"[…] But it is not always the attempt to interpret the diversity of the female image, rather the attraction to create unreal characters. It is a question of lust of familiarity, which nearly always resists the unknown. " (free translation: Marlene Dumas about her series "Female", 1992-93) The South African painter Marlene Dumas is highly regarded by this generation of contemporary, young artists, because of her incomparable sensitivity and introversion, as well as her frankness on the existential issues of sexuality, death and identity.
We are pleased to announce a group show of four young German artists and their recent works at the start of 2010. Each artist engages with the question of "being female", applying Isabella Graw´s idea (in dissertation: "Acquisition and exemption", 2003) of the acquisition and dissociation, if not the strategy of the concentrated inclination towards the personal chosen object. Kasemir, Pagenkemper, Suerkemper and Tennigkeit attempt to elude social command structures. They work on the distortion and sensitization of surfaces which already appear to be images; the retrieval of the visability from the tangency between the membrane of the self and the world.
The young Leipzig media artist MANUELA KASEMIR showed her work S/W Fotographies at the recent group show "Bilder vom Künstler" ("Images by the artist") at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, curated by Holger Kube Ventura. She is the protagonist of her seven image series photographed at locations from her childhood. In one photograph the displaced and out of proportion view of an undersized girl´s dress interrupts the poetic intimacy of the photographer. By using subtle interventions like mounted reflections or textual fabrics the artist connects the present and the past, evoking moments of confusion.
LEA ASJA PAGENKEMPER´s images are ornamental chaines of loose shapes, lines and floating glazes, created to uncover the truth and to vent one´s thoughts. Images like "Sanfte Schwester" ("Gentle Sister"), "Venus" and "Salome" are illusions of light, buit up from a blue or purple background. The recipient can see lifesized manifestations of many breasted female figures or bright, fine cascades of hair. Lea´s painting draws on poetry, the quality of expression, escaping from language: "[...] like the smoke from a cigarette, floating, disappearing, they look for a place between heaven and earth, hanging on to life´s words, yearning and tender, to get lost in that moment, […]." (Gregor Jansen about Lea Asja Pagenkemper´s paintings; director of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2009)
CARO SUERKEMPER is well-known for her paintings in gouache of female characters role-playing recent, socio-cultural scenes. For the last three years she has also worked in ceramics, creating multi figured sculptures with partial glazes of color resulting in accentuated expressions. Both media are traditionally used in the decorative arts, but Suerkemper's art provokes us by portraying figures in suggestive positions and bondage. The traces of imprints through shaping as well as the flow of the colours dissolve all outlines, counteracting the methods of description and name. "She undermines the grandstanding of her sculptures by scurrile overpaintings. The humour in her images does not take away their confronting energy, but rather increases their potential of irritations." (Karsten Müller, Director of Ernst Barlach Haus Hamburg: about the artist, 2006) The large-scale images of
ALEX TENNIGKEITdrag the recipient deep into psychological, stage-like images through her use of geometric, patterned floors and scenes showing visions of modern Amazons struggling between lust and martyrdom. The self-portraits engage in games of masquerade and symbols of transcience, meanwhile her works on paper depict the failure and fate of damaged persons: Britney on a stretcher, a laughing girl on the shoulders of death etc. Karin Pernegger, curator of Kunsthalle Krems, discovered in Tennigkeit´s "overexploitation" of motifes of medial references the strategies of the Baroque, more precisely the allegory: "Alex Tennigkeit seizes her images to assemble them in picture puzzles." (Diess., "A.T.- et in arcadia ego", in cat.: "A.T., Usurper's Choice", Kerber Vlg. Bielefeld, 2009)