Organizing the image field using color, shape and surface – the genuine means of painting – is central to the art of Franziska Klotz (b. 1979, Dresden). Her work is characterized by a virtuosic handling of the different modes of painting. Using these purely painterly means, the Berlin-based artist always deals with the real world of the 20th and 21st century, toward which she pursues a subjective perspective that is guided by her personal impressions and feelings.
Her most recent works are primarily based on historical photographs of the destruction of Dresden in 1945. The artist’s examination of this theme originates from her personal relationship to the events in her home town. Through her extensive research in the Dresden archives, the artist found a variety of formally impressive motifs of the ruined city, which she connects with motifs from other historical contexts, such as pictures of the burning oil fields in Kuwait, creating impressive compositions. In this way she combines personal impressions and experiences with the visual memory of different collective experiences, leading to autonomous contemporary historic paintings. “Dresden” becomes a metaphor that speaks of far more than the concrete location or the historic event.
Accordingly, the title “H3PO4” – the chemical formula for phosphoric acid – opens another mental space, by alluding to the myth of the bombing of Dresden with phosphorus bombs: The boundary between experienced reality, imagination and myth-making is removed, resulting in a new, visual reality that moves away from the concrete event.
Also evident in these works is an idealistic relationship with pictures like “Triumph of Death” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: His painting in the Prado in Madrid from1562 is a metaphor for the victory of death over life. Despite the idealization, Bruegel’s landscape also features aspects of the real environment, depicting scenes of violence, destruction, suffering and death, which were also part of the reality of the painter’s life. The same applies to the Dresden paintings by Franziska Klotz, which demonstrate the artist’s reflexive examination of socio-political issues beyond the concrete event. Questions regarding crime and punishment dissolve into the disturbing fascination and power which is inherent in the images of chaos and destruction.
Franziska Klotz is never willing to give up the object and thus the orientation of their painting toward reality. However, her powerful and intense images are always more than a painted picture of what has been seen: Regardless of the motif, a painting by Franziska Klotz is first and foremost an autonomous painterly composition, which is touching even without knowledge of the themes portrayed.
Franziska Klotz studied painting at the Art Academy in Berlin- Weissensee. She was awarded the Max Ernst Scholarship from the town of Brühl and in summer 2015 will be a fellow of the Tarabya Academy of Culture in Istanbul, which is run by the German Embassy in Ankara and curated by the Goethe Institute in Istanbul. In the summer of 2014 she will be represented with five large-scale paintings at the 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. The British curator David Elliott is the Artistic Director of the exhibition, entitled “A Time for Dreams”.
Kunsthandel GmbH & Co KG
We are pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Gianluca Di Pasquale.
His best known works are landscape paintings composed almost only by figures, painted with precise brush strokes inside a large white space. Apart from some people, a few trees, some architectural details, there is almost nothing but white painted canvas. Yet in the imagination the immaculate space becomes mountains, sea, a square or a street. The scenarios are those of our leisure time: ski slopes, parks, trails, large urban squares, beaches - places of encounter and mediation between nature and civilization, where people aggregate, creating rhythms and constellations dictated by the forms of the landscape.
In the most recent works nature, trees and vegetation have become the main actors in the scene. They delicately invade the space with arabesques and patterns of leaves, branches, grass helms and flowers. Loosely referencing Henri Rousseau, Di Pasquale creates new images of paradise where wild animals and humans live together in peace. Di Pasquale’s nature is hypertrophic, but also suspended and silent, observing us from inside his paintings through archetypal animals that resemble guards or sentinels, protecting the landscape that, in turn, protects them. The animals become guides on a path the artist invites us to follow inside nature, getting lost and finding ourselves again, encouraging us to stop and think, triggering a moment of suspension from the frenzy of contemporary life.
Faithful to his poetics, once again Gianluca Di Pasquale attempts not so much to describe reality as to recreate, in painting, landscapes close to his idea of harmony.
Gianluca Di Pasquale was born in Rome in 1971; he lives and works in Milan.