Installation view | courtesy of the artist and Stallmann
“I’m nothing more than what I put out there”
These paintings need no explanation.
Blood, paint, fingertips, footprints. Paint between thick and heavy brushstrokes and dissolving colour traces. White, black, Red, Yellow; some orange. Splashes: There’s the blood again.
Why (am I gonna die)? Is it violence? Aggression. Strength. Something needed to be pronounced. Since this thought stems from before knowing about writing this text: These paintings are strong.
These are War Images, layed above one another. They have become unidentifiable, but their sense remains: You’re gonna die.
This is neither an explanation nor a tour. A proposition.
Absence. Filled with the presence and strength of the paint. Rain as tears. Yet, some forms resemble flowers.
Confrontation. Snowstorm, Ausgeburt in front of an explosion of light. Again blood; and the web of a spider. Though only loosely, no constructed form but oneway threads. Lost in universe or killed in their purpose.
Void. Filled. Ausgeburt takes form. Seemingly a baby, again blood. A form placed over a pleat. In the middle: flowers.
The works oscillate between these flowers and flesh. Which is not an opposition, actually. A variation. Or transformation. Yes, the paintings move. And yet are strangely static. It’s pure tension. The pain seems stopped in its moment of motion. It was; and yet, it wasn’t.
Flowers and flesh. Angels and air. A horse mounting the sky, into the light. – Relief.
Mother and son, it seems. Two heads. The pain gets literal, takes on a human form. This time there’s no comfort. But the strange distance of a blurring and, again, static historicity put between you and the figures. A halo around the head of the boy. And a blue footprint on the white shirt of the woman. One doesn’t have to read it that way. But one could. Somebody is putting the finger into the wound. It was clear he would die anyway. When the baby was born in an explosion of flowers, blood, light. And paint.
This exhibition unfolds as a story, a metamorphosis. Readable in two directions. Which one doesn’t matter. There’s flowers and flesh, angels and air; snowstorm and light, blood and paint. Violence and love.
A common ground: “You’re gonna die. Unless these paintings convince you otherwise.”
It’s about empathy; catching a moment of death. And truth.
There’s Guston and Twombly; Caravaggio and Vermeer, Tillmans, Tarkovsky and Aitken. But these paintings are the next generation.
words by Christina-Marie Lümen
The Good and the Bad, the Ecstasy, the Remorse and Sorrow, the People and the Places and how the Weather Was (over massacre), 2021, oil, enamel on inkjet print on vinyl, 250 x 200 cm | courtesy of the artist and Stallmann