Winter Window Project at Trödelmarkt
25 November 2014 – 4 January 2015
Jude Griebel: Reanimator
The series of work titled Reanimator reflects Jude Griebel’s interest in applying scientific aesthetics traditionally equated “truth”, such as models and dioramas, to alternative, psychological understandings of the body and nature. These works explore the dichotomous tendencies of human desire to romanticize and meld with, yet remain autonomous from the natural world. In Reanimator, this conflicted relationship is navigated through detailed sculptures that reference subject matter dealing with superstitious fears surrounding nature, personifying it as a force opposing humanity.
Taxidermy and museum displays typically portray fragmented and idealized vignettes of the natural world, re-composed and staged, despite being in a state of destruction. Animals and their environments become suspended in time through plastics and craft technologies for both didactic and trophy purposes. In Reanimator, Griebel sought to subvert this tradition of display and conquest through tongue-in-cheek humor in which humans succumb to natural cycles of growth and decay. The work presents metaphorical vignettes in which nature triumphs over humankind. Flowers blossom, insects and animals mate and hands surrendering to the soil become stages for proliferation. The sculptures function as hybrids between the nature vignette and vanitas tradition, in which the futility of our inevitable end is playfully countered with a sense of acceptance and becoming.
9 October until 23 November 2014
Ralph Bürgin: souterrain
In architecture the souterrain (French for ‘under the ground’) is the part of the house that sits underneath ground level or in other cases just above ground level in which case it can also have windows. To the artist Ralph Bürgin the souterrain is a useful term to describe the human psyche as something hidden underground, just underneath the surface of our tangible, visible world. To Bürgin it is the realm of the irrational, the surreal, of intuition and emotion, which he seeks to explore through painting. As much as the architectural souterrain is situated between the ground floor and the cellar, Bürgin’s paintings similarly are products half-way between both a conscious, rational approach and an intuitive, expressive mode of painting. To a similar end, with “souterrain” as the title Bürgin invites visitors to the exhibition to imagine the gallery space to be lowered and to sit half underground offering an adequate environment for his paintings that border on the subconscious and investigate the fragile balance between abstraction and figuration.
The human body recurs in almost all of Bürgin’s compositions. While excluding realistic details the artist instead paints outlines that describe abstracted, fragmented anthropomorphic shapes of varying degrees of representation or abstraction. In some pictures, muscular and melancholy male figures move against a flat ground. The melancholy mood being is increased by the range of cool colours that dominate Bürgin’s works and in which the colour black often takes on a leading role. Other paintings bear more abstract, anthropomorphic forms, fragments of the human body such as torsi, feet, teeth, or hands, and challenge the borders of figuration. In these paintings Bürgin’s interest in the human body takes the shape of disproportionate, disfigured and fragmented body-parts, which adds to their melancholy nature elements of the grotesque. Certain of the figures or body-parts make their appearance in several paintings and thus become a recurring motif. Other paintings are marked as a series by their titles, the titles themselves adding another level to the works: It is left to the beholder to through the medium of language half rationally, and half intuitively seek to establish links, narratives and meanings between words and image. Digging within the murky waters of not-knowing, doubt, and questions, the beholder may harvest new ideas and connotations, and may even step down a little for a glimpse into their own subconscious, their own souterrain.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
Ralph Bürgin lives and works in Basel, Switzerland
1 August until 7 September 2014
Malte Bruns: The Visitor
Curated by Jürgen Dehm
Where might she come from? Is she of human origin, this delicate appearance in Malte Bruns’ video “The Visitor”? She stands motionless between two curtains with vertical drapes. The figure with the bob haircut und the close-fitting, pink dress does not want her face to be looked at; her head is turned to the side. A white cloth hanging from her forehead down to her waist strips her of her visage, takes away her identity. From somewhere the wind blows slightly, setting both the cloth and the voluptuous curtains in motion.
At Gallery Sturm’s show room at the Troedelmarkt in Nuremberg, Malte Bruns’ video work “The Visitor” is exposed to the glances of the passersby. But the averted figure it shows seems to be uncomfortable with the attention she arouses. Standing in the display window, a place in which traditionally goods are offered for sale – generally presented in an appealing way – she draws back, turns away. She does not dare to move a step forward; to step through the curtains. The desire that goods in window displays are meant to arouse, gets diverted by the electronically generated opacity on the screen. Drops of water and a layer of dirt interfere with a clear sight; as opposed to a crystal clear display window and mark the line between the viewer and the presentation, between desiring customer and desirable product.
With her veiled face and the feminine outline, the figure in “The Visitor” refers to the iconography of Lady Justice. But in contrast to the personification of justice who holds scales and a sword in her outstretched arms, the appearance in Malte Bruns’ work is lacking those attributes. Her arms are hanging down, her hands are out of frame. With her head lowered, she appears to be in a state of acquiescence. At one point in the video loop the artist himself emerges as a reflection, constituting the visitor who awakes the figure from her petrifaction. She slowly moves her head and turns to him. The melancholic atmosphere exuding from „The Vistitor“ gets broken up for a short time. There’s (still) life in this fragile figure, in her reminding pose lies hope.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
22 May until 6 July 2014
Jasmin Schmidt: plot painting
Galerie Sturm is pleased to announce the solo exhibition “Plot Painting” with new works by Jasmin Schmidt.
Jasmin Schmidt’s “Plot Paintings” depict structured surfaces: Lines, rhombuses, triangles or squares form the large-scaled paintings’ compositions and subordinate singular works in an individual scheme. They are aesthetic systems, borrowed from neutral, basic architectural elements and personal memories of perception, photographs or finds. Therefore, Schmidt’s works always shift between a threshold of apparent rationality and subtly established affect. They comprise both the reduced abstraction of minimalism and representational features of geometric bodies. The term “plot” unites this ambivalence: It refers to an area, as well as to a narration’s storyline, and thus implies both significant aspects of the paintings.
While each of the grids of the “Plot Paintings” seem to follow a continuous and logical pattern, the story line is interrupted. Neither its beginning nor its ending are evident. The narration remains unexplained. Instead, each work invents an individual image space – a snapshot – that detaches itself from its original associations and memories, as to create an autonomous position. Not an illusion, but “the image itself”, Schmidt points out, “is the essential place, a new place.”
In the paintings of Jasmin Schmidt architecture becomes the image. This strategy is strikingly explicit in the work “Bossenwerk” (2014). It shows an excerpt of dozens of stacked, diamond-shaped cuboids, piling up into a solid brickwork – a bossage. Merely the red colour, light and shadow disengage the non-place from its entire indefiniteness.
The works’ colours and forms first develop in the process of painting, while approaching the surface of the support base. In her “Plot Paintings” Schmidt applies colours onto the rear side of old school maps made of nettle cloth. Rather than being interested in their content, she concerns herself with the condition of the second-hand medium. The re-contextualised maps feature rips and porous spots, some are stained or sun-bleached. These qualities become an integral part of the paintings – they are the motifs’ source. This thorough handling of materiality is noticeable in the dark work “Cage” (2013): The image shows the superimposition of a vertically striped pattern and a split, windowless cabin. Beneath the architectural form, the nettle cloth is horizontally sewed up with another piece of cloth. At this point the motif disperses and suggests a reflection of the cabin. In this way Jasmin Schmidt creates a reciprocal interplay between paint and material, enabling them to “constitute a new system that is inherent in the image.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
16 June until 21 June 2014
20 March until 11 May 2014
Tobias Buckel: Display
Galerie Sturm is pleased to present the solo exhibition “Display” with new works by the German painter Tobias Buckel.
In his most recent works, Nuremberg-based artist Tobias Buckel challenges the medium of painting, as to decipher its own modes of representation of and within space. He questions the self-conception of the performative space and similarly elevates it to be the content of his motifs. A rectangular shape, such as that of a frame, reoccurs throughout Buckel’s compositions: it highlights selected parts of the work, separates painted areas from each other and evokes fore- and backgrounds, eventually creating an image inside an image, a frame inside a frame. His works play with the alternation of small and large formats, in which the frames appear like an extension of the composition. In that sense, the exhibition’s title “Display” refers to the image as an instrument – and not exclusively as an object – of representation.
