until 26.02. | #3280ARTatBerlin | Galerie Kornfeld shows from 15th January 2022 a solo exhibition with new works by the artist Franziska Klotz.
Inspired by her own observations, thoughts and sensations, the Berlin painter Franziska Klotz distils contemporary history paintings from the flood of images in our media world that are as committed to an examination of the motif and the existential questions of existence as they are to the means of painting itself. In her new works, premiering at Kornfeld Gallery on 15 January 2022, she explores the encounter between the self and the collective of a society, focusing on the social, physical and psychological vulnerability of the human being.
Current political and social events, filtered through the reading of Thomas Hobbes’ writing “Leviathan or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil”, are the thematic framework of a group of images, crowds at demonstrations their motif. Demonstrators and state forces of order, as well as shields, bodies and individual movements, can usually only be made out dimly. A bright gap divides the crowds into two groups. Themes such as power and powerlessness, individual and mass, fear, violence and counter-violence or state and society are in focus.
Formally, too, these works work with opposites: Dark versus light, cold versus warm, form versus colour, defined versus amorphous-chaotic. In the painting “Leviathan II” we are directly confronted with what is happening on the canvas. In the other works, the people and groups of people are separated from us by a structure reminiscent of a shattering pane of glass. Holes in the pane of glass, which is like a transparent membrane between us and what is happening in the picture, look like bullet holes. What does this mean for our point of view? Are we outside? And if so, do we see the action more clearly? Or do we now even more lack an overview?
These pictures with their faceless groups of figures are contrasted by depictions of girls – alone and mostly indoors. Seemingly random moments, but just as carefully staged as what is obviously on display. Ostensibly, these works are not about the masses, society or the state, but about girls in adolescence. About young individuals and how they move in the echo chambers of the various social media platforms. Each one separately, but all connected by the same fears, doubts and insecurities.
“What’s wild to you” is the title of one of these pictures. It shows a girl in a yellow hoodie, her body pulled back into her clothes, contrasted and complemented by the flat floral of an armchair. But above all: actively shaping, as the attentive, demanding, probing gaze shows: I know exactly that you are looking – but you are looking on my terms.
“Wanda / Pumpkin Girl”, the title of a second work, shows a girl in the corner of a room. She sits on the floor, scattered around her are the debris of the titular pumpkin, which she brings to her mouth in a sweeping gesture. The picture seems to be a pleasurable staging of immoderateness and deliberately transgresses boundaries. The (challenging) gaze is also to be found in this work: the “Pumpkin Girl” is not an oblivious child who simply enjoys herself. She knows exactly what she is doing, and she does it in full awareness of this knowledge. Her gaze is both an invitation and a reassurance. Not only “Look carefully!” but also “Are you really looking?”
The source material for these images are self-dramatisations of young girls who share them in virtual spaces of subcultural groups: “Despite the external differences of these heterotopias,” says the artist,” the commonality of the display of the violated shells points to the function of these spaces: they serve as places of escape in which the relationship of the ego to the body and analogously to the social structure (…) is ‘played’, and thus also as waiting rooms for entry into the adult world.” Shy and extroverted at the same time, the girls search for their place in society in the seemingly protected virtual space of their group, testing boundaries and norms – their own as well as those imposed on them by the state and society.
Franziska Klotz (*1979 in Dresden) was awarded the Max Ernst Scholarship of the city of Brühl and worked for several months as a scholarship holder at the German Cultural Academy Tarabya in Istanbul in 2015 and 2018 at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut.
Her works are exhibited worldwide, for example at the 4th International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow in 2014, at the exhibition “BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places” at the Brandenburg Gate Foundation in Berlin in 2015, at the 56th October Salon in Belgrade in 2016 and at the Fanø Art Museum in Denmark in 2017. In 2018, her works were exhibited at the presentation of the scholarship holders of the Tarabya Cultural Academy at the Hamburger Bahnhof, in 2019, the Kulturforum Schorndorf dedicated the exhibition “Ölregen” to her and in 2021, her works were on display as part of the exhibition “Studio Bosporus – Festival 10 Jahre Kulturakademie Tarabya” at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin.
Vernissage: Saturday, 15th January 2022, noon – 7:00 pm
Exhibition period: Saturday, 15th January – Saturday, 26th February 2022, Tue – Sat 11:00 am – 6:00 pmTo the Gallery
Exhibition Franziska Klotz – Galerie Kornfeld | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin