Day by Day Good Day, which he began in 1974 and continues to work on today.

Dreher began concurrently in 1976 to paint a similar, albeit less purist motif, which would identify him unmistakably as a realist: a clover flower in a glass filled to the brim with water. Including a longer break until 2011 we can follow on 80 canvasses the withering and drying plant, the gradually evaporating water and the accompanying change of pallette in changing light conditions. Time commands attention as it passes.

Peter Dreher, however, has not intended the clover flowers series as a memento mori, he maintains the continuum, adds one moment to another without being dramatic. Not the object, not even time, painting itself is in focus, and one's awareness of it.
For decades the professor emeritus of visual art has belonged to Germany's most important post-war artists. He studied at the Karlsruhe Akademie der Bildenden Künste and was a student of Erich Heckel among others. As teacher at the academy in Karlsruhe he had a strong influence on a younger generation of today internationally renowned artists. Dreher lives near Freiburg and in St. Märgen in the Black Forest.

Artist talk with Dr. Ralf Burmeister (Berlinische Galerie): Oct 5 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Claas Gutsche

drama & romanticism

5/18/2012 – 7/20/2012

Many past things lie in mysterious darkness. Entitled drama & romanticism the gallery presents another set of innovative linocuts by Class Gutsche. Gutsche's themes in his first solo exhibition at Wagner + Partner are places and landscapes of idyllic appeal. The idyllic appearance, however, is in discord with the dark shadings, which the artist works into the linoleum. Gutsche produces a sublime structure of light and shade, which evokes an atmosphere of mystery, but also of menace. In addition, the title of the motif usually indicates the actual place and its history.

Claas Gutsche (*1982), who studied at the Hochschule für Kunst und Design in Halle and at the Royal Collage of Art in London, belongs to a new generation of artists, who consciously re-focus on the rich tradition of linocut technique and aim to tap into its potential for contemporary imagery.
Gutsche recapitulates in his works the functionality of pictures in the media and an accompanying collective cultural memory. Romantic scenes are surprisingly transformed in his often large scale linocuts and lead into sometimes dramatic chapters of German history. An ambivalence appears, questioning our political and historic consciousness. The artist takes a further step in his linocut installations. For the large spaces of the gallery Claas Gutsche has devised oversized linocut curtains of impenetrable black ink. Whatever is hidden behind them becomes an imaginary projection space. This connects directly to Gutsche's series of linocut wallpaper installations, whose fence and wall motifs asked an unmitigated question about the secrets beyond the boundary.

Artist talk with Christoph Tannert (Künstlerhaus Bethanien): Jun 28 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Erwin Olaf

Short Stories

3/16/2012 – 5/12/2012

A short story – meaning short prose – tells of an incident showing a representative excerpt of the protagonists' life. The sudden start of the story is like jumping onto a moving train. The recounted events are compacted, the narrative clearly structured and the end is left open.

Wagner + Partner presents these narrative qualities in the works of Dutch artist Erwin Olaf. Olaf's first solo exhibition in Germany shows a selection of well known series of the last few years combined with a new video installation. With numerous international exhibitions and publications Erwin Olaf has been receiving international attention for years, because his works have a polarizing effect.

The provocation lies partly in their immediacy and intrusiveness with which the artist represents his sometimes erotically charged motifs. Beautiful women and magnificent rooms often reflect a glamorous, dreamlike world, in which dramas unfold at second glance.By means of consistent staging of interior and person Olaf narrates in series such as Hotel, Hope or Grief intense stories in cinematic ways.

This narrative style in photography, as can be found also in Jeff Wall or Gregory Crewdson, reminds us not by accident of the atmospheric scenes of Edward Hopper. Erwin Olaf ties in with Hopper's temporal, spatial and figurative representation in a calculated way. Olaf's photographs remind us furthermore of paintings bathed in light, such as those of Jan Vermeer, who masterfully portrayed women absorbed in domestic work. Erwin Olaf also dives into the flow of time and sets his stories in styles of different eras. At the same time his photographs bring to mind the momentary, the painful recognition of transience.

Artist talk with Dr. Matthias Harder (Helmut Newton Foundation): Apr 24 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eunomia

Ina Geißler & Axel Anklam

1/20/2012 – 3/3/2012

The exhibition Eunomia showcases large-format paintings of Ina Geißler from the newest series Broken Signs in a striking dialogue with Axel Anklam's large-scale sculptures. Eunomia, personification of law and order, represents a concept for artistic process: the permanent reordering of seemingly disparate things.

In Broken Signs, Geißler captures the reflections in a room from a moving disco ball. What is common in all these paintings is a concave or convex room that she breaks down through the repeated layering of colours and forms or through vertical and horizontal bars. Above all this series explores formal variations on the circular form. The circle as a striking juxtaposition to the canvas's rectangle.

Ina Geißler creates dynamic spheres in her paintings that through her multitudinous room compartmentalising encourage the viewer to generate their own imaginings. Her compositions build upon overlaying perspectives, forms, lines and colours as well as light/dark contrast and diverse surface structures. The artist utilises sticky tape to create the differing colour spaces within and on top of each other and via this complex layering a new way of structuring a room is born.

Axel Anklam's sculptures are clear and powerful, with a stunning interplay between vitality and tranquillity. Opaque fibreglass and transparent mesh lay over complexly forged stainless-steel carcasses and with each shift in light and accordingly each perspective and atmospheric alteration new expressions are produced.

The way both artists work with space creates the complexity that is designed to challenge the visitors' view: Supposedly known ways of thinking or seeing can or have to be dismissed. The works have a constant dazzling capacity to be seen afresh, taking on new forms where they are seemingly altered, yet have in effect not changed. This permanent restructuring, this constant movement is what Eunomia represents and it is this artistic process that is explored by Geißler and Anklam. At the same time the works here go beyond art and illustrate the way the structure of society is developing at the beginning of the 21st Century.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Josef Schulz & Georg Karl Pfahler

Signs

11/4/2011 – 1/14/2012

Galerie Wagner + Partner is proud to introduce the first of their experimental dialogues. Signs is a colourful exhibition in the tradition of American pop art that brings together for the first time two very different artists, the photo artist Josef Schulz (*1966) and the artist Georg Karl Pfahler (1926-2002). Starting from the aesthetic appearance of the works, this exhibition discusses anew the well-documented debate on abstraction vs. representation in western art history.

Georg Karl Pfahler is the most well known German representative of Color Field and Hard-Edge painting and was one of the most lauded abstract artists in Germany prior to the re-emergence of the Figurative. The arrangement of space through colour and its geometric composition were central concerns in Pfahlers practice. Simplicity and repetition became his distinguishing mark. His works can also be appreciated as transformed two-dimensional architectural fantasies.

Josef Schulz, one of Thomas Ruffs "Meisterschüler", is showing photographs that take the documentary tradition further through his digital intervention. Schulz's photographs touch on areas of contemporary painting and the starting point of his series Sign out, like his prior series, sachliches/formen (fact/form), is the tangible existent architecture in the images. For this most recent series, large neon billboards along Am

Extrinsically related, Georg Karl Pfahler remains hermetic in his imagery; in contrast Schulz works referentially as a photographer although through his treatment his photographs disassociate from the 'real'. What remains are autonomous signs. The exhibition invites the viewer to experience these two heterogeneous concepts of objective-formal presentation.

Artist talk with Dr. Andreas Schalhorn (Kupferstichkabinett Berlin): Nov 24 at 7 pm.

2011

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Maria & Natalia Petschatnikow

briefly yours

9/2/2011 – 10/22/2011

There are some things we only own for a while, without even noticing it! Following on from Sidewalk, the much admired installation of 2009 at Wagner + Partner by Maria & Natalia Petschatnikov, is their latest exhibition, briefly yours. The exhibition connects paintings and objects of three of the Petschatnikovs most recent series, all which subtly investigate the notion of possessions and ownership. As so often in their work it is the banal everyday things that are artistically explored and viewed from new angles.