The works are dominated by a graphical aesthetic: they comprise lines, boxes, cubes and geometric shapes in abstract and representational forms, each acting in different functions.
The overlay often accentuates the contrasts between flat and deep image areas. While Tobias Buckel develops these forms in a concentrated and pondering process, in which he applies and often overpaints, the thin layers of colour emerge intuitively and eventually isolate different framings from each other.
Nevertheless, Buckel does not follow a strictly enclosed vocabulary of forms, but he also incorporates playful elements into his works’ compositions. The large-scaled painting “Doppelung” (2013), for example, comprehends this polarity: Constructed from a figuratively outlined space, a raw and large rectangle overlaps the depth of the vague background. Thereby, Buckel analyses the tension between the image and its proximate surroundings, inventing painterly spaces of representation. The threepart paper-series “Panini” (2013) follows a similar intention, even if their figurative appearance and the matted vinyl colour distinguishes these paintings from the aesthetic of the other exhibited works. In these images Buckel quotes Giovanni Paolo Panini’s fictive veduta paintings of italian palaces’ interior views from the 18th century. Adorned with curtains and charged with theatricality, the original idea of the display – that is, of representational gestures – is pursued and enhanced into an interpretation of Salons of art, and thus into an act of performativity.
A booklet is published along with the exhibition, displaying a previously unreleased selection of motifs from Tobias Buckel’s sketchbook.
23 January until 9 March 2014
Jochen Pankrath: ,
Galerie Sturm is pleased to present the solo exhibition “,” with new works by the German painter Jochen Pankrath.
In his new solo show at Galerie Sturm Jochen Pankrath exhibits more than a dozen works, in which he challenges the illusionary and narrative level of his figurative paintings, and approaches an interplay between fictional and real space. In doing so, the artist selectively moves elements from inside the image space into the actual gallery space: In his tryptich Theorie und Praxis (2014) interior- and exterior space are entwined with each other in the shape of a green puzzle piece, which seems to have disengaged itself from the large scaled image and subsequently fallen down to the gallery’s floor. Similar to what drama theory would commonly refer to as a breaking of the imaginary “fourth wall” between actors and audience, Pankrath’s paintings overcome the threshold between image and viewer.
In other works Pankrath reverses the process, as for example in his referral to a Caspar David Friedrich painting Abschied der Dame am Meeresstrand (CDF) (2013), by integrating his personal reality – specifically motifs and traces of working materials such as tubes of colour, brushes or a coating knife – into his paintings. Suggesting a blurred discrepancy between image- and real space with these works, the artist expands the two-sided approach with his painting En Face (2013) into an intervention between viewer and image: While the two naked figures on the image are smeared with blue paint and thus remind of Yves Klein’s famous performance Anthropometries of the Blue Period (1960), Pankrath invites the exhibition visitors to actively participate in the work. Two grey cardboard boxes, coated with grey chalkboard colour, are placed on top of the figures’ heads and may be scribbled with chalk. For this reason, the painting’s state of completion is modified repeatedly.
In this process, Pankrath aims to explicitly interrupt accustomed structures, compositions and colour distribution: He seeks a recurring recreation of his artistic formal language and prevents limiting schemes. Likewise, the protagonist of the small scaled work Im Bereich des Möglichen (2013) exceeds her limits by crossing the borders of the canvas, leaving a small black brush stroke on the exhibition wall right next to the frame. Within this small gesture of transgression, the brush stroke does not only emblematically represent the bridge between fictional image space and reality, but it also acts as the exhibition’s title “,”.
Jochen Pankrath, born 1981 in Roding (Bavaria), graduated in 2009 as Meisterschüler at the Kunstakademie Nürnberg under Prof. Ralph Fleck. His works have recently been exhibited at the Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft – Kunstverein Nürnberg, at Kunstgalerie Fürth and at Kunstverein Mannheim. Pankrath is an awardee of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and he received the Kunstpreis der Nürnberger Nachrichten in 2013. The artist lives and works in Nuremberg.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.