post-title Thomas Kleemann – Painting + Anna Bogouchevskaia – Sculptures | Galerie Tammen | 03.02.-18.03.2023

Thomas Kleemann – Painting + Anna Bogouchevskaia – Sculptures | Galerie Tammen | 03.02.-18.03.2023

Thomas Kleemann – Painting + Anna Bogouchevskaia – Sculptures | Galerie Tammen | 03.02.-18.03.2023

Thomas Kleemann – Painting + Anna Bogouchevskaia – Sculptures | Galerie Tammen | 03.02.-18.03.2023

until 21.01. | #3775ARTatBerlin | Galerie Tammen presents from 3 February 2023the exhibition of the artists Thomas Kleemann and Anna Bogouchevskaia.

REALITY IS CURABLE
“This speculative sentence inspired my current painting in a special way. My works do not pose the delicate question of how reality is to be reproduced, but rather how it is to be produced. My pictures show reality – produced by painting. The works move in the field of tension between perception and invention. They do not illustrate the world outside, they create original pictorial structures and remain closely connected to the pictorial possibilities on the picture surface and their imaginative potential. This is how impasto, relief-like works are created that pay homage to reality without losing their very own pictorial quality. The intention behind this is to counter the madness of the ugly, brutal flood of images to which we are exposed every day with something of our own through painting. For example, in the series Optimists of the Will: Here I do not have hasty euphemism in mind, but rather the creation of a pictorial reality that also reveals an idea of beauty that has fallen from grace. Images are formed – not effigies. And therein lies its chance. Painting shows the world: reality can be healed.”
Thomas Kleemann, Berlin, January 2019

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Galerie Tammen - Thomas Kleemann-minCourtesy of Galerie Tammen – Thomas Kleemann

The images of the French documentary film “Microcosmos – Le peuple de l`herbe” from 1996 – which took ten years to produce and required a special camera programmed for the tiniest movements – provided Anna Bogouchevskaia with the first impetus to deal with the microcosm of “drops”. She wanted to give form to what “only exists for a second, a third of a second”. “In their abstraction, they open up a wide associative space, make us think of the blossoming and fading of flowers or of game pieces in a board game. At the same time, however, they also make the element of water immediately tangible as a living one, not least through the silvery, metallic sheen,
that the aluminium creates. For the complex light reflections reproduce the iridescence of a surface of water moved by rain and evoke the sensuality that man can experience in contact with the primordial element of water. In the compression of time and the stretching of space
Bogouchevskaia turns to water as the most fleeting of natural forms, the epitome of the formless and intangible.

By giving form to the formless, Anna Bogouchevskaia draws for us from water the vividness and emotionality that pervades her entire oeuvre, opening up with a light hand a view of an all-too-familiar yet alien element that, scientifically speaking, is not only the origin of life but, in the philosophy of the pre-Socratic Thales of Miletus, even the origin of everything.”
Quoted from: Victor Gallandi

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Galerie Tammen - Thomas KleemannCourtesy of Galerie Tammen – Thomas Kleemann

In the magical microcosm of Moving Waters by Anna Bogouchevskaia

“Thales taught that the origin of all things is water.”
– Diogenes Laertios: I, 27

“Early in the morning in a meadow, somewhere on this earth. But in this meadow hides another world, as large as a planet. Wild grasses become impenetrable jungle. Stones grow into mountains. And even the smallest waterhole turns into an ocean. The passage of time takes on other dimensions. An hour becomes a day, a day becomes a season. And a season lasts as long as a life.”

With these words, the 1996 French documentary “Microcosmos – Le peuple de l’herbe” begins, taking the viewer into a space and time that are below human perception and elude its categories. We follow the small creatures of this world, beetles, caterpillars, bees, like main characters caught up in the dramatic processes and sequences of their survival. As rain comes down, a new act is opened in the drama of the day depicted in the universe of the small. We see individual raindrops hitting the surface of a lake. It is the gestalt cycle of a unique form, a radically slowed transformation: from the deepening impact to the recoil-like rising of a column of water, in infinite variation and variety, the surfaces of the water stretched taut in this magnification creating an unreal, perfect beauty. The production of the film took ten years and required a specially developed camera that could be programmed by motion control to the tiniest movements of a tenth of a millimetre.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Galerie Tammen - Anna BogouchevskaiaCourtesy of Galerie Tammen – Anna Bogouchevskaia

The images of this film were the first impulse for Anna Bogouchevskaia to deal with the microcosm of the “drops” and to make it her own through sculpture. She wanted to give form to what “only exists for a second, a third of a second”. Her new, high-relief sculptures take the viewer into the strange, microscopically enlarged world of forms of water surfaces. Out of this uniformly structured surface rise manifold figures, each framed by concentric wave patterns that capture different stages of that sequence of movements that begins when a drop hits the surface of the water: from a wreath-like blossom with a softly serrated edge to small and larger cones to towering columns with spherical drops as heads.

In their abstraction, they open up a wide associative space, suggesting the blossoming and fading of flowers or the pieces of a board game. At the same time, however, they make the element of water immediately tangible as a living one, not least because of the silvery, metallic sheen created by the aluminium. For the complex light reflections reproduce the iridescence of a surface of water moved by rain and evoke the sensuality that man can experience in contact with the primordial element of water.

However, the choice of aluminium is also due to the necessity of selecting a material with different static properties than the heavy bronze in order to be able to technically realise the complex and filigree forms, especially of the water columns.

The sensuality of water, however, also forms a bridge to Bogouchevskaia’s earlier works, for example to the series of works “In the Water”. In works such as “Big Wave” and “Swimmer” (both 2002), water is recreated in rectangular blocks, to whose power and presence the putto-like figures surrender. For the viewer, the humorously shown expressiveness reflects the intensity of the experience, as it were, and the special colourfulness of the patina additionally evokes the sea and the power of the waves. And the high blocks in which the “Swimmer” and the bathers of the “Wave” sculptures are submerged have, in the case of the “Drops”, become a series of slabs that allow the surface to be explored.

But there is another motif that Bogouchevskaia is always drawn to in Moving Waters: a group of fish swimming towards each other at different heights, with the surprising title “On the Road”. The animal motif is thus at the same time an observation of everyday life and humorously hints at the diversity of forms, the grotesque and the all-too-human that Bogouchevskaia discovers in observing passers-by. For this work, the artist spent long hours in front of the panes of the aquarium at Berlin Zoo, turning to those fish whose particular physiognomies reminded her of various human characters. Bogouchevskaia’s father, the sculptor Daniel Mitlianski, in his text “The Sculptures of My Daughter Anna” (1999) aptly described this “very own view of the things of this world” as a “loving irony” that the viewer can find here. Moreover, he draws attention to the fact that a good sculpture differs from a bad one in that it “can be enlarged many times over”.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Galerie Tammen - Thomas KleemannCourtesy of Galerie Tammen – Thomas Kleemann

And this aspect certainly applies to the “Drops” in particular, since the shifted dimensions of multiple enlargement are here the starting point of this adventure of form. In the compression of time and the stretching of space, Bogouchevskaia turns to water as the most fleeting of natural forms, the epitome of the formless and intangible. Undoubtedly a sculptural challenge and in its complexity indeed a “deadly work”, as Bogouchevskaia reveals. On the one hand, because the water and its movement create such improbable, unreal formations with their very own proportions and an impossible static that refers to the dynamics of the material, and on the other hand because, compared to earlier works, there is a stronger abstraction. But can the “Drops” be classified at all in the dichotomy of concretion – abstraction? For what appears at first glance to be an abstract form is actually the result of a closer look, a deepening into a concrete, naturalistic formal language.
naturalistic language of form, whose alien impression makes us aware of the limitations of our perception.

By giving form to the shapeless, Anna Bogouchevskaia draws for us from water the liveliness and emotionality that pervades her entire oeuvre, and with a light hand opens up a view of an all too familiar and at the same time alien element, which, scientifically speaking, is not only the origin of life, but in the philosophy of the pre-Socratic Thales of Miletus, even the origin of everything.

Vernissage: Friday, 3 February 2023, 7:00. – 10:00 p.m.

Exhibition dates: Friday, 3 February 2023 – Saturday, 18 March 2023

To the Gallery

 

 

Caption: Courtesy of Galerie Tammen – Anna Bogouchevskaia

Exhibition Thomas Kleemann – Anna Bogouchevskaia – Galerie Tammen | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin

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