post-title Matias Bechtold + Louise Bristow | Laura Mars Gallery | 17.04.-29.05.2021

Matias Bechtold + Louise Bristow | Laura Mars Gallery | 17.04.-29.05.2021

Matias Bechtold + Louise Bristow | Laura Mars Gallery | 17.04.-29.05.2021

Matias Bechtold + Louise Bristow | Laura Mars Gallery | 17.04.-29.05.2021

until 29.05.| #3023ARTatBerlin | Laura Mars Gallery shows from 17th April 2021 a duo show with the presentations “Museum Müm” by the artist Matias Bechtold and “European Park” by the artist Louise Bristow.

The joint exhibition by Louise Bristow and Matias Bechtold offers a synopsis of the respective miniature worlds that both artists have been working on for a long time.

Louise Bristow composes landscape-format oil paintings on the basis of self-made models and various pictorial models. In trompe-l’œil-like table or stage situations, heterogeneous pictorial ‘personnel’ meet: photographs and reproductions that function quasi as stage sets in the background, patterned prints as well as architectural models and imaginatively designed stereometric bodies. Scenic details of children’s playgrounds are often recognisable, whereby the evocation of the sphere of carefree play is often motifically juxtaposed with the working world of adults. In addition, there are cultural artefacts from the past: the spectrum ranges from prehistoric hand wedges to folkloristic-looking objects to post-war design, Soviet monumental sculpture and modernist architecture.

ART at Berlin - Courtesy of Laura Mars Gallery - Louise Bristow
Louise Bristow, European Park, 2020, oil on wood panel, 40 x 80 cm

Heirlooms from past epochs, soberly recorded in painting, are also to be found in the picture European Park, painted in 2020 – a title Bristow has given her entire presentation. The painting features various objects alongside three painted landscape photographs that serve as a backdrop. Apart from two abstract sculptures – a reproduction of a Kandinsky painting formed into a box and a complex creation of the artist’s own – one can recognise the 1880’s Necessity Institute located on Vienna’s Parkring. Three children on a piece of playground equipment are contrasted with the image of a school situation. The arrangement of heterogeneous pictorial subjects is claimed to be a park, a sphere constructed by human hands as well.

Matias Bechtold’s presentation, which he has entitled Museum Müm, also recalls specific cultural forms. His work of the same name illustrates a miniaturised exhibition house that provides detailed insights into its interior. What hangs on the walls on the various floors (Müm means module over module) – each illuminated by spotlights – are paintings reminiscent of abstract expressionist art or Tachism. The presentation of informal painting can be related to Erwin Bechtold, the father who is also active as an artist and with whom the son had his previous duo exhibition at the Laura Mars Gallery in 2018. The tiny picture titles that Matias Bechtold has stuck under the frames of the mini-museum pictures, which are very large in relation to the space, extend the personal reference in the direction of a fundamental question about the disappearance of concrete references to reality, which became virulent at the beginning of the 20th century in connection with painterly abstraction: Stadt im Nebel (City in the Fog) is the humorous title of a non-representational horizontal format in white, blue and black.

ART at Berlin - Courtesy of Laura Mars Gallery - Matias Bechtold
Matias Bechtold, KM T40, 2019-2021 (foreground)
Matias Bechtold, Museum Müm, 2019-2021 (background)

Bechtold’s museum building is complemented by further, both compact and semi-transparent architectures and housings made of plastic and cardboard, or of singular or piled-up plastic packaging, in some of which strangely deformed figures reside. The sculptural-objective as well as painterly pictorial worlds of Matias Bechtold and Louise Bristow make use of the mode of miniaturisation in order to sharpen the view of what constitutes contemporary society and culture – in nuce – with this quasi inverted gesture of overwhelmingness: In the case of Matias Bechtold’s works, this is, among other things, the cell and monad structure that has become apparent in modernist architecture, the multifunctional honeycomb in which the individual is assigned his or her place or takes it voluntarily in order to contribute to the continuity of the post-postmodern world of work and leisure. As far as Louise Bristow’s painted set-ups are concerned, the initial aim is to interrogate the pluralistic cultural situation of the present. The compilation of artefacts ‘neutralised’ in their disparate assemblage bears nostalgic and at the same time alienated traits, because the different ‘actors’ are on the same stage, but they are not sure whether they are in the same play.

Thomas Groetz

Exhibition start: Friday, 16 April 2021 / 1:00 – 8:00 pm

Exhibition period: Saturday, 17 April to Saturday, 29 May 2021

To the Gallery



Exhibition Matias Bechtold + Louise Bristow – Laura Mars Gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin

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