until 28.05. | #3853ARTatBerlin |Luisa Catucci Gallery presents from April 20, 2023. the exhibition GREEN SOẞE by the artists Yvonne Andreini, Max Coor, Axel Geis, Pablo-Griss, Katrin Kampmann, Michael Kunze, Nikolaus List, Daniel Mohr, Lea Mugnaini, Johanna Silbermann and Bettina Weiß.
In classical cuisine, green sauce is the name given to various cold sauces that have a green color because they are made from a mixture of different herbs. To make a proper green sauce – no matter what culinary tradition you follow – you need several different green elements. To create an exhibition worthy of the name, we decided to tap into Berlin’s very prolific art scene to combine a very diverse and outstanding selection of artists presenting artworks related to the color
Green are associated to create an exhibition/homage to this color so rich in meanings, history and values. Within the XIX century – as one of the most pleasant colors capable of creating an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility – green was widely used in architecture and associated with many of the various expressions of Art Nouveau – from art to design – while artists such as Edgar Degas, Viktor Oliva, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh and others made absinthe – the bitter green liquor – and its Fée Verte their muse. The “golden age” of the green has begun. But it wasn’t always an easy life, for our color! More than any other pigment in the history of art, green was considered the most toxic. Blamed for the death of Napoleon Bonaparte and later accused of being the cause of Paul Cezanne’s diabetes and Claude Monet’s blindness – among other nefarious accusations – the color green gained such a bad reputation that it was in danger of being ostracized, and for a time it was.
Before the XVI century green dyes were made from fern, plantain and buckthorn berries, but the color faded quickly. Synthetic green pigments and dyes were invented only in the XVIII. Century invented: Schweinfurt green – a highly toxic copper arsenite acetate – was one of the most popular, and its successor, Paris green – just as toxic as its predecessor – was the most popular green of the Impressionist movement. It took a while to understand that the chemical composition of the paint was the true cause of its toxicity, as the first non-toxic synthetic green, Viridian, was not patented until 1859, just in time to allow Vincent van Gogh to use it with Prussian Blue to create the hypnotic sky of his infamous Café Terrasse at Night. This earthy hue is commonly associated with the various ancient cults of Mother Earth – Gaia, Ishtar, Inanna, Freya, Ostara – who celebrated their greatest festivals in spring, when nature seems to be reborn and fresh, bright green covers the land once again. This could explain why green in the European tradition as a symbol of rebirth, renewal, immortality and hope. As in ancient Egypt, where green was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile, essential for vegetation and agriculture, and with the cult of Osiris, god of the underworld and rebirth. In ancient Greece, on the other hand, green and blue were sometimes considered the same color, and the same word sometimes denoted the color of the sea and the color of trees. Aristotle considered that green was midway between black, the symbol of the earth, and white, the symbol of water.
The Romans also appreciated the color green – they associated it with the cult of Venus, the protector of gardens, vegetables and vineyards – and produced a fine green earth pigment that was widely used in mural painting. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the color of clothing indicated a person’s social rank and profession: Red only for nobility, brown and gray for peasants, while green was for merchants, bankers, nobles and their families. The Mona Lisa wears green in her portrait, as does the bride in the portrait of Arnolfini by Jan van Eyck. In the XVIII and XIX centuries, green was associated with the Romantic movement in literature and art and was seen as a romantic antithesis and antagonist to the gray and black smoke that spread with the Industrial Revolution, and consequently green was used by political and environmental movements. The instrumentalization of this affection has led to green playing an important role in modern society, politically, ideologically and marketing.
For this exhibition / tribute, we did not want to impose any particular interpretation of the color green on the participating artists, and yet, picking up on its qualities as a bearer of hope, regenerator, prosperity and good luck, we also want to make this show a /ritual to wish everyone – but especially the art world – a fresh, energetic, renewing spring, changing the mood of the past years, when the time of rebirth was marked first by Covid and then by the war with the energy crisis. We believe that we all have enough, so shine, green, shine! And bring us the positive.
Yvonne Andreini, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
Yvonne Andreini explores the contrasts between painting and drawing, logic and feeling, ideas and reality. Playing with the surface of the canvas and using both paint and ink, Yvonne weaves a fabric of painting in which lines become metaphorical threads. Memories of feelings and ideas find expression in them. The flowing and falling lines symbolize how logic and feelings, order and chaos must coexist in communication within and between people.
In his colorful works, Max Coor explores the optics of the eye and the brain’s perception of colors and shapes. Using op-art techniques, he creates anamorphoses within paintings. The color coordination of acute-angled, rhombic, or equiangular elements gives spatial definition to geometric solids, focusing the eye and allowing the work to gain volume. Making them from different materials, including wood and aluminum, Max Coor challenges the viewer’s eye by playing with the variation of shapes, colors, volumes and sensations. He explores the physics of the optics of the eye and questions our perception in general, whether what we see is actually what it is.
At the center of Axel Geis‘ works is a human figure. However, these are not portraits; rather, Axel Geis primarily uses films as a source of motifs, from which he detaches figures or entire scenes. By detaching the original figures from their narrative context, the artist allows their individual features to disappear and the figures to merge with their surroundings. Here, the artist’s search for the human dimension behind the reproduced image becomes apparent. In its abstraction, the human dimension behind it becomes alive and touching. The rest is pure painting, mysterious and disappearing, blurring the boundaries between the familiar and making us read between the lines and see the invisible.
Pablo Griss, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
Pablo Griss explores the visual possibilities of energy and its properties: magnetic fields, radiation, resonance, currents, and electromagnetic waves. He illustrates how these physical phenomena relate to some of my inner existential musings; if you look closely, most of our actions mirror these processes. In his work, contrast, repetition, color palette, strict lines, clean contours, balanced, elegant precision and symmetry are synthesized in the retina and displayed on the surface of the painting as an image of a “magnetic field.” Vibrations Beyond Simple Visual Effects is itself a phenomenon. His work riffs directly on the point where human consciousness meets the subconscious. He speaks of metaphysics from a philosophical point of view and reflects on what happens beyond matter.
Katrin Kampmanns Exploration lies in the realm of the reality of non-conformity. She mixes different techniques and walks the fine line between abstraction and figuration. People appear in her works as shadows of themselves, images of themselves through the perception of others, the prism of artistic perception, association, but
not only. The randomness is reminiscent of the method itself, which combines randomness and control, collecting the liquid colors on the surface and flowing into each other.
Michael Kunze, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
“Water, gold, bright fire in the night, sun” (Franz Dornseiff, Pindar’s style, 1921), – Michael Kunze takes this as an inscription for his works. Michael Kunze is inspired by the so-called “shadow line of modernism”, his paintings are influenced by Central European intellectualism, often inspired by works of the 15th to 18th centuries, driven by ideals and metaphysics. Piet Mondrian’s esoteric geometrism and Gerhard Merz’s idealistic spatial constructions are points of reference for Kunze’s art. Kunze’s complex, architectural worlds hold many secrets and yet his subjects remain artificial and based on mental constructions. His paintings are paradoxical and anti-modern: Labyrinthine structures are found amid landscapes that are both arcaded and futuristic, both times persisting in the same pictorial plane. Painting gives the artist enormous freedom. It allows him to combine the real with the imaginary, to transcend time, to mix personal memories with found images, and to root these disparate sources in the ground and context of his choice.
Nikolaus List has chosen trees as the main theme of his painting. In his phantasmagorical landscapes of Nikolaus List with imposing trees of various shapes, spherical poplars reminiscent of estuaries, stone, marble or volcanic formations, intertwined branches. More than a metaphor for life, the forest becomes the world in itself for the artist, but also reflects its subtleties, its light and shadow sides. On the other hand, Nicolaus leaves room for aesthetic and speculative transformation and re-creation.
Daniel Mohr splits the world and explores one aspect after another. For example, the mesmerizing movement. Using only brush and paint and a special painting primer, he paints tranquil landscapes that radiate inner peace. This calm motif is interrupted by vertical stripes reminiscent of the reflections of shifted glass surfaces. This creates the impression that the viewer himself is in motion.
Lea Mugnainis, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
Lea Mugnainis artistic process is based on rethinking the environment in which she lives and works, transforming the present or past into new symbols. Her organic sculptures intertwine memory, perception and imagination, resulting in layered objects – metaphors. For Lea, form is a trace of life that, through its transformation, reflects the essence of an earlier time, but also the reality of the present moment. Her sculptures are echoes of the present, filled with voices from the past, they are tactile and full of omniscience, the patina of time and its contemporary reinterpretations.
The paintings of Berlin-based artist Johanna Silbermann are characterized by her intention to paint abstract and figurative at the same time. For all the recognizability of her subjects, her paintings are like dreams, at least in terms of the shift in format and perspective, the interweaving of different realities, and the blurring. She plays with a light, attractive blur, combined with an aesthetic of emptiness and incompleteness of the image itself, a certain “non finito”. It does not seem difficult to decipher palms, leaves, loops and ferns dancing in magical pictorial spaces where this dreamlike reality is revealed and surrealistic magic is created. In her melancholic cosmos, people always remain in the distance, the strange in the unknown, and an overarching realm of sadness as light as summer rain, but at the same time as pervasive as the north wind.
Bettina Weiss, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
Bettina Weiss creates a matrix of changing shapes and colors in her paintings by coordinating acute-angled, diamond-shaped, prismatic elements that illustrate the principle of microcosm and macrocosm of the universe. The reduction to clear square or prismatic shapes and radial and fan-shaped associations of color fields is combined with the balanced color palette of each painting. Like an ornament, they are a figurative pattern that reflects the laconic limit of the all-over principle: The works could extend endlessly into space, but it is precisely through this limit that they gain
but it is precisely through this boundary that they gain their definiteness and graphic quality. The artist combines oil and acrylic paints, whose unconventional layering and reworking reveals countless nuances of a single color even on the smallest surfaces. The fragility created by the layering of colors, separated by a mask in the process of creation, allows for a difference in height that is barely visible to the eye. This creates another element of tension that connects the color and figure fields.
Opening: Thursday, 20. April 2023, 6 pm – 9 pm
Exhibition Dates : Thursday, 20. April – Sunday, 28. May 2023To the Gallery
Bildunterschrift Titel: Daniel Mohr, Anknüpfung, 90x160cm, 2022, Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery
Exhibition Grüne Soße – Luisa Catucci Gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst Berlin – Contemporary Art – Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin