post-title Exhibition xT | Galerie Martin Mertens | 18.06.-23.07.2016

Exhibition xT | Galerie Martin Mertens | 18.06.-23.07.2016

Exhibition xT | Galerie Martin Mertens | 18.06.-23.07.2016

Exhibition xT | Galerie Martin Mertens | 18.06.-23.07.2016

until 23.07. | #0590ARTatBerlin | Galerie Martin Mertens presents from the 18th June 2016 the exhibition xT with the artists Armin Hartenstein, Katharina Jahnke, Jan Kämmerling, Julia Kröpelin, Katja Pfeiffer and Christian Pilz.

At the initiative of the artist Katja Pfeiffer, who is represented by the gallery Martin Mertens, the group exhibition xT will bring together six artist positions in which specific transitions between flatness and space play an essential part. The relief, whether physically built or a depiction thereof, presents a shared dimension in terms of form and content. In a way, the works are united in their desire to take over the space starting from the wall. To describe this particular interest in spatial depth the title makes use of the abbreviation x T taken from the common formula H x B x T (Height x Width x Depth) to specify object measurements. Another possible reading of the letter T as the mathematical time factor can come to mind as well. It is wonderfully fitting that just in this moment of time the expression ,Curation in the cloud‘ is wandering through the medial landscape since it describes so appropriately how the participating artists found each other. Yet in an even better way this is alluded to by the alpine motive of the invitation card as well as by the poetic description, which Jan Kämmerling, with a view of the Hôtel Montanvert, has given this gathering.


Armin Hartenstein shows image objects that are almost monochromatic in their appearance. These are painterly models of fictitious landscapes, specific places of the inner imagination somewhere between narrative illusionism and abstraction. In his new works from the series Rote Wüsten (2016) delicate scenic topographies of wild red-ochre wasteland come into being by retracing and subtly reinterpreting the pronounced grain of the rough wooden panels. Mes Amis de Emmanuel Bove is the name of a series of small scaled collaged image objects, which have been produced continuously since 2006 mostly while travelling. From drawings, found objects, photo prints, paintings and other material arise unique pieces and groups of landscape-like formations.

Katharina Jahnke’s works, which consist mainly of sculptures, collages and installations, generate a complex structure which needs to be decoded. All art pieces have in common a process of working in layers and assembling separate individual parts, the collage principle establishes connections or creates clashes. As a result logical progressions and contradictions emerge in equal measure. The current photograms, which are made traditionally in a photo lab and which are used as a backdrop for sceneries, show surreal and dream-like sequences. The familiar reveals its disconcerting potential. Architectural structures begin to wobble, enigmatic beings appear on the image surface for a short moment and, having been exposed to light, fade away again through the alchemy of the dark  room.
Jan Kämmerling’s extremely reduced works have their roots in Constructivism.  He focusses his image finding strategies on materials that produce an image by their installation placement. Only in the gallery space building materials like steel and plastic foil become image objects which cross over into sculpture. Consequently the location contributes to the meaning of the work and becomes part of it. Work and space engage in a certain dialogue thereby creating lines of view which direct the spectator’s gaze. Even though the works don’t quite pass as pictures, they remain pictorial nevertheless and hover around the edge of space without ever quite becoming three-dimensional. noch bildhaft und changieren an der Schnittstelle zum Raum, um nie eindeutig dreidimensional zu werden.

Physical extension and movement – the depiction of force and mass beyond their time dimension – are features of Julia Kröpelin’s sculptures. The current work series Wandobjekte (2013-2016) focusses on flatly arranged topographies, playing with figurative associations, at the same time rejecting them and developing independent shapes. Light, yellowish beige and tinted brown tones remind of paper,-wrapping paper and remotely of animal hides. Julia Kröpelin investigates the fragility of temporary forms of appearance in terms of physical and intellectual experience. She works artistically with the levels of meaning of a thing and its potential. Thereby she opens up the conceptual definition of a situation to then have it undergo a process of visual fragmentation. The concept of exchangeability between physical and mental perceptual processes are fundamental for her artistic work. In her newer wall objects the creative process is reverted. On the basis of her concept of fragmentation and separation of the perceptible she develops consistent objects.
Christian Pilz builds graphic worlds on paper with no other medium than the naked line. He invents endless labyrinths, utopian architectures, rampant road networks which he continually condenses, interweaves and at the same time expands beyond the paper’s borders. The mostly small-sized works offer a dizzying gaze into a spatial depth that seems almost impenetrable in its complexity. Even though these worlds seem to be made by humans for mankind they are obviously not inhabitable. Rather down to the tiniest detail the elaborate visions allow the viewer a model-like presentation of the circumstances of his own living space.

Katja Pfeiffer’s work examines the question how humanity is building its world. Based on impressions of real architecture she creates constructions quirky and fragile in design and thereby questions the belief in a methodical and ordered shaping of the world. Most recently she investigated temporary buildings for reinforcing modern ruins originating from her exploratory walks into the Italian city L’Aquila, whose historic center had been severely damaged due to the earthquake in 2009. A continuation of the earthquake theme can be found in the work Terre Motor (2016). Instead of a pedestal a simple work bench-table carries a complex plaster construction based on the so-called spaghetti junctions – complex large intersections – as can be found in Los Angeles for instance. Beneath the tabletop there is a self-destruction mechanism, which is controlled by a random generator causing the road network to collapse at an unforeseen moment of time – a miniature earthquake. At the same time the title already implies that destruction (terre moto –Italian for earthquake) can be the engine (motor) for a creative new beginning.

Vernissage: Saturday, 18th June 2016, 6 – 9 p.m.

Exhibition period: Saturday, 18th June to 23th July 2016

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Image caption: Katja Pfeiffer, Peterhäuser, 2016

exhibition xT – Galerie Martin Mertens – Kunst in Berlin ART at Berlin

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