Galerie Kenilworth is excited to announce its 3rd exhibition, Goodhopehouse, featuring new work by Berlin, Germany-based artists Laura Sachs, David Scheisser, Malte Zenses, Yannic Popperling, Walker Brengel, Christian Hoosen, and Felix Rank.
Goodhopehouse is a rough translation for Gutehoffnungshutte, a steel manufacturer in Berlin’s Pankow neighborhood, founded in 1758. The building now houses the studio space for the 7 artists featured. The I-beam, symbolic of the building’s past, becomes the perfect metaphor for the group–clean, raw, foundational. Each artist works in uniquely reductive ways, paving a clean slate from which to rebuild meaning. Perhaps in reaction to the clutter of modern life, or influenced by Berlin’s hard edge, the work is minimal, and yet dense with meaning. The show is dominated by paintings, all near or fully abstract. A counterpoint, two photos by Yannic Popperling, offer the only roots to the physical world. A straining horse in a foreign place and a dusky sky punched by a full moon encapsulate the mood; beautiful and patient, with a touch of longing.
An opening reception will be held Friday, January 19th from 7-11pm. Hors D’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. Featured artists Walker Brengel, Yannic Popperling, and Felix Rank will be in attendance.
Three new pieces from Laura Sachs further her subtractive approach to painting, following her solo exhibition at Berlin’s Studio Picknick gallery in November.
Reacting to life immersed in concrete and buildings, Sach’s masks her canvases in swaths of black or gray, distilling the city to a single, stark metaphor. A gasp of meaning, a break in the monotony appears, brushes the sides via raw canvas, or rests just on top – isolated, peering through, or imposed. Sachs specializes in these small moments in large spaces; life continues rushing, but we must find for the moments that transcend the space around them.
Clean lines set an illustrative tone, begging the viewer trace the gestures- the movement forming birds, branches and pathways, all connected, tangled. The bareness of his work feels organic and comfortingly simple, striking a balance between the simplicity and complexity inherent in life. Lines layer different narratives without sense of competition, moving only to continue their path, to complete their form, stories coexisting.
Scheisser’s practice as a whole negotiates the expanse between our ancestors, our primitive state, and modernity. He is best known for translating his work onto his chosen canvas, skin; furthering the discussion about our primitive nature and the essence of truth.
Sometimes graphic, mostly subdued, Malte Zenses features two new canvases that continue his minimal, symbolic negotiation with daily life. Journaling passing moments, Zenses translates his notes via paint on canvas, where loose pieces of a story filter through, unencumbered by the original context. His work is part meaning, part feeling – it is reductive and clean, but includes a tension that is not quickly solved or easily dismissed. It is these points he seems to linger on, shorn from everyday life and affixed here, for our perpetual consideration. It is the balance of ease and mystery that keeps his attention, and the viewers.
Rooting the exhibition in the physical world, two photos by Yannic Popperling bind the group with an unspoken, but understood sense of longing. Popperling travels extensively, and finds comfort in the new, unfamiliar places he finds. A racehorse in India, taut with energy, takes center stage in a lot of onlookers and cars. The piece is countered by a smaller work in the adjacent room, similarly composed and equal in its mystery. A full moon mimics the horse’s tenacity, punctuating the dusky night sky with a gasp of light. The pieces are met in the middle by a poem, transcribed in pencil on the wall, somehow completing the thoughts between them.
Brengel’s recent work, on display here, is reductive, encapsulating, visceral; the work is felt as much as it is seen. He removes all meaning and leaves a simple binary; yes or no, up or down, in or out, right or wrong, perhaps in a personal effort to declutter the expanse of decisions, available always. Just be, don’t think, it seems to say.
A smaller diptych in the back gallery work plays devils advocate, there is always an alternative. Or, it is pure, stripped of meaning, like a moment of meditation. Paying homage to the minimalists and color field painters, Brengel’s work sends a similar message of patience, thoughtfulness, and feeling.
A designer by trade, Felix Rank brings the otherwise 2D exhibition into the 3D space. At first glance, a pitcher, kelly green, feels approachable, if not a touch curious. Its green, mottled surface is charmingly human, and disarming. Upon further inspection, however, the mechanics present themselves unusable; the object would not function, much less be easily be held. In challenging something so familiar, Rank questions the tropes of domesticity, the ceremony of tea, and related rational, cultured discussion. He implies that we need to come together, perhaps, in new ways, or that we need to reconsider existing forms of communication, existing societal structures in an effort to find new forms of connection.
The most colorful canvases belong to Christian Hoosen; bold, glossy paints and almost cartoon-like forms smack the canvas, greeting the viewer with work that doesn’t immediately say whether it is friend or foe. Previously working in advertising. Hoosen’s work speaks directly to the loud, consumerist culture he left behind. His work is playful and deeply symbolic, gesturing boldly with big strokes and expressionist tendencies.