We welcome as a guest artist – painter and sculptor Alexander Esters
in a first solo-show in Berlin.
And what if they are not dead?
Let us… who have come... where to?
Into the white... no, into the grey cube...
Being John Malkovitch? No, Alexander Esters – isn't it?
in this or a similar way, do our thoughts flip over, tumble, roll apart and generate wild associations as we dive into the cosmos of the artist's works which titles evoke various tracks and manifold emoluments.
And still, it is not the naive and childish, but the magic in what is known that unfolds and guides us like Ariadne's thread through a labyrinth made of the artist's worlds of thoughts and images. Numerous and full of relish are his allusions to art history and humanities, and consequently, to the history of perception and cognition.A memorial to the Ear is erected as an “Ohrenbrunnen” (“Earfountain”),….From afar, one can hear Herder's sheep of conscience baa through the ear, thus linking the one to the other, to the subject – „Hört ihr die Signale“ („Can you hear the signals“). Still at the same time, the Eye as a counterpart, or yet as an inalienable antagonist, links the one to the world, that is, to the object - as it unveils the chamber of curiosities in an exquisite, balancing act.
What is held in abeyance here is a cognition theory topic which Alexander Esters on no account tackles with the predominance of the sole eye. Does the imaginary world of his works, however, have a tone, and is its beauty to be found in the ear of the contemplator („Im Ohr des Betrachters“), as the title of one of the works suggests?
Is this a melody thought to be almost lost, and which ascends from the very depth of the dark portraits' memories, seductively twining and nestling to the white sculptures; so as to eventually compose a many-voiced partition that harks to a remote past and paradoxically enough, is also anchored in the present time – building in the very Now its own pitch of the voice, a singular pictorial handwriting?
Holbein's images of personalities, merchants, envoys, religion benefactors, erudites, all wearing black garments, bedizened with emblematic attributes and draped curtains in the background, can cross the contemplator's mind exactly like Tizian's allegory of age. But not youth, manhood and old age are to be seen on the three-headed picture „In the delusion of the work“ („Im Wahn des Werkes“), but rather, either dazzling facets of one single playful character, or the resonant interplay of a strange trio whose front man stares at the viewer, looking rather at a loss than versed.
Gestures and poses are taken, attitudes are shown, with plinths and pedestals showing, erecting, demonstrating, staging, exhibiting, setting up to a fare-thee-well, following the motto: the show must go on! Some treasuries are framed and shown, that seem to metaphorically hold the key to a shimmering world full of capricious protagonists and curious objects - so it is, as the viewer considers entering the fascinatingly promising chamber of Esters' universe.
(Text by Stefanie Kreuzer)
Alexander Esters (*1977 Bad Kreuznach) studied Philosophy und Art History at Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, as well as painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Mainz, class of Prof. Friedemann Hahn. After he moved on to the Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf in 2004 he joined Albert Oehlen’s Master Class. In 2002 Esters received one of the most prestigious German scholarships, Stipendium der Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, 2009 he was awarded with the Grafikpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen.
His works are part of renowned private and public collections such as Graphische Sammlung-Museum Folkwang, Essen, Kunstmuseum, Bonn und der Graphischen Sammlung –Städel-Museum, Frankfurt a. M.. Museums and Galleries dedicated exhibitions to him, among them Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Aachener Kunstverein, Gallery Van Horn, Düsseldorf and Ana Cristea Gallery, NYC. Alexander Esters is represented by Gallery Van Horn/Daniela Steinfeld, Düsseldorf.