until 17.04. | #2970ARTatBerlin | WENTRUP presents from 5th March 2021 the Solo Show e e e B n n N n with works by the artist Miriam Böhm (*1972). It is the third solo show of the Berlin photographer.
e e B n n N n – a string of individual letters that tempts one to create words. But even without forming a word, these letters have their own reality. The photographic work of Miriam Böhm is similar. Just as a word is made up of individual letters and a sentence of individual words, the artist builds her pictures from individual picture elements. These picture elements are in turn equivalent picture components within the picture, which are positioned and put together or superimposed in such a way that they are equally motif, carrier of meaning and picture content. From folded paper, cut cardboard surfaces, drawn-in lines or shadows, landscapes, textiles, glass, structures, folds and creases, Böhm creates minimalist, formally emphasised pictorial arrangements that reflect visually on space in different ways and in the broadest sense. Böhm’s photographs are created – partly analogue, partly digital – somewhere in the field of tension between surface, fragment and space; between the poles of spatial design and intangible idea. They deal with visual shifts, with fragments and formal interventions. Exploring the pictoriality of the working material and the design itself, as well as thinking about the possibilities of expanding the visual language, play a central role in Miriam Böhm’s photographic work. Thus, she is by no means concerned with depicting reality; rather, her compositions assert or signify it in a poetic way.
Perhaps Böhm’s photographs are most reminiscent in their presence of the haiku, a traditional Japanese poetic form that is considered the shortest in the world. The haiku plays with rhetorical devices, it has a distinct inner rhythm, a strict form and each word has a singular position – it stands for itself and is at the same time part of the structure and of a complex sentence. The haiku does not separate the subject of the word from its meaning. It is read in one breath. Due to the brevity of the poem, each individual word has great significance, but the connection between the words is loose. At the end, the sentence fades away without a defined conclusion and floats in the air. And so, in the end, Miriam Böhm’s photographs do not want to be definable or readable down to the last detail. Rather, each individual work stands on its own as what it is: a picture. It represents or expresses something that is not conceptually tangible.
In royal blue, the numbers 4 and 5 radiate towards us in the work One (2019). They have been superimposed. If each number has its own meaning within the sign system, Böhm dissolves this meaning by superimposing the numbers. At the same time, by superimposing the two numbers, she creates something new that, however, has no meaning within the sign system we know and cannot be defined linguistically. One claims to be something. The situation is similar in the series Only (2020) in which Böhm takes “only” one piece of a sky depicted on folded paper and inserts a new sky motif elsewhere, namely behind the framed photograph in the form of wallpaper. A superimposition of two skies, with different colourings, taken at different times, neither fully visible. It is these empty spaces, sometimes not immediately visible, sometimes provocatively placed in the foreground, that interest Böhm and irritate our visual habits.
Like a poem, Miriam Böhm arranges abstract forms next to landscape motifs in her exhibition e e e B n n N n , creates geometric shapes from the silhouette of a mountain, lets cut cardboard surfaces float in impossible perspectives in front of a textile background or lays papers against each other in such a way that the butt edges resemble delicate pencil lines. Sometimes the photographs are framed, sometimes mounted on aluminium, sometimes realised as wallpaper. It is the interplay of forms that makes us move rhythmically through the exhibition. Sometimes pausing to try to get to the bottom of what is depicted. Wherever one’s thoughts lead one, immediately in front of the pictures one becomes aware of a powerful silence that emanates from them. A silence that lets you come to rest yourself.
Miriam Böhm has had solo and group exhibitions at the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen; the Kunstmuseum Bochum; Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, Florida; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado; Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, California; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Kunstforum NRW, Düsseldorf; Museum für Konkrete Kunst in Ingolstadt, as well as at the galleries Ration3 in San Francisco and Helga de Alvear in Madrid.
In 2020 Miriam Böhm was part of the Festival of Photographic Images in Regensburg, as well as a group exhibition at Sprüth Magers in Berlin.
Works by Miriam Böhm are represented in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; E.ON Art Collection, Essen; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Norton Museum of Art, Norton, Florida; Sammlung Wemhöner, Herford; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus; Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen.
In 2014 Böhm was nominated for The Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers.
Exhibition period: Friday, 5 March – Saturday, 17th April 2021To the Gallery
Exhibition Miriam Böhm – WENTRUP | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin