Fünfklang (five-note chord) is an exhibition that demonstrates a wide variety of artistic approaches to the subject. An object may be shown completely realistically, or in the expressive mode; it may be represented in surrealist guise or as an abstract, geometric form. At times, it might dissipate into a shadowy suggestion of itself.
Christian Achenbach's paintings and sculptures have a strong affinity with the musical genre. On canvas, distinctly contoured shapes are fluid in movement, the colours interacting with each other. In his emotional sculptures, they are piled up as metal or glass columns with complicated surfaces. A confluence of static and dynamic forces are at work, which also reflect past trends such as the constructivist tradition. Achenbach was born in 1978 in Siegen near Cologne and studied at UdK Berlin (University of the Arts) under Daniel Richter and Anselm Reyle, becoming the latter's master pupil in 2007. He lives and works in Berlin.
The point of departure of Sybille Berke's work is an engagement with the wall itself, the 'drawing' taking shape in the form of forged round bars and perforated sheet iron. Sculptures are randomly placed in the exhibition rooms. Whether iron or wood, they resemble mysterious objects that might be ripe for recycling, were their function something one could define in the first place. Berke was born in 1949 in Ulm and was a master student at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf). She received many awards, but sadly died at an early age in 1998. This exhibition of her sculptures is a rediscovery of her extensive repertoire.
The sculptor Andreas Blank was born in 1976 and studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe, as a pupil of Harald Klingelhöller. In 2009 he graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a Master's degree in Fine Art. His sculptures are composed of rare stone in a variety of colours, from far-flung quarries around the world. Marble, alabaster or limestone-historically familiar in political or religious uses-are deployed in everyday contexts, producing a type of post-Modern nihilism. Blank's work belongs to the intermediate field between realism and geometric abstract art, generating a conversation between image and representation.
Frank Darius was born in 1963 and lived and worked in Düsseldorf and Cologne between 1998 and 2006; today his studio is in Berlin. His analogue photographs are presented in a series of cycles that traverse a range of styles, from objectivity and representation to abstraction and emptiness of space. He makes the process of sight into a topic in itself, reducing his subjects to the finest, linear, drawing-like structures. In his latest series, he focuses on wall shadows which call to mind the after-image a notice board displays when a picture has been removed. The photographs capture what is absent, what is barely visible. They seek to preserve long lost memories, memoranda, drawings. The time-stamped shadows serve as temporary storage spaces for familiar and trusted things, thereby emphasising the fleeting quality of human life.
Hella Santarossa's work is a hybrid of artistic techniques and genres. Born and brought up in Düsseldorf, the artist now lives and works in Berlin.
The broad spectrum of her art includes works on canvas, glass painting, metal sculpture and, here in particular, a series of transparent obelisks. The hybrid nature of Santarossa's work typifies a more independent spirit, indeed almost the spirit of a maverick-since the artist belongs to the group dedicated to Heftige Malerei (fierce painting) that emerged from the Hödicke class at HdK Berlin. She exhibited her bicycle images in the group's Moritzplatz gallery in 1979. A multi-layering of materials in Santarossa's art corresponds to the up-to-dateness of her themes, always taken from life. Images arise in a dance-like performance, and often with explicit reference to dance as a topic. Her city images grapple with the phenomenon of history, such as the chlorophyll images of the fall of the Wall, nature and vegetation.
Curators: Stephan von Wiese (former Head of the Department of Modern Art, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf), Andreas Blank (sculptor)
Press release courtesy Choi&Lager Gallery.