City dogs and their owners, retractable leashes and the obligatory pile on the sidewalk. We all know this! In the installation Dogs we see a room full of stylised dogs and a network of leashes where the common becomes comical. Whose leash is leading whom here? Although each individual dog is abstract, in the pack Dogs presents the viewer with many questions.
With Cash, a small-format painted series of banknotes, this idea develops further. Rolled, creased, piled and in a multitude of variations, these notes mutate into colourful craft paper. Like still lives, these absurd arrangements in oil on parchment tell many stories. In the process the monetary worth becomes secondary.
In U8, a series of paintings of the 24 stations of the Berlin U8 underground line, the investigation expands into urban space: moving across the city, getting out of "ones" station, or commuting to work. Temporarily we own the public space, only to forget it as quickly after use.
Briefly yours reveals a disregarded phenomenon, an ever-present, fleeting process of appropriation that the artists make playfully known in this, their latest exhibition.

The catalogue Sidewalk is published at Kehrer art books on the occasion of this exhibition.

Artist talk with Dr. Lars Mextorf: Sept 29 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

LINOCUT RELOADED

Claas Gutsche, Philipp Hennevogl, Thomas Kilpper, Sebastian Speckmann

6/3/2011 – 8/20/2011

The linoprint is experiencing a revival. Emerging artists are increasingly harnessing the linocut to explore contemporary themes, taking what was once simply considered a traditional graphic technique and elevating it as a legitimate form. Large format works, photo-realistic social commentary, installations and three-dimensional presentations are bringing new dimensions to the use of this medium.

The Berlin galleries Wagner + Partner and Hunchentoot are marking this development with a collaborative group exhibition. Through the work of the four artists Claas Gutsche, Philipp Hennevogl, Thomas Kilpper and Sebastian Speckmann from Berlin and Leipzig, the show examines the character of the linocut, the opportunity it offers the artist and how artists are reinvigorating the medium.

A booklet about the exhibition is published.

Artist talk with Ralf F. Hartmann (Kunstverein Nord): Jun 3 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eckart Hahn

MYTHOS incorporated

4/15/2011 – 5/28/2011

Wagner + Partner is delighted to announce the second solo exhibition by Eckart Hahn (born 1971, Freiburg) in Berlin. The exhibition MYTHOS incorporated subtly questions the state of collective pictorial memory today while pursuing the icons of tomorrow.

Against the backdrop of an ever-increasing flood of imagery, pictures that once held iconographic significance have come to lose their function. In the tradition of passing on such pictures, they have also been known to impart values. Moreover, in parallel to a diffusion of these values, such images, myths, or symbols imbued with values have been borrowed to further marketing aims.

Eckart Hahn has now adapted such images of mythic or symbolic force inscribed within pictorial memory, such as for instance a portrait of the Sun King Ludwig XIV, the Adoration of the Magi by Rubens, or the depiction of the Matterhorn. By consciously bringing attention to these images by means of painterly copying, and by furnishing them with devices of alienation such as bags or pools of paint, the artist is querying their iconographic potential for the present day. In the process of painterly reconstruction, Hahn likewise exposes the timeless validity of these universally negotiated images.

MYTHOS incorporated associatively leads one through a series of paintings whose details, chromaticity, and ambience touch the viewer in a calculated way, and whose realistic manner of representation oscillates between Surrealist and recent neofigurative painting traditions.

Within collector circles, Eckart Hahn's paintings and installative objects have incited a furore on an international scale. In 2010, he impressively showed his comprehensive solo exhibition Grat at the Kunstverein Reutlingen. In 2011, the Kunstpalais in Erlangen is presenting the exhibition Der schwarze Duft der Schönheit (The Black Fragrance of Beauty).

Artist talk with Dr. Marc Wellman (Georg Kolbe Museum): May 19 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Thomas Wrede

Anywhere

2/18/2011 – 4/9/2011

Landscapes as projection screens for desires are the overarching theme of the German photographic artist Thomas Wrede (*1963, Lethmate). Since the late 1990s the artist has in various photographic series delved into our – still rather romantically characterised - desire to experience nature. He further questions the truth value and the messages of media images, which are surround us everywhere and at the same time form the visual basis for such desires.

