In “Corinne Wasmuht – Supracity” Haus am Waldsee presents, for the first time at a Berlin art institution, a painter who was born in 1964 in Germany, was raised in Argentina and now lives and works in Berlin.
During the 1990s Wasmuht made her entrance to the art world with jungle-like oil paintings. In a psychedelic manner she opened up colourful, organic visual worlds which give the impression of being utopian and boundless. Chains of motifs and repetitions appear to give a taste of scientifically manipulated nature. While still an art student, Wasmuht had already developed a practice which uniquely combined her passion for collecting, her meticulousness and the pleasure she takes in composition. She creates collages with glue and a pair of scissors from hundreds of photographs lifted from magazines, books, newspapers and catalogues, ordering them according to such subjects as “hair”, “pills”, “violence” or “cosmos”, in order to form templates for her oil paintings. Once translated into painting, the visual result has lost every echo of being fragmented, deconstructed or newly composed. As painting, the pictures display a great homogeneity contrasting with the absurdly repeating contents.
While the templates have since turned digital as they are now manipulated on a computer screen, this hardly speeds up Wasmuht’s technique, adapted from the Old Masters, of producing large scale oil paintings on wood. She still does not complete more than five pictures in a given year. In a marked shift, her subjects which previously seemed psychedelic and visionary, have turned to the more crowded, even absurdly condensed urban spaces as well as to landscape.
In Wasmuht’s art, outmoded slowness is joined to an iconography of our fast and fickle times. Her practice and the message conveyed by her picture form a stark opposition. Wasmuht creates with an almost unmatched conscientiousness visual spaces which reflect in the memory, emerging pixel-like as if on a monitor while dissolving elsewhere. Dreamlike depths of space are generated suggesting a beyond behind the beyond as well as a density of parallels, layers and simultaneity. Infinitely many facets of civilised urban life become visible. The same gaze, between generation, degeneration and disintegration, is applied to nature in the most recent works by the artist.
From the outset, Wasmuht takes up a singular position when seen against the background of contemporary European painting. At Haus am Waldsee she shows more recent as well as older works, from a period between 1995 and 2009. The exhibition travels to Kunsthalle Nuremberg where it will open in extended form in March 2010.
Having studied painting in Düsseldorf, Corinne Wasmuht has lived and worked in Berlin since 2005. As off 2007, she teaches painting as a professor at Akademie Karlsruhe.
“Corinne Wasmuht – Supracity” is curated by Katja Blomberg.
A catalogue in English and German has been published in cooperation with the publishers Verlag Walther König.