Kim Bartelt is a German collage and wall-relief maker. She is known for her large, chromatically restrained, geometric compositions that feature translucent found paper with traces of its own historical context. She does not manually apply paint pigments, but sometimes uses pastel or paper pulp.Read More
After studying art history in Paris in the early 1990s at the Institut Supérieur des Carrières Artistiques, Bartelt went to the Parsons New School of Design, Paris for a foundation year to study painting. She then went across to New York to attend the Parsons New School of Design there, and graduated with a BFA in 1998. However, she decided to make collages and wall reliefs, and not painting in the conventional sense.
Discarded translucent paper fascinates Bartelt as a source of imagery in her geometric and formally austere collages: notably its wrinkles, subtly imperfect edges, blemishes, and graphic remnants from earlier uses. These qualities of the found material are of particular interest to Bartelt when glued onto stretched linen, especially when combined with blocks of applied pastel. Soft greys, light buffs, duck-egg blue, red oxide, pale khakis, and beiges dominate amidst carefully balanced, nuanced but brittle, shapes. See, for example, Big Boy (2018) and My Dear (2019).
Sometimes, Bartelt makes works by applying white paper pulp directly onto stretched brown jute, as in Paper Pulp (2020) and Paper Pulp 1 (2020). She also constructs unstretched hangings, mixing loose canvas with linen and paper, such as Changing Sides (2020).
Kim Bartelt's large, very pale, and extremely delicate collages have been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include Stillleben, Cadogan Contemporary, London (2022); Invisible Subjects, Cadogan Contemporary, London (2020); Baldon Berlin, Yellownose Studio, Berlin (2019); Paper, Hettler.Tüllmann, Berlin (2017); A fleur de peau, Galerie Lacke&Farben, Berlin (2015).
Group exhibitions include A Double Presentation, Wilhelmhallen Hallen #2, Berlin (2021); A Temporary Space, Studio Ima, Mexico City (2021); August Exhibition, Cadogan Contemporary, London (2020); Perhaps we should have stayed, Warbling Collective, London (2019); GIFC, Hotel Paris, Berlin (2019); Let Me Know Before You Arrive, Warbling Collective, London (2018); Anonymous Drawings, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin (2018).
Bartelt's work is held in private collections across Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, U.K., U.S.A., Israel, India, and Brazil.
John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022