Ein gern gesehener Gast
The galleries Office Impart and Åplus present the joint exhibition Ein gern gesehener Gast with new artworks by the artists Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg and Simon Modersohn.
At first glance, the groups of works on display seem fundamentally different – conspicuously transparent, Dunkelberg ́s sculptures and reliefs float on the wall and in space, while the seemingly unspectacular backdrops in Modersohn’s paintings appear to be magically charged with sentimental traits due to their desolate setting. The artist's depictions reflect the banal scenes of everyday life that undergo a metaphysical expansion through further intensive processing of the motifs on canvas. Initially, his paintings seem to be the reversal of Dunkelberg’s art, in which figurativeness and truthfulness are seen alongside abstraction and decorative model aesthetics.
And yet, all the seemingly contrasting qualities that differentiate these groups of works, will not stop the eye to search in them for similarities. Dunkelberg’s and Modersohn’s artworks are similar already at their outset, which is always a drawing or a painting. While Modersohn negotiates the depicted objects on canvas, Dunkelberg, basing on a drawing, transfers them into ever new shapes. The relief Sprezzatura is such an example, emerging from both sculpture and painting – its title implies the potential to make even the most strenuous achievements look easy and effortless. The artwork takes place in the context of art production and reception of art, at the fine line between a fluffy shell and a social burden.
The silhouettes of the cultural aesthetics are only revealed in the disguise of the banal, which manifests itself in the relief made of transparent PETG-synthetic material and equipped with two plastic glasses for champagne: the more sensual quality is lost, the more the symbolical will come to the fore. Modersohn’s painting Last but not least also refers to metaphorical motives: a cigarette has just been put out; the empty champagne glass stands by. The domestic environment is evoked from his memory, but it is the intensive painting process itself, the interrelation between construction and factuality that bring new, complex life circumstances and a magical effect of place. (...) The depiction of the ordinary, of the everyday object, of an interior, of a mere silhouette or a casted shadow, is a wellspring for both artists. Fainted Couch by Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg demonstrates a characteristic of the model: the observer develops an alternative approach to an object that is commonly used. There where people are not present, light is used as a source of potential presence, simultaneously marking a threshold to the absence itself. (...)
The omnipresent human traces bind both artists in their practice. Whether it is a model or a conventional piece of furniture, the portrayed is always man-made. Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg and Simon Modersohn question the usefulness, the traditional craftsmanship, the multilayerdness and the meaning of these objects without humans having to be present – although their presence is still perceptible. In their absence, both artists transform everyday objects into something special, the ordinary into the magical.
text Marlene Schenk