Wo Man Sich Trifft: Exhibition at the Emsdettener Kunstverein

Participating artists: Matthias Weischer, Lara de Moor, Rezi van Lankveld, Kiki Kolympari,David Benforado, Erwin Bohatsch, and Caitlin Lonegan.

The motifs in the work of Kiki Kolympari (Germany, 1974, works in Athens) behave like words on the tip of your tongue –almost but not fully recognizable. The ambivalence is part of the painter’s intention. She offers us a range of sensibilities caused by colors and forms at play.There is a haptic quality to the work, an immediate feeling of touch that can best be enjoyed close to the surface. A few steps further back, the focus is on the orchestration of the whole, the play between fore-and background, the compositional equilibrium, the feeling of floating or gravity, and, sometimes, a scene that reveals itself as an interior, a human figure, or an object.
Kiki Kolympari, Safety first, 2021, 70x50cm, acrylic on canvas

Lyrical abstraction

What happens when we look at a painting and cannot immediately name what is depicted? Instead of identifying a subject matter or scene, we can observe other aspects: texture, details, how a curve bends, how two colors bond or contrast, and the overall atmosphere.

The abstract paintings of David Benforado (Greece, 1977, works in Athens) often balance between suggesting the outlines of a landscape and simply showing color, gesture, and texture. There might be a hint of spatial orientation, such as lights appearing against a dark sky. Or, the relation to nature might come through a specific color the artist chooses to evoke a certain space. Some of the works seem gentle and hospitable, while others confront the viewer with harsher aesthetics.
For Erwin Bohatsch (Austria, 1951, works in Vienna) “space” refers primarily to the pictorial space of a painting, and not to a place in the world outside, or to a figure or a story. Bohatsch has, over decades, developed a unique vocabulary of lyrical abstraction. His palette evokes a melancholic world view, where a sense of loss comes together with a receptiveness for thevisual beauty of forms. Defined parts of the canvas alternate with empty areas that leave space for the viewer’s imagination.
The works of Caitlin Lonegan (USA, 1982, works in Los Angeles) are developed through a slow process in which the artist works simultaneously on several different paintings. Her work is about the nuances in looking, and it evolves from re-thinking the gestures that are available in the history of painting, such as those of the impressionists and the abstract expressionists. Through different layers of paint, she creates an atmosphere on the pivot between subjective and objective. The artist sees her work in an active dialogue with the tradition of painting. She notes: “I don’t want to do what Monet did back in 1890. I want to do whata Monet is doing to me now.”

This exhibition is curated by Jurriaan Benschop, who works as a writer and curator in Berlin and Athens. His book Why Paintings Work(2023), contains chapters on several of the exhibiting artists.

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Η Βανέσσα Πανοπούλου σπουδάζει στην Αρχιτεκτονική Χανίων και είναι υπεύθυνη για την επιμέλεια και την ροή άρθρων του ηλεκτρονικού μαγκαζίνο artviews. Στον ελεύθερο χρόνο της ασχολείται με την δημιουργική γραφή και την αφηρημένη εξπρεσιονιστική ζωγραφική με ακρυλικά.


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