Wagner + Partner is excited to be able to present the next instalment of the series "Real Landscapes" through new works by the artist. The works display Wrede's joy of creating his own visual worlds, which give the viewer the impression of already knowing them. By means of a foreground illusion, achieved through skilful staging of models in the real landscape, such as on the North Sea beach, Thomas Wrede produces pictures that seem without time and place. Anywhere leads through housing projects, snowfields or a South Sea paradise…

By constantly starting with omnipresent media imagery and merging them in his staged pictures with our desires, the artist achieves virtually hallucinogenic landscape images. Wredes works thus become an allegory of our time, in which - as media philosopher Vilém Flusser has put it – reality is forgotten in favor of artificial images. The world of images more real than reality. Absolutely everywhere.

A new catalogue Anywhere published by Kehrer Verlag (hard cover, 132 pages) is available in the gallery.

Artist talk with Dr. Ludger Derenthal (Museum für Fotografie): Mar 03 at 7 pm.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Miklos Gaál

Selbstvergessenheit

12/10/2010 – 2/12/2011

The exhibition title refers to the mental state of immersion, void of directed and intentional thought but being open to the surroundings as an undifferentiated whole. Selbstvergessenheit affirms the possibility of enjoying events unexplained. Gaál's photographic thought reconsiders the ways in which photography is presented, read, and received. The exhibition is a collection of singular works from recent years including photographic prints, a hand printed artist book, a slide show and a silkscreen series that make up a playground in which the viewer's relationship to photography is placed in the foreground.

Viewing an Apple Tree is a silkscreen-printed artist book displaying a singular photograph of a blossoming tree. The source image is divided in sections of the same size and are each shown on a page spread of their own. Each of the nine spreads presents a random sample of the view, rich in detail, with the occasional appearance of the imperfections characteristic of the hand printing process, creating a non-narrative spatial split from the original image.

Again is a series of collages combining silkscreen printing with black-and-white laser photocopies. A grayscale layer is printed in silkscreen on top of prints of a singular photographic image by mixing colours accidentally while printing. The partially transparent monochrome washes cover and unveil the image behind, resulting in a series of prints that are each unique. The series juxtaposes the instinctive, charged element of pigment with the directed photograph. While the aleatory silkscreen layer appears as simple traces of pigment, it responds to the photograph by shaping the formation of the waterscape. The chance relationship between these two printing processes lends a degree of ambiguity to the resulting images.

Hillside is a wintery vista of an urban recreational area. It is a continuation of a body of work of scenic images applying altered photographic focusing and elevated viewpoint, reinterpreting everyday scenery, moments and practices. In depicting a suspended action the vagueness of the scenario itself comes into view. Avoiding any spectacular moment is one of the characteristics of the body of work as a whole, which is interested both in the momentary idleness of the action itself and in the act of looking.

Echo is an image sequence that documents an incident in which an amount of water is trapped inside a bus window between layers of glass. The water is in constant movement as the bus is driving, drawing a line responding to the landscape passing by. The observation of the fleeting event is presented casually as a slide show emphasizing the experience it evokes rather than the physicality of the work.

2010

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Raissa Venables

All that glitters

10/19/2010 – 12/14/2010

The sparkle of the enclosures – The internationally renowned artist-photographer Raissa Venables (1977- ) interprets in her new solo exhibition, embedded into the 4th European Month of Photography, different enclosed spaces in as yet unparalleled fashion. The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the magnificent Green Vault in Dresden, the Richard-Wagner-House in Bayreuth or the cool Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station in New York City. Each of these "enclosures" opens a hidden world.

Raissa Venables has developed a distinctive style over the past years, which crosses the boundary into painting, and her pictures in this style are collected in important national and international museums. Her expert collage technique, which is colourful and creates depth, transforms existing architecture into an experience of the whole in a photographic impression. Three-dimensional spaces become physically transformed; a fourth, emotional dimension appears.

In the past years the American artist has focussed more and more on European architectural history. Here she presents mostly grand and prestigious buildings. After Italian churches she has recently been working mostly with the cultural treasures of Dresden. In her latest works she rekindles the founding spirit of many pieces of architecture. In this way the group of plants drenched in green in the work Palmenhaus, Pillnitz conveys once again the amazement about the first European green houses of the Mid-19th Century. The collector's passion of August the Strong becomes tangible again in all its eccentricity, when Venables traverses the building photographically.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, in cooperation with the BAT Campus gallery, Bayreuth, where further works, mainly created in Bayreuth, are presented at the same time.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Natascha Stellmach

Come Life in my Head

9/3/2010 – 10/23/2010

The works of Australian artist Natascha Stellmach are emotional investigations into the dark worlds of memory, the unconscious and the unspoken. Her installations, photographs and videos are thought-provoking and compelling.

