Realistic painting and sculpture belong unbrokenly and naturally to the spectrum of contemporary art today. What is interesting about this snapshot is that, as a matter of course, the representation of reality often “tips” into the unusual, into the dreamlike or dreamy, into the surreal. In this way, art positions itself in its own way against the broad culture of selfies, of reality embellished, manipulated, made interesting with image programs and posed poses. By working on the content of the “adventure of reality,” artists also master their painterly “craft” to perfection, taking up the force of 500 years of realistic representation, using the momentum and adding another oil painting or another sculpture to it, they charge their works with their own care and persuasiveness, providing their respective contemporary positions with an added value that comes from the depths of art history.
Stefan Bräuniger first photographs his previously carefully staged motifs – over many years fruits, flowers, but also Styrofoam or ceramics – and then paints photorealistically enlarged from the photo. In recent years, the painting style remains perfectly realistic, although he exaggerates, questions, and comments on realism ironically: supposedly old paintings come up with modern windmills, butterflies suddenly have two different wings, ceramics are not chaotically shattered, but feature surgically cut window openings.
In her “Edekafrauen” Kristina Fiand works in a large-scale group of works women out of wood, who like figures of saints with attributes say something about themselves and the world: does the woman with the transistor radio keep in touch with the world of entertainment, music, politics? Or is she, fled from Ukraine, protesting against Putin?
Stefanie Gerhardt’s painting, done with oil on aluminum, shows in-between spaces rather than clearly central, a state rather than a concrete image, more the transformation than the fixed point. It is appealing to trace these moments, to perceive the resonance of a mood, to let the riddle, which the motifs give up, become concrete and dissolve through a story – or to let the ambiguous and indeterminate vibrate as a world for itself.
“Holger Kurt Jäger is interested in gaining knowledge by restaging individual contents. Decontextualization becomes the method, collage the preferred technique. Through the new arrangements, independent narrative threads are spun, surprising assertions are made – and yet always remain entertaining. (…) Today it is always about self-realization and self-optimization, about reverberation and narcissism. In Jäger’s works, too, one constantly asks oneself: What is actually still reality, what is already fiction, what belongs to our own identity and what is just a reflection of the #Regram generation.” (Alain Bieber)
“The artificiality of dark space, which can be experienced by the senses only where light enters, serves the painter to produce precise perspective. He swears up, withdraws his beings from the dark.” (Nora Gomringer). “We see everyday materials from globalized mass production, high-visibility vests, padded outdoor sports jackets, travel neck pillows, foils, garbage bags, Idea lamps, aluminum rescue foils” (Martin Schick). On the stage of his painting, Wolfgang Kessler presents people who step out of the darkness into the limelight, but whose contemporary attributes pose riddles and raise questions rather than breaking down a scene.
As the artist couple “La Fratrie,” the two brothers Karim and Luc Berchiche create extraordinary sculptures with four hands: hanging miniature islands, meticulous constructions that they assemble from numerous materials. They create an imaginative and utopian world. Floating rocks, uprooted from their original space, become platforms of scenes that trigger fantasies and stories in us viewers.
“My works are fundamentally about socially critical confrontations. In the foreground is always the human being with his psychosocial sensitivities. I ask myself the question of what influence our society has on an individual and to what extent a person can still develop individually.” (Elena Steiner). In the exhibition we show works that move from painting into the object: a painted man raises his arm and under his armpits sprout cable ties.