‘Walking the line VI’ at Galerie Martin Kudlek

‘Walking the line’ is an annual group exhibition put on by Galerie Martin Kudlek. Now in its sixth year the show contains work from 9 new artists who have each made an impression on the gallerist’s mind over the last 12 months. The stylistic diversity of the pieces on display is set off by uneven and inconsistent framing which, whilst unorthodox, ultimately works to compliment the unique aspects of each.

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Hedwig Brouckaert Untitled (HBR/P 10), 2014, Carbon on Paper, 43 x 32,5 cm

Hedwig Brouckaert is a Belgian artist who creates work with tracing-paper and carbon pencil; taking advertising images from magazines and elements such as hair she transfers a variety of forms on top of one another, until their outlines morph into multi-layered masses. The result is simultaneously chaotic and strikingly fragile. The works featured in the exhibition give the impression of wind-tussled haystacks whose kinetic contours and submerged silhouettes assuredly draw the eye in.

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Hans Lemmen: o.T. (HL/P 2), 2011-2015, Ink and Casein on Paper, 30,7 x 23,2 cm

The drawings of Dutch artist Hans Lemmen maintain this enticing quality. Putting ink and Casein paint to paper Lemmen creates dream-like depictions of figures and landscapes that teeter on the point of the grotesque. The artist uses dark colours and intense detail to depict macabre subjects;  one work, which is drawn upon yellowed paper, features a body being pecked at by crows. Lemmen’s  work is skilfully bizarre, he draws eerie matter with such delicate detail that the humour behind it is not lost on the viewer.

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Katrin Bremermann: 195 (KB/ P 32), 2015, Varnish on Paper, 40,5 x 29,7 cm

Across the gallery hang works from Katrin Bremermann. Using a range of brightly coloured varnishes on paper the artist plays with the possibility of form. Each work is a geometrical frame, the coloured varnish is applied in exact lines and points across the page. These strong outlines  create new spaces in which the eye can wander. Bremermann’s work is wonderfully balanced, the underlying pencil lines visible in a few of the works demonstrate the precision of her practice. Although accurate her strict lines feel far from stilted, they draw the viewer in to discovering further forms and new organic shapes.

‘Walking the line VI’ eschews conventional curating in order to showcase the work of 9 very individual artists. An honest display of talent it offers an enlightening alternative to the ‘concept-conscious’ group show.

Photographs Courtesy of Galerie Martin Kudlek: http://www.kudlek.com/

Full list of artists:                                           

Katrin Bremermann

Hedwig Brouckaert

Károly Keserü 

Dan Beudean

Sharka Hyland 

Hans Lemmen 

Karine Rougier 

Stratis Tavlaridis

Christos Venetis

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Nina Beier at The Kölnischer Kunstverein

Last night mixed-media artist of the moment Nina Beier spoke about her practice at The Kölnischer Kunstverein. Born in 1975, the Dane began her career in London and is now based in Berlin. Since 2010 her work has been lauded for it’s aesthetically fluent yet thought-provoking nature.

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A fan of the found object Beier has employed everything from Persian rugs to banknote beach towels in order to confront the theme of time in her work. Beier eloquently spoke about taking inspiration from internet stock images, the anonymity and agelessness of which have prompted her to realise them in her art, giving physical substance to things that might have otherwise been lost or forgotten in our self-deleting digital age.

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Beier reproduces these stock images in various formats. In her earlier work she printed them as large, simplistic images, dipped them in glue and draped them across everyday objects such as radiators, to dry. Recently she has taken a more 3D approach, using real items to recreate the images themselves and then dropping them into water. Suspending a mundane object such as a white mug with copper coins pouring out of it, in an oversized, apparently full, cocktail glass, she creates a sense of movement, a trait employed by stock image creators in order to set their image apart from competitors.

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The artist explained how her fascination for the history of the object and the image is something that she continues to explore in her latest work. We were given a brief preview of a piece from ‘Cash For Gold’, which opens at the Kunstverein Hamburg next week. A painted porcelain figure of a dog is positioned next to a to a vase. Whilst both are made from the same material and in a similar style one was produced in China and the other in Italy. Each of the items have bite-shaped sections removed from them. The missing pieces create visual threads that link the two together.

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The work of Nina Beier is in many ways difficult to fault. Carefully conceived and elegantly executed it is bolstered by philosophical thought and critical social comment that strive to make it relevant in a disorientated era. An archetype of the art of our time: whilst the work looks and sounds theoretically good, the repeated use of readymade aspects make it ultimately feel anonymous.