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SELECTION – New works by eight artists at Gallery Voss

The exhibition entitled "SELECTION" shows new works by eight artists working on very different thematic: Till Freiwald, Daniel Heil, Mary A. Kelly, Iwajla Klinke, Michael Koch, Jurriaan Molenaar, Mihoko Ogaki and Kate Waters.

Till Freiwald's works depict oversized faces with few shadows and softly inscribed facial features. The glowing face skin acts almost like an independently animated form. The coincidence of the almost monumental acting head with the rudimental representation of the neck and shoulder area first overwhelms the viewer. The result of this is an artificial naturalness and vital physicalness. At a closer look one can fall into the calmness of immovable faces. The universe of human being starts to be perceptible. It unfolds the deep concentration and the emotional depth. This visibility is reached by the direct relationship between the artist and his model. The encounter of the model and the artist allows the viewer to recognize the truth and the relevance of an individual kind in a very unique way.

Till Freiwald, Rosa 2, watercolour, 2021, 94 x 66 cm

Daniel Heil is working on two extensive, ongoing series of works that document an intense interaction between painter and canvas. These rhythmic abstractions have a corporeal, even a choreographic dimension, documenting free-flowing gestures suddenly arrested and held fast on canvas or on paper. Yet for all their scintillating energy, both the paintings and the small-format drawings radiate a meditative, even Zen-like stillness. It is precisely this interplay of vivacity and repose that fascinates the artist. In “Movement in Space,” his essay on the works of Daniel Heil, critic Thomas Kuhn pointedly refers to “the reduced constellations of the ink-paintings of Zen Buddhism,” aimed at achieving a maximum effect with a minimum of means. As in the teachings of Zen, with their emphasis on individual consciousness, there is no fixed program here, no attempt to manipulate the reception of the works. “I make no demands on the viewer,” Heil insists. “The picture is simply an offer.”

Daniel Heil, B-305, oil on canvas, 2020, 200 x 150 cm

Mary A. Kelly, who has so far made a name for herself as a photo and video artist, is now showing her painting for the first time. The theme is "the chair". The project "Chair" began many years ago when she took part in a group therapy process. The simplicity of the space and the depth of life led Kelly to explore many similar spaces with her camera. Eventually she focused on the chair as a construct alongside life and as a witness to life. The exploration of chairs extended not only to the psychotherapeutic spaces into other living spaces. The intimate space of the psychotherapeutic experience opened into a wider public space and life itself. Eventually, the paintbrush took the place of the camera.

Mary A. Kelly, He met Irma at a party, oil on canvas, 2019-2020, 150 x 150 cm

With a cast of colorful characters who would do justice to any repertory stage, Iwajla Klinke infuses portrait photography with the magic and elegance of its early years, when one of its primary goals was to document and celebrate ritual moments in an individual’s life. Her camera records subjects whose very clothing points to individuality, even to eccentricity, and where ritual is implicit. All are presented in a formal manner that sometimes recalls the conventions of the painted portrait. These three-quarter studies, with a neutral background of black or brown, use natural light to create sepia-like effects strikingly reminiscent of a Vermeer painting. Yet what also seems to radiate here is an inner light, a kind of epiphany deeply rooted in rituals whose origins may well have been forgotten but whose spiritual energy persists.

Iwajla Klinke, series Bescherkinder edition 3, ''untitled'', photography, 2010, 150 x 111cm

Michael Koch shows an installation from his series "eternal collection". For this, he has been travelling across Europe since 2012 to take photographs in natural history museums. His photographic works are not about documentation, but rather about depicting the (re)presentation of nature. Some of the specimens exhibited in the museums are also recreated in his studio and photographed there under different lighting conditions.Artificiality and staging are the focus of his work. The respective objects (bones, skeletons, insects, stuffed animals, etc.) are shown isolated from their environment. Koch thus uses the pictorial language of purely objective scientific photography, which in this case, however, is never objective. Nature becomes an aesthetic object of observation. The boundary between animate and dead object blurs on the photographic surface. The presentation of the works in the exhibition space plays with museum aesthetics. Reflections of the shiny surface, replica showcases, pedestals or display cases, all the way to suggested dioramas show a section of the artificial nature that Michael Koch brings to light in sometimes very disturbing images.

Michael Koch, eternal collection, installation, 2012-2021

Jurriaan Molenaar's paintings deal with architectural structures, showing interior views of rooms or façades of imaginary buildings. All rooms and environments come along with a certain blankness. There are no people, no properties, nothing that allows the viewer to interpret the scene. As the artist explains his passion for these buildings: "Just like us human beings, a house has a certain character and arouses different feelings and emotions". To create a balance of the inner and the outer, of being open and being closed, and of feeling security or claustrophobia, is what Molenaar is most interested in. In case of the buildings, the bridge from the one stage to the other is represented by the windows. They raise questions of "Who am I?" and "What do I see?"

Jurriaan Molenaar, My studio, acrylic on canvas, 2021, 150 x 100 cm

In contrast to the work cycle before the beginning – after the end, Mihoko Ogaki’s new exhibition entitled “Soft Landing” is not about birth and death but about life. The life of individuals and their feelings like joy, pleasure and jealousy. “Milky Ways”, as a symbol of life, is a very personal topic for Ogaki since it incorporates the image of herself in her work. Yet the artist does not show attention on detail in her own image. Instead she tries to make the emotions visible by turning the inside out. In her sculptures, this succeeds primarily by using light and materials that reflect light.

Mihoko Ogaki, Star Tales - celestial chart I, mixed media, 2015, 125 x 85 x 3,5 cm

Just like in one breath, Kate Waters captures random everyday scenes and their ambience with her camera and transfers them to her impressive paintings. The titles of the paintings suggest an often ironic understanding of the ambivalent situations and make the often too serious of subject matter bearable. Cultural clichés and archetypes of the present leisure culture are furthermore exposed and examined from different angles as well as promises and expectations of society. Once the observer accepts the complexity of the paintings, which, despite their formal similarity, all have an individual story to tell, one becomes aware of a keen sense of observation with a shot of melancholy. Also another phenomenon will become evident: the observer shares the moments and selected sceneries of the artist by viewing the paintings and therefore seems to literally share that same breath of air.

Kate Waters, Strange but Familiar, oil on canvas, 2022, 160 x 230 cm


Till Freiwald, Daniel Heil, Mary A. Kelly, Iwajla Klinke, Michael Koch, Jurriaan Molenaar, Mihoko Ogaki and Kate Waters

Feb. 08 - March 05. 2022

Galerie Voss
Mühlengasse 3 D-40213 Düsseldorf

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