until 30.07. | #3490ARTatBerlin | Galerie Martin Mertens presents from 18. June 2022 the exhibition “Zauberberg-Effekt” by the artist Jens Hausmann.
The exhibition “Zauberberg-Effekt” (Magic Mountain Effect) is probably the exhibition by Jens Hausmann that so far most vividly illustrates how much the Berlin painter loves to lead the viewer up the garden path.
Based on mundane sources such as photos from travel magazines or from advertising, he constructs supposed dream worlds that are meant to symbolise success and luxury on the outside, but appear empty on the inside and always bear the danger of turning out to be nightmares and illusions. All too easily, the inhabitants can remain trapped in the dream.
Not only are the inhabitants missing, but also any life. Elements of nature do appear, but only in architectural corsets and often in an artificial, almost toxic colour scheme. In some pictures, however, Hausmann gives nature a picture-filling space of its own, for example in the form of an impenetrable jungle or a shark that advances from the dark depths to the surface with its mouth wide open.
The constructivism in his painting clearly refers to a constructed reality.
Jens himself calls his paintings “architectural vanitas symbols of modernity”.
In formal terms, he is primarily attracted by the idea of withdrawing the depiction of architecture from photography and using the means of painting to achieve a more substantial presence of the motif. In the process, the painted image gains a quality of its own through its virtuoso treatment of surfaces and subtle lighting, which photography cannot achieve. Hausmann creates very subtle atmospheres that photographs cannot convey.
In addition to the open glass architectures, the exhibition is also populated by small images of claustrophobic concrete cells, which appear as counterparts to the representative buildings and in a sense form the architectural counterpart to the threatening shark.
When all material prosperity has been achieved and manifested in the steel and glass architectures, melancholy and boredom take hold at the empty pools. In this respect, his paintings can also be read as psychological parables of the bourgeoisie’s fear of loss in times of change. Here it becomes clear how aptly the exhibition title was chosen, referring to Thomas Mann’s novel “Zauberberg” (Magic Mountain), in which the breathless bourgeoisie leads a bored, decadent life in a mountain sanatorium, while in the valley society is heading towards the catastrophe of the First World War. Under this title, the deckchairs that often surround Hausmann’s pools seem like direct quotations of the “couch cures” in The Magic Mountain, which only tie the protagonists even more to their lethargy.
What Hausmann perhaps achieves in his paintings more than any other painter is a psychologisation of architecture and an interweaving of the architectural construction with the desires, dreams and fears of its inhabitants, who are only indirectly present.
Opening: Saturday, 18. June 2022, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 18. June to Saturday, 30. July 2022To the Gallery
Exhibition Jens Hausmann – Galerie Martin Mertens | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibition Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin