post-title Alan Rankle + Gerard Waskievitz | Landscapes, so far… | Michaela Helfrich Galerie | 13.09.-19.10.2023

Alan Rankle + Gerard Waskievitz | Landscapes, so far… | Michaela Helfrich Galerie | 13.09.-19.10.2023

Alan Rankle + Gerard Waskievitz | Landscapes, so far… | Michaela Helfrich Galerie | 13.09.-19.10.2023

Alan Rankle + Gerard Waskievitz | Landscapes, so far… | Michaela Helfrich Galerie | 13.09.-19.10.2023

until 19.10. | #4038ARTatBerlin | Michaela Helfrich Galerie shows from 13 September 2023 the group exhibition Landscapes, so far… by the artists Alan Rankle and Gerard Waskievitz.

Alan Rankle in an interview with Anna McNay about his Pastoral Collateral series the artist stated:

‘I wanted to relate ideas about historical, idealised, pastoral landscape in art to the grim reality of the environmental crisis that we are in, which isn’t just an environmental crisis anymore, it’s a totally impregnated social and political crisis heading towards disaster. Considering the historical origins of the genre in relation to my own paintings, I wanted to convey the irony implicit in how the 19th century Romantic movement, with its emphasis on the idyllic natural world of an imaginary past, was sponsored by people who, having made gigantic fortunes out of the Industrial Revolution by building their empires on the slave trade and the criminal use of the Enclosures Acts forcing the poor from their traditional peasant homes to work in their factories and mills, also laid the foundations of environmental pollution on a catastrophic scale’.

Turner and other artists were commissioned by the barons of the Industrial Revolution to take the Grand Tour and pick up ideas from artists such as Claude Lorrain, Titian, Dughet and Poussin, who were themselves employed to evoke the fantasy of a golden age, a sort of Narnia in Ancient Greece and Rome, where people talked to animals and fucked gods.

While you can’t look at any period of history without seeing similar scenarios, where the art is created for the tyrants and oppressors, this dichotomy of the landscape of Romance is particularly and acutely about the subject that I’ve been interested and involved in. It’s impossible to work in landscape art without it being a political act, and I thought let’s put this right up front. So that’s the title.’

ART at Berlin - Michaela Helfrich - Gerard WaskievitzGerard Waskievitz, woandershin, 2023,
Ei-Tempera, Öl auf Baumwolle; 200 x 140 x 4 cm

As viewers, we can encounter the works of Gerard Waskievitz in two ways: we can get very close to the works and see the individual layers of the composition understand: trace color and pigment with your eyes and see how the powerful brush stroke seems to dance across the canvas. But we can also take a few steps back and capture the motifs from a distance: continually give our eyes new points of reference by sliding across the canvas and grasp the motifs in a larger context. For Waskievitz, seeing up close reveals HOW painting was done, while distance shows us WHAT we can actually see. The proximity-distance relationship enters into an interesting dialogue with the artist’s painting style, which subtly occupies its own space in the space between representation and abstraction. The Berlin artist’s works skilfully create the balancing act between distance and close-up vision and confront the viewer with the expectation of constantly changing their own point of view and refuse to be easily consumable. On the contrary, in a time in which we are constantly required to make decisions within a few seconds, to divide things into important or unimportant, the artist breaks this behavior and reminds us that good art is characterized by well-founded contemplation and that we too Today’s fast pace means we have to allow time for profound statements.

Gerard Waskievitz’s motifs are often mysterious: the landscapes shown refuse to simply be landscapes and instead appear with a mythical charge; the people do not show themselves as mere figures, but as people with their own stories; Gerard Waskievitz transforms the everyday into the bizarremagnificent surreal compositions and mixes existential themes from the big city of Berlin with well-known subjects from art history. Especially in the superposition of City life and existential themes demonstrate Waskievitz’s great ability to connect the everyday with the mythical and his own perception with thatto cross lives. We encounter art here as a lived experience.

Excerpt Anabele Roque Rodriguez, art historian

Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 13 September – Thursday, 19 October 2023

To the gallery



Caption title: Alan Rankle, Turner in Hastings, 2017, oils on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

Alan Rankle + Gerard Waskievitz – Michaela Helfrich Galerie | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin

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