- About the exhibition
- Artists of the exhibition
Craig‘s collections run the gamut from abstract expressionism to haunting, graphic realism, each one a reflection of its creator‘s unique vision. He is most well-known for his Populus series, which drew inspiration from a balcony overlooking Orange Beach, Alabama where patrons enjoying a wedding party seemed to form the shape of an eye where they stood. Craig explains, „Inspiration begins with a ‚What if...‘ as I consider alternate imagery, surfaces, effects, results, etc. It comes from the past in conjunction with now. Like a bolt of lightning.“ Since the epiphany, his Populus series is now home to dozens of celebrities and icons of all ages.
The large-format paintings by Andrea Bender who studied in Duesseldorf by Joerg Immendorff and Dieter Krieg draw us with much sarcasm and irony into the abyss of civil society. Glamorous baroque settings are filled with strangely androgynous and distorted creatures which indicate that the idyll and beauty of the splendid surroundings might be deceiving.
Henning von Gierke
The well-renowned Munich based artist Henning von Gierke has long since caught the attention of an international audience which has been intrigued by his realistic painting. In his works von Gierke questions our existence in the context of nature, religion and philosophy. His rich oeuvre consists of classic topics deriving from Greek mythology and Christianity just like portraits, still lifes or interiors. Not only as a painter but also as an opera-director and stage designer von Gierke is much asked for. For his film settings he has been awarded the highly respected „Deutscher Filmpreis“ in Gold and the „Silberner Bär“.
Matej Košir is a master of illusion. His laboratory is the image archive of art history. Crossing the genres of art he transforms the still lifes of famous old masters into sculptures and reproduces them by the modern medium of photography. Now, which one is the original and which one the copy? The Slovenian artist questions how we perceive and deal with those masterpieces in the age of mass media and mass reproduction - and he reveals how icons of art history become sickly-sweet fetishes.
Luciano Longo devoted all his poetry to still lives. There is in his artworks a performing care typical of a slowness of painting, imposed not only by the same technique of oil painting, but by a love for details that sets this artist in the wake of the great masters who preceded him. A slowness, which is also expected by the spectator, who needs a rather careful reading of the artwork. It originates a reflection on the passage of time, its slow and inexorable act on matter and, therefore, the meaning of life as testified by the vanitas. The nature, inexhaustible source of inspiration to express the sense of becoming, is transformed into the perfect metaphor. In Longo`s research, the desire to create a meditated art remains intact, a result of a careful analysis of the effects of light on objects and optical principles of perspective.
Bas Meeuws is a young photographer who is injecting the traditional Dutch genre of the flower piece with new élan. He composes his work the way the old masters did, flower by flower in luxury and splendour. The result is a layered photography that transcends time. In the area of digital photography he is a self-taught all-rounder and proficient in documentation, portraiture, nature and children. It is only in flower pieces, however, that his interests coalesce: beauty, nature, the technical challenge, meaning and art. His work is closely allied to the history and traditions of art because it is explicitly based on the still lifes of the seventeenth century. With all their polished digital beauty, the photos evoke the glory of the Dutch Golden Age.
Medardus developes his painting cycles by searching for clues in the past. For his oil paintings the artist combines motives of historical paintings or photographs with his own picture imaginations and creatures as well as with contemporary topics such as technology or aerospace. Medardus creates ambivalent, strange visual spaces, in which humans, animals and machines merge to timeless views. The artist lives and works in Switzerland.
With an emphasis on metaphysical cognitive processes Nashun Nashunbatu refers to the contemporary traditions of European landscape painting and, in equal measure, to the older tradition of East-Asian landscape painting. The artist formulates his independent imagery in having recourse to art historical forms of representation which accelerated the viewer's inner dialogue with the picture and which anticipated principal ways of expression of modern art. In this regard, the romantic, symbolic and surreal positions of European painting provide art theoretical reference points which have found their way into the visual and collective memory of the 21st century.
The main theme of Spanish artist Salustiano is the portrait. Highly aesthetically, the artist plays with the viewer's eye which he opposes and exposes the fascinating impenetrable glances of the characters he portrayes. Often in about 60 layers of paint he is carving out the facial features of his partly androgynous protagonists acting in finest precision. These are always placed against a plain or white background and seem – devoting themselves in almost manic peculiarity to mental or physical actions - isolated from the outside world. The intellectual immersion or instinctive decisiveness and power of the portrayed persons, wether they are delicate, young girls or boys, is strongly noticeable.
The magical compositions by the Russian painter Slava Seidel visualize a world shifting between truth and illusion. Her sepia-ink drawings depict surreal scenes in stupendous architectural settings which create a feeling of tension, vertigo and dynamic. The artist masters to depict even the most complex architectural structures in contortion - despite the challenging ink-technique which does not allow any later corrections. Seidel’s technical precision is just as remarkable as her imaginary gift which takes us to unknown, fantastic realities.
Agnes Toth's paintings are refined, weightless juxtapositions, an assemblage of elegantly composed fragments, layers and details; all emerging from the artist's aspiration for aesthetics.The distinctness of Agnes Toth's paintings is the finest quality and the unique compositional method where she reveals highly detailed fragments appearing from the plain surface of the canvas. She uses emptiness and incompleteness as an integral part of the composition. Her attention to detail and the organically shaping forms directed her interest towards the idea of 'slow'. Her paintings create an atmosphere of timelessness and tranquillity, her aim is to slow down the viewer, and direct their attention towards an inner silence without traces of association to anything profane.
Danielle van Zadelhoff
Danielle van Zadelhoff was born in Amsterdam, Holland. Now she lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
In 2013 she purchased her first camera and from that moment she became obsessed with photography. The combination of photography and her education and fascination with the human psyche gives her photos a tension that leaves no one untouched. Danielle says: “I am inspired by the big themes in life, loneliness, vulnerability, the raw pure emotions in daily life. I want to capture this in the image, something that is almost invisible, but always present.” There are also a couple of images where religion comes to the surface. “I was raised in a Protestant school with a Catholic grandmother and a humanistic father. Religion is so integrated in our society and it is also a big theme in the seventeenth century painting.” It brings us to her background of restoring historical atmosphere. In her images this becomes visible through the sophisticated touch and finesse of her work and the attention to detail and proportions. Characteristic for Danielle’s work is the frequent use of Claire-obscure, a technique that was popular among the painters in the Renaissance period.