Sabine Moritz is a German painter and prolific drawer who lives and works in Cologne, coming originally from East Germany. She uses her memory and documentary images to guide dense, hotly coloured brushmarks around certain chosen motifs, like helicopters, traumatic wartime events, cities, animals, or flowers. She is married to the renowned painter Gerhard Richter.Read More
Born in East Germany and mostly living in a suburb in the city of Jena, in 1985 she migrated to the West with her family. She lived firstly in Darmstadt, and then in Offenbach, where in 1989 she studied at Hochschule für Gestaltung. She then moved to Dusseldorf, where in 1991 she began studying at the Kunstakademie under the renowned painter Markus Lüpertz. The following year she entered one of the last classes of the about-to-retire Richter.
Sabine Moritz's oil paintings and pastel, charcoal, and pencil drawings reference a wide variety of subjects, ranging from different plants and aircrafts to chemical laboratories and peopled civic spaces. Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and her own photographs are useful.
Within restlessly agitated painted fields, Moritz's densely packed, brushed-on daubs and saturated smears intricately delineate these decontextualised, half-remembered forms and locations, aided by photographs.
The rendered images vary in paint quality and mark density. Some are glutinously embedded in the picture plane, as denying spatial depth and the subject's ability to retreat from the viewer is a way of forcing time to freeze. Moritz takes her time contemplating the instant of the rendered action, and readjusting components within a turbulent sea of spidery marks. Sometimes she paints with oil paint onto lithographs, which include Sea King 101 (2018) and Sea King 98 (2017).
Some drawings are very easy to decipher as images, while others require much time to study and be aware of morphological nuances, especially in the large paintings. Examples include Tiger (2016), Three Skulls (2016), Snow (2016), Cabin 15 (2015), Dusk (2016), Ghost Town 1 (2016), Mine 1 (2021), Kamchatka 1 (2021), and Circus1 (2021).
In 2009 Moritz showed the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist a group of over 100 pencil drawings that later became a book, JENA Düsseldorf, and an exhibition at the Kunsthaus Sans Titre in Potsdam in 2011.
Other published collections of images include Deeply Unaware (2019), Storm (2016), Helicopter (2014), Limbo (2013), and Roses (2010).
Sabine Moritz has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include Mercy, Pilar Corrias, London (2021); Sterne und Granit, Kunsthalle Rostock, Germany (2019); Sabine Moritz: deeply unaware, Marian Goodman, Paris (2019); Paintings and Drawings, Pilar Corrias, London (2018); Eden, König Galerie, Berlin (2018); Neuland, Kunstverein Bremerhaven, Germany (2017).
Group exhibitions include Passages, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne (2020); Clearing, Martina Kaiser / Cologne Contemporary Art, Cologne (2018); Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, Imperial War Museum, London (2017); It's a Women's World, Galerie Martina Kaiser, Cologne (2013).
Mortiz's work is held the collections of Tate Modern, London; Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Faber-Castell Collection, Nuremberg; and Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal.
Sabine Moritz's website can be found here.
John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022