David Lehmann, the up-and-coming young artist from Germany makes his Asia debut with a solo exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. Lehmann has already showcased his work in some of Germany's major institutions, and has garnered praise from audiences throughout Europe. The multi-venue exhibition Puzzling Astonishment is held simultaneously in the north of Seoul and the south in the Gangnam district. Hosted by Choi&Lager Gallery and HORI Artspace, and directed by AIF Art Management, a total of 75 pieces—including 45 paintings and 30 works on paper—are displayed in this exhibition.
The core characteristics of David Lehmann's work lie in his unconstrained style of drawing that is free from any rules or restrictions. His talents were distinguished even in his early years as a student, and have led him to win numerous awards and scholarships—best exemplified by the Next Generation Award, which he was awarded by the state of Brandenburg in 2016. Lehmann was selected as one of the 53 young artists to participate in the grand touring exhibition Now! Painting in Germany Today (Jetzt! Junge Malerei in Deutschland) in 2019, which was shown in 4 major cities in Germany. The exhibition's panel of judges comprised some of Germany's most influential art experts, and received a great amount of public attention.
Laura Klimt, a renowned art critic in Germany has commented: 'Lehmann's paintings do not give us simple promises. Rather, he pushes us viewers into the post-ideological maze; with his carefully chosen titles, this grand persuader allows Nietzsche and Kurt Cobain or even Herodotus and Madonna to appear on the same stage, not caring about the hierarchical cultural critique.' Klimt's words affirm that Lehmann's works are born of a daring experimental spirit that reaches beyond the existing formative conventions.
'An artist should have a stance in the current political and social phenomena and perform the role with responsibility, especially against populism or far-right ideology that are prevalent in Europe these days.' –David Lehmann
David Lehmann satirises political and social issues, and does not shy away from creating erotic imagery in ways that are both explicit and provocative; his work continuously combines and manipulates ideological philosophies, and intuitively reinterprets contemporary sensibilities. However, the themes within Lehmann's work are not limited only to socio-political matters. The artist touches on a wide range of topics related to the human condition in an outrageous yet humorous manner, particularly combining the events and social phenomena observed in present days with scenes from history or Greek mythology. Lehmann's work also contains spontaneous expressions, which allude to feelings and inspirations he has found in other artistic mediums—namely literature, film, and music.
To David Lehmann, the act of painting represents a constant dichotomy of the rational and the Dionysian. The artist uses a myriad of materials and techniques to express beauty and the grotesque, creates new narratives by retelling ancient myths or classical literature in the modern lexicon, and gives shape to complex human emotions or psychological states. Lehmann stays true to the essence of painting through colours and brushstrokes, and furthers its application by enabling it to depict social phenomena or psychological conditions we are faced with. It is especially astonishing to see the spontaneous, expressive brushstrokes existing in harmony with the faint, delicate touches of paint. Gouache, oil paint, oxidizing copper paint, spray paint... Lehmann completes each canvas with his own unique blend of styles and materials, and invites us all to the sublime realm of painting.
Press release courtesy Choi&Lager Gallery.