In Guatemala, children who are scared of going to sleep are given tiny handmade dolls (worry dolls) for underneath their pillow. By passing on their fears to the doll they can then sleep peacefully. In Stellmach's ongoing series Worry Dolls, she creates unique works that embody the secrets and nightmares of adults and take on monstrous forms. With titles like Nazi Girl, Killer or Fuckhead, these worry dolls reveal personal stories whose biographical core represents collective experiences and thus becomes universal.
In the series Blood, Stellmach uses photographs as mementos in combination with her own text, bringing forth new associations and alternative narratives.

This formal approach of juxtaposing text and image enables Stellmach to link reality with fiction. She brings into play documentary or staged, biographical or found material in order to tell powerful narratives about the transience and darkness of the human condition.

Like French artist Sophie Calle, Natascha Stellmach is a storyteller who harnesses words and images in order to analyse, fictionalise and reassess. She successfully tackles challenging topics through her sense of the poetic paired with intelligence and black humour. With Come Live in my Head Stellmach invites the visitor in a very personal way to explore the self. In the end there is indeed hope for fantastical dreams.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Open Landscape

Peter Dreher, Friederike Jockisch, Josef Schulz, Thomas Wrede

5/21/2010 – 7/31/2010

Nature became landscape long ago. Since the Romantic period landscape has furthermore been an aesthetic position. But what is landscape for the modern human being? The thematic exhibition at the Wagner + Partner provides a juxtaposition of multigenerational photographic and pictorial approaches to this question. The reference point for all participating artists is the real landscape.

The works of Thomas Wrede and Joseph Schulz increase their charm through friction between photorealistic representation extended through staging and intervention. Wrede, in his series entitled Real Landscapes combines the natural beauty of landscape with constructed miniature models. The landscapes photographed in this way appear seductively plausible and exaggerate the romantic projection.
Schulz similarly aims for an aesthetic exaggeration and idealisation through digital intervention in his nature photographs of the series Terraform. Through the elimination of human traces he reconstructs the lost primordial state of nature and creates people's "internal" images of the landscape.

Similarly originating from actual landscape, Peter Dreher's Schwarzwaldlandschaft (Black Forest Landscape) appears idealistic. It almost appears to be based on the tradition of "Heimatmalerei" (patriotic landscape painting). Viewed in close proximity however, the picture's elements are ordered according to days and time. Each single picture documents what the artist saw and captured at precisely this point in time. Only when viewed as a whole an abstract picture of landscape as space-time-construct appears.

The central theme of Neo Rauch-student Friederike Jokisch is the landscape beyond the established idyll. Her large format pastel paintings make the process of transformation from nature to landscape tangible. In striking pictures "landscape" is demystified and instead ruptures and alienations between culture and nature become central themes.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Claas Gutsche & Sebastian Nebe

Der geheime Garten der Nachtigal

3/12/2010 – 5/12/2010

Blair Witch Project or the fairy tale forest of the brothers Grimm – the forest remains an anarchic island amidst civilization. Place for the mysterious and foreboding. Simultaneously refuge from noise of urban routine and canvas for one's mental state.
In the first joint exhibition of the graduates Sebastian Nebe (*1982) and Claas Gutsche (*1982) such a place develops far from established romantic perceptions at Wagner + Partner.

The large-scale paintings in oil on paper by Sebastian Nebe show scraggy sections of forest and relics of civilization. In their dimensions the works convey a feeling of standing in the forest, though without orientation. Graphically exaggerated, the arrangements are unsettling. As already in his installation Die Schwarze Hütte (The Black Hut), exhibited in the gallery of the HGB Leipzig in 2009, Nebe designs a disquieting reality of the forest, a faintly illuminated twilight zone.

