until 11.03. | #3780ARTatBerlin | Contemporary Fine Arts presents from 28 January 2023 (vernissage: 27.01) the group exhibition “Canned Heat”.
Contemporary Fine Arts presents the exhibition Canned Heat with works by Ellen Berkenblit, Eliza Douglas, Angelika Loderer, Sarah Lucas, Ana Prvački, Magali Reus and Maja Ruznic.
The title of the exhibition comes from the legendary Los Angeles cult band formed in 1965 (which in turn referred to Tommy Johnson’s Canned Heat Blues from 1928).
The presentation brings together artists who, in their different materials – from everyday objects to oil to bronze or prints – illustrate processes that are initially not visually perceptible, such as political or natural, creative or destructive forces. Artworks are then formally conceived as reservoirs of intractable, uncomfortable but ultimately inspiring tensions that affect our emotions, thinking, movement and rhythm both physically and collectively.
In the works of Magali Reus, for example, everyday objects are defamiliarised to the point of absurdity and become parodies of their own supposed effect. An object as simple as a traffic sign is assigned so many layers through Reus’ reproductions and additions that its presence as a sign becomes ridiculous and undermined by its lack of function.
Ana Prvački’s watercolours were created during the pandemic as a kind of diary, an inventory of objects from the artist’s environment, as if to reassure herself of the existence of her surroundings in such unreal times. Their humorous nature feeds on the tension between image and text, with the discrepancy between the written word and the drawing it reproduces reinforcing the arbitrariness of the signs as perceived by the viewer/reader.
Eliza Douglas’ work thrives on the ambiguous relationship between photography and painting. Zooming in on the rumpled T-shirts in the most “realistic” medium imaginable, a close-up, one could say that the messy fabric is reminiscent of draping in Renaissance painting. Douglas subverts the concept of body-covering clothing by emphasising its thinness and depicting it unworn and crumpled on the floor. Whereas in the Renaissance the treatment of fabrics served to conceal the human form, Douglas’ discarded garments, fresh from the washing machine, reveal the familiar figures of contemporary culture as equally washed out.
The objectification of the female body in art history becomes almost slapstick in Sarah Lucas’ TARUNA, as the body becomes a conglomeration of found objects – stockings, shoes, etc. – and, appropriately, lying headless on a chair.
In Some Announcements by Ellen Berkenblit, the female protagonist is again very definitely presented as such. She turns away, obviously unimpressed by the sounds of the heavenly host of angels. One is tempted to interpret the female figure depicted here in profile, which appears repeatedly in her work, as an avatar of the artist.
In Angelika Loderer’s work, the forces of nature are not only a theme but also a co-author of the work. In small bronze sculptures reminiscent of shoes dipped in mud, Loderer emphasises the deep connection between man and nature, which shape and mould each other.
Maja Ruznic’s complex painting Invocation II emerges from a tension between reality and fiction, from a desire to integrate and illuminate our own darkness. The masked figure in this atmospheric, misty painting is the result of the artist’s studies with C.G. Jung; according to his teachings, she represents a kind of protective shield around the “persona”. It could fix us from a memory, a dream or perhaps even from a mirror.
Here we direct our gaze where we would rather not direct it or never thought we would; every light casts a shadow. The material of the artworks and its layers then contain not only information but also a potential for thinking them socially, psychologically and politically, food (or fuel) for thought.
Vernissage: Friday, 27 January 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 28 January to Saturday, 11 March 2023.
Caption Title: Courtesy of Contemporary Fine Arts (CFA Berlin)
Group exhibition Canned Heat – CFA Berlin | Zeitgenössische Kunst – Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin