March 11, 2011 - Art Cologne - NEW POSITIONS showcases 20 young innovative artists
March 11, 2011

NEW POSITIONS showcases 20 young innovative artists

NEW POSITIONS showcases 20 young innovative artists

45. Internationaler Kunstmarkt

13–17 April 2011

Vernissage on Tuesday,
12 April, 5 pm

Axa Art Professional Preview on Tuesday,
12 April, 12 pm

ART COLOGNE 2011: 13–17 April 2011
NEW POSITIONS showcases 20 young innovative artists

‘NEW POSITIONS’, ART COLOGNE’s sponsorship programme for young, innovative artists, was launched in 1980. The programme offers young artists selected by a panel of experts free exhibition stands of 25 square metres. The stands for the young artists adjoin the stands of the galleries representing them. This year’s selection panel has singled out twenty young artists. There will be a special prize—the Audi Art Award for NEW POSITIONS—for the best young artist. The prizewinner will be given a solo show at the Cologne artothek. The award also includes the publication of a catalogue. The package is worth EUR 10,000. The award ceremony will be held at ART COLOGNE at 3.00 pm on Friday, 15 April 2011. ‘The sponsorship programme brings the artists and their galleries a huge amount of public exposure,’ emphasizes Klaus Gerrit Friese, the chairman of the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Editionen (BVDG). The programme is supported by the German Federal Government, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Koelnmesse GmbH and the BVDG. ART COLOGNE runs from 13 to 17 April 2011.

A look at this year’s ‘NEW POSITIONS’ points to the continuation of a trend noticeable in previous years. Cross-medial convergence is a common denominator in the work of many of the young artists selected. Much of it is interdisciplinary in nature, making it hard to label in terms of conventional artistic media. Painting continues to be strongly represented. One photographer has been selected and only one artist works exclusively in the medium of sculpture.

Fritz Bornstück (Mikael Andersen, Berlin / Copenhagen) uses found objects, detritus and leftovers, piling his paintings high with an uncoordinated mass of unsavoury objects set against murky backgrounds. An example is the oil titled ‘Warmer Kühlschrank’ where a chaotic confusion of indeterminate shapes informs the composition. In tableaux like ‘The court of the bloody Duchess’, ‘The Backstage Table’ and ‘Fast Food Romance’ a carefully composed still-life effect is achieved. Bornstück uses compost as a vanitas motif, creating pitch-black chasms that exude the menace of evil. His virtuoso paintings of decomposition and decay both repel and fascinate.

The paintings of the English artist Sean Dawson (Buchmann, Berlin / Lugano) are compelling in their dynamism. He works his large-format canvases using sweeping gestural brushwork to create turbulent swathes of entangled bands and rope-like lines that seem to surge over the picture plane and beyond. This multi-layered mingling of three-dimensional space and matter evokes illusionistic depth, identifying Dawson as the creator of a variety of abstract illusionism.

Helene Appel (Luis Campana, Cologne / Berlin) uses unprimed brownish ochre canvases to produce subtle compositions that are finely balanced somewhere between figurative painting and abstraction. In their linear precision and intense attention to detail, paintings like ‘Putztuch’ and ‘Stoff’ have extraordinarily realistic qualities. Tiny details, intricate patterns and even the folds of drapery are so precisely depicted that an irritatingly illusionary impression is created. In his series titled ‘On a single breath’ the young Cracow artist Bartek Materka (Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf) depicts an imagery of floating, dissolving contours. The view of the rippling water surface evokes mixed feelings of freedom and underwater weightlessness associated with premonitions of danger and destruction. The paintings of Simone Lanzenstiel (Barbara Gross, Munich) are characterized by an impression of work in progress. Her brushwork has a deceptive spontaneity and conveys a feeling of ephemerality which conceals a subtly interwoven response to observed detail. Fundamental to Lanzenstiel’s work are spatial relationships and the diffusion of the spatial limitations of the canvas. In her wall and installation paintings the interplay between what is seen or transposed and what is added or invented is designed to encourage dialogue. Dominik Sittig (Christian Nagel, Cologne / Berlin / Antwerp) deploys complex painterly processes in his paintings, reworking and overpainting them again and again. His use of coarse, heavy impasto gives them extraordinarily haptic qualities. Abel Auer (Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf) conjures up a fantastic world of brightly coloured, surreal landscapes. His large-format canvases are peopled with curious hybrid figures, solitary forests, lone trees and discordant mountain landscapes. Cacophonies of colour and pattern overcrowd his images, which slip into stifling overload, leaving the viewer with an impression of oppressiveness. The Korean artist Noori Lee (Tony Wuethrich, Basle) has a highly distinctive style that melds photorealism, Abstract Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism. Lee’s complex, large-format paintings draw on photographs and combine Western and Eastern influences, evoking in his depictions of uninhabited rooms and houses a disturbing, strangely disconcerting atmosphere.

The paintings of Gábor Pinter (Erika Deak, Budapest) are charged with playfully ironical allusions. Their crudeness points to the abbreviated style of graffiti painting and references the vocabulary of that subculture. Kiko Pérez (Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid) breathes new life into Colour Field painting. He paints on wood and paper and also works in public spaces where he delivers strikingly original artistic statements. The young Dutch street photographer Paulien Oltheten (Fons Welters, Amsterdam) is a talented observer of unusual situations and showcases the quirks of human behaviour in the public domain. Her approach is a unique mixture of spontaneous and staged photography.

Three different media—drawing, sculpture and video—are equally important in the work of the South African artist Cameron Platter (Ernst Hilger, Vienna). Platter has revived the art of storytelling, reinterpreting it with input from local politics, third-rate gangster films and children’s cartoons. His video installations – made of over-large coloured crayon drawings and sculptures of jacaranda wood – are alive with with black humour and cynicism. Frauke Dannert (Rupert Pfab, Düsseldorf) makes paper collages out of photocopies of paintings, newspaper cuttings and images printed off the internet. She reconfigures them, giving them entirely new meaning. Snippets of architecture are one of her preferred motifs and she reconstructs them into surreal buildings that expand out across walls and floors creating an emotive form of three-dimensional, walk-through picture space that the viewer can engage with.

The Mexican sculptress Monica Martinez (Gentili, Prato) creates architectural models that recall factories and production plants. Anna Galtarossa (Studio La Città, Verona) deploys great imaginative power to produce colourful assemblages from a wide variety of (found) objects – objects that recall the statues of the deities and the fetish objects of ethnic art.

The work of Sonia Leimer (nächst St. Stephan, Vienna) is multilayered and revolves around the concepts of space and time and particularly the human perception of space and time. In film and architecture she opens up new realms of artistic thought. She relates tales of the long-lost and the long-forgotten to explore avenues of memory and to enquire into their significance.

The work of Christoph Blawert (Produzentengalerie, Hamburg) defies categorization. He makes use of a wide variety of media, integrating paintings, films and installations to create scenarios that are at times site-specific. Anna Lena Grau (Thomas Rehbein, Cologne) ferrets out forgotten or little-known stories. Her sculptures and installations are meditations on philosophical and scientific methodologies.

One of the many interests of the American artist Shana Lutker (Wetterling, Stockholm) is Sigmund Freud’s ‘The interpretation of dreams’. She addresses elemental feelings – shame, loneliness, despair, pangs of conscience – often presenting them in large, multi-part installations packed with photographs, drawings and performance art. The American painter and sculptor Brett Lund (fiebach, minninger, Cologne) draws on a wide variety of sources, referencing some of the icons of art history.

This year’s selection panel: Sven Ahrens, Cologne (gallerist); Caren Jones, Cologne (gallerist); Stefan Kobel, Berlin (journalist); Andreas Schulze, Cologne (artist); Dr. Stefan Kraus, Cologne (director of Kolumba, Cologne’s Archiepiscopal Art Museum). Non-voting members of the panel were: Roland Berger and Herr Braune, representing the German Federal Ministry for Cultural and Media Affairs (Berlin / Bonn); and Daniel Hug, Koelnmesse, artistic director of ART COLOGNE. The meeting was chaired by Klaus Gerrit Friese of the BVDG.

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