Claas Gutsche also turns his eye to the border region between civilization and nature. His series suburbia are sombre linoleum and woodcuts that make the unsettling nature of this no man's land palpable. Under the surface of idyllic places hide bygone and mysterious things. This metaphorical charge continues in his bronze objects. Barren branches here, lost or forgotten objects there, a bracelet, a bird's nest – all these elements permeate and transform the gallery space.
Embedded in a Gesamtkunstwerk the works of both artists Claas Gutsche and Sebastian Nebe tell each their own mysterious stories and together turn the gallery into The Nightingale's Secret Garden.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Ilkka Halso

Restoration

1/15/2010 – 3/6/2010

Weather has become "climate", climate has turned into "climate crisis" – an unstoppable threat of our natural environment has been a global discussion topic for years. The internationally renowned Finnish artist Ilkka Halso (*1965 ) has been dealing with healing and rescue of endangered nature in his work for the best part of a decade. His photographic interventions are therefore not just the Finnish sequel of the "Landart", developed in the USA in the 1960s, but also a reaction to our changing planet.

The exhibition at Wagner + Partner aims to trace Halso's aesthetic approach of rescuing nature. In the works of the series Restoration the artist develops and builds pseudo-scientific arrangements such as scaffolding trees with transparent gauze and illuminating them. Nature is given "treatment" as if in a field hospital, the damaged patient receives medical care. All photographs are made by night, when nature, so to speak is getting a good night's sleep.

The later series Museum of Nature shows a shift in this healing approach. Nature now is no longer being healed, it is being "rescued". The viewer finds trees and whole landscapes in glass pavilions. Like a work of art, nature is stored and conserved in a museum.
Has the patient become a mummy? This question must remain unanswered. While Ilkka Halso interferes directly with nature in his series restoration (photographic installation), he constructs his nature-protecting buildings by computer (digital construction) in the museum series. No real answer is given to whether this eases or increases the threat. Still, on an aesthetic level this approach of the artist remains appealing.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Eckart Hahn

Intimate Play

11/6/2009 – 1/9/2010

Wagner + Partner is pleased to announce their first exhibition of painter, Eckart Hahn in Berlin, born 1971 in Freiburg.
Intimate Play leads associatively through a series of images whose extraordinary colour and atmosphere are coolly calculated to touch viewers. Their realistic method of presentation oscillates between surrealistic and recent neo-figurative painting traditions. But what differentiates Hahn's work from the Surrealists or some of the representatives of the Leipzig School?

Eckart Hahn constructs intimate play-like scenes in a dramatic way. He deals with the constraints of civilised life: with religion, family, social structures and the signs of their disintegration. However much one is excited by his image constructions, one remains perplexed. There are 'signs' (symbols, scenes, words) that are mediated through form and colour in an accessible way - but where do they lead?

Codes and quotes, such as 'Nike' or graffiti, place the images in the present. They are about us. But has what Hahn presents in his images ever happened to one of us? Looking at Hahn's pictures conjures up in the viewer not so much a memory or a recognition but a high state of alarm. Instead of plausible stories we meet the suppressed that slumbers deep within, the conscious perception of which we have avoided until now. Eckart Hahn plumbs the space between dream and nightmare, the in-between place where we are when our normal daytime consciousness has yet not unfurled its controlling power.

Hahn shows us the way into this in-between state through a pictorial language of form and content with which we are familiar. But, it is one that is not only unusual in the relationships between its components but has also developed over the years into his own visual language. The artist himself compares his images to a loose tooth; one plays with it, it hurts and still one continues, fascinated.

A catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition: Eckart Hahn: Grand Ouvert at Kerber Verlag.

2009

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Ina Geißler

Twister

9/11/2009 – 10/31/2009

The force of tornadoes dissolves existing order, well known and familiar things are unexpectedly whirled around.
The exhibition Twister shows large scale paintings and paper works of the Berlin artist Ina Geißler from her new series Dichtung. Depictions of grids and spheres are intertwined here: The grid as ornament is serial and thus infinitely repeatable. The sphere, as a closed shape, is hermetic and confining. From the connection of these contrary forms appear spaces that rotate and pull the viewer into their vortex. Fragments of urban architecture can be glimpsed in this swirl.

Geißler dismantles existing architecture and reassembles it in construction kit style. In the process of painting, the photographic prototype emancipates itself. It ends up revealing itself only by association, becomes fragmented. The representational origin of the motifs dissolves into an abstract picture, where the order of up and down, inside and outside, near and far no longer exists. A new spatial arrangement appears, built up of many layers. Geißler applies one layer of paint upon another in egg tempera. Here the colours converge, there they separate sharply.

The result is a futuristic architecture, that finds its counterweight in the brushed areas applied with matte and muted pastose colours. The connection of architectural space with sensuous painting is unfamiliar and dynamic. The eye enjoys following the swirls, in the end discovering a new horizon of experience.

Ina Geißler (*1970) completed her studies at the Universität der Künste Berlin as master scholar under Prof. Marwan.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

One Step beyond Reality

Eva Lauterlein, Josef Schulz, Natascha Stellmach, Raissa Venables und Thomas Wrede

7/17/2009 – 9/5/2009

Galerie Wagner + Partner proudly present this year's summer exhibition with five international photographers that deal with the issue of truth content in photography.

Raissa Venables (USA) and Joseph Schulz (Germany) question and scrutinize Architecture and space. While Venables queries the psychological and emotional character of spaces in a familiar way, Schulz manages to make architecture reappear in its fundamental features through digital reductions.
Thomas Wrede (Germany) continues his series Real Landscapes, by staging models and real landscapes in such a way that the finished photographic "picture" leaves the observer unclear about which layer of reality is shown. Natascha Stellmach (Australia) also crosses layers of meaning in photographic depiction, combining text excerpts from her diaries with staged portraits of a girl; she suggests here a meaningful connection that never existed.
Finally, Eva Lauterlein (Switzerland) questions "reality" of modern portrait photography, that is never "true" but always just "intentional". Her faces are the skillful product of elaborate photo collage, more frightening than beautiful, but more "genuine" than any seemingly "real" portrait.

Each artist skillfully calls on the observer to undergo a general overhaul of their view of reality, and "see" in a new way. In the combination of these different positions Wagner + Partner would like to make a contribution to the critical exploration of our own perceptual habits.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Josef Schulz

übergang

1/23/2009 – 3/7/2009

In present-day Europe internal borders are losing their political and economic dividing function. Since boom gates disappear more quickly than psychological barriers, the old borders remain in people's consciousness. The long-term consequences of this geographic expansion of Europe into an externally functional unity, albeit culturally and ideologically in conflict, are still unforeseeable.
Joseph Schulz has found convincing images for this complex historic change. In his series übergang [transition], begun in 2005, he focuses on the architecture of abandoned control posts of inner-European borders. Robbed of their function, the checkpoints appear like modern ruins; Schulz consciously shows no cars or people. The anonymous functional architecture presents itself surprisingly varied in this extensive series.

The border posts stand out in sharp contrast in their misty surroundings, and this conjures up their imminent disappearance even more clearly. This fading effect is the result of digital editing which makes the background recede. The border territory becomes indistinct and interchangeable. The veiled context reduces the checkpoints to models - phase-out models. At the same time they appear as memorials for the past division and remind us of what is still unaccomplished. They mark the transition from past to future.

In übergang Joseph Schulz presents a consistently conjugated block of works in the tradition of the Becher school, to which he feels connected as a Ruff-apprentice. Just as in his Centre Commercial, Sachliches [matter of fact Things] or Formen [Form] the artist applies digital means in addition to documentary arrangement in order to produce architectural clarity. The documentary core is intensified. The visible manipulations on the photographs do not diminish the exhibits' reality content. On the contrary: the photographic transition, which Schulz embarks on, serves the discovery of truth.

 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Raissa Venables

Maybe too lofty?

12/5/2008 – 1/17/2009

Since the Renaissance we have become used to seeing spaces in painting in perspective. What slowly appears in Pre-Renaissance Italy with Giotto's new spatial perception find its zenith with Brunelleschi with the invention of central perspective around 1420. The painted space is constructed mathematically towards a vanishing point. The pictorial alignment of all objects in it conforms to an illusionist rendition of reality. This is no different in the later appearing photography; the mathematical construction is replaced by the laws of the optic lens.

The works of Raissa Venables break the photographic laws of optics as the artist procures a new freedom in the arrangement of the picture through digital processing and intervention. The works of Venables recall medieval thematic perspective. Spaces and objects are represented according to their spiritual significance, not their natural appearance. This is assisted by the artist's expressive choice of colour.
What appears formally like a regression in the dealing with spaces, is the order for Venables: while her early work were set primarily in private, intimate spaces, in her new exhibition the artist shows large and public places.

Mundane and sacred spaces are the theme of Maybe too lofty?. Venables explores the unconscious experience we have in such spaces with acute sensibility and gives them an outlet. The artist traces the places and ends up in a new "thematic perspective", which corresponds much more to a anthropological way of seeing.
Her newest works have a formal and colourful elegance. They guide us through big train station cathedrals, into century-old churches and hidden temples. All places are "lofty". One must only be able to see. With her new solo exhibition Raissa Venables gives us back a piece of the ability to see.

2008

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 Galerie Wagner + Partner

Helena Blomqvist

The last Golden Frog

10/17/2008 – 11/29/2008

Helena Blomqvists (Sweden,*1975) photo collages are complex woven fabrics of figures, artifacts, symbols and citations. An exciting mix of philosophical contemplation on the one hand and off-key humour on the other. Yet the photos reveal their special magic at the point where the arranged and digitally edited scenes suddenly appear to be like the surroundings in which the photographs are hung. The border between reality and fiction seems to melt. The viewer can change almost playfully between the layers of reality and imagination. Even Swedish children's book author Astrid Lindgren did not carry her readers off to new worlds more beautifully.

Once upon a time… Like a scene from a fairy tale. A boy entwined with red flowers sits like a knight on a Lama. In front of him, as his companion, sits a fully dressed monkey, and together they look towards an adventure. Despite a fantastic and slightly odd impression one can subliminally sense an approaching catastrophe. Each photographic arrangement shows a drama in a particular situation. As if in a perpetual snapshot of life we see departure, sadness, companionship – and time and again darkness.

As in her previous series, Helena Blomqvist captures the archetypes of our collective photographic memory. The reference to photographic practice of the 20th century is shown for example in the standardised group picture with soldiers, in the arrangement as well as the colouring. If the protagonists were not apes the pictures might have been taken out of a photo album of the First World War. Or are we actually dealing with a scene from Planet of the Apes? Blomqvist lays down many different visual tracks. In the end however the view again becomes free for the mechanisms of memory through photography. It used to be…

Helena Blomqvist has already exhibited very successfully in Scandinavia; Wagner + Partner present her first solo exhibition in Germany in the context of the Third European Month of Photography in Berlin.

I just wanted you to love me

Peter Dreher, Natascha Stellmach, SPAM the musical

9/5/2008 – 10/11/2008

Where would pop culture be without its immortal Dead? Is death itself already Pop?

Recently the artist Natascha Stellmach acquired the ashes of former Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, who passed away in 1994. Ignited by this, her new installation encompasses photographic works and objects that investigate suicide, near death and the question of what remains after death. For one work, set me free was written in the ashes and scanned. In another, Kurt Cobain, Adolf Hitler, Diane Arbus and the Brothers Grimm meet in a hallucinogenic twilight zone, the words of the story printed in tainted shades of grey, on black. And in an antique cigarette case engraved with Gone., a joint made of ash and hash waits for its liberating ritual.

For several years Peter Dreher has also been preoccupied with the subject of death, although ostensibly. The renowned artist of the series, Tag um Tag, guter Tag (Day by day is a good day), who has painted the same drinking glass since 1974, here covers meters of paper in human skulls. These gouaches, through their bleeding surfaces, reveal the remarkable form of the skull. Only within the context of the distinct outline do the abstract areas of colour convey meaning. Through Dreher's serial layering, death becomes more abstract and loses its terror. Don't his skulls grin?

In contrast, email spam seems immortal and celebrates its 30th birthday this year. In the cross-media project, SPAM the musical videoartist Boris Eldagsen have made spam both his artistic subject and method. Spam emails were collected for two years to become scripts for video art. These 5-minute videos with titles such as The Lonely Girls or The Lottery are presented entertainingly and their promises visualised operatically. Still spam also has its dark side. In each video's second part, 'deleted scenes', illusions about love and desire are rapidly broken. You find SPAM the musical everywhere on the web, in your spam filter or http://www.spamthemusical.com.