The gallery has been working with Matthias Kanter since its founding in 2006. I know of no other painter who deals with the effect of colour as intensely as he does. In his preoccupation with the history of painting, he focusses on colour as the carrier of meaning and as the space-forming element in a pictorial space. The investigation of subtle colour tones and colour as the sole transporter of emotions has become his central theme. His works – as reduced and simple as they may seem at first sight – request an emotional openness from the viewer, as well as a precise sense for the individual colour soloists, that once together result in a concert. Just like in any successful musical composition, the individual colours complement each other, create counterpoints, respond to each other, and only when once together do they compose a piece of work.
Kanter says: “Twenty years ago, I undertook a kind of ‘manifesto’ of how I imagine my painting to be. This was not yet visible to me and many coordinates were determined by what inspired me in the art of others or rather what was important to me at the time – certainly with the idea of necessary repair. It is fascinating that more and more of these wishes have been brought into visibility over the years. Despite all experiences, success remains more of a gift than a guaranteed achievement. However, at least a trust grows over time that creates the conditions under which a painting can emerge on a regular basis. I am interested in painting as an experience, those moments of clarity when it is possible to transform paint into a “being” – no longer pigment and imagination, but the presence of “something” that the memory recognises. I have not found anything that appeals to me more in the long term than this lonely work in the studio. Every success is like a frozen moment of happiness that unfolds its effectiveness. Today, I can say that this is just about how the painting that I felt was lacking could look like, yet it still feels like just after the start, like the dawn of a new beginning.”
In this two-person show, we are exhibiting works by photographic artists, Tessa Verder and Ralf Peters. The common denominator is nature as a motif, which is both familiar yet unusual.
Both artists relate to the art of German Romanticism. The serenity and remoteness found in both artists’ work seems ambivalent to a present day shaped by speed and connectivity. The motifs of both artists create a haven of peace in the midst of the flood of images that surround us in everyday life and online on a daily basis.
One can almost feel the reference to German Romanticism first hand, yet still the photos seem strangely unreal. In dealing with German Romanticism, both artists address questions concerning homeland and identity – two notions that have gained relevance today and trigger controversial discussions.
In Verder’s work, photos taken all around the world (i.e. Iceland, South America, Africa or Asia) are interwoven with elements resembling the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and other Romantics. This interweaving creates something new, something that appears well-known, yet simultaneously outlandish.
Ralf Peters’ nocturnal and illuminated trees are reminiscent of the mighty trees that were important to artist’s such as Caspar David Friedrich. A solitary tree becomes the protagonist on its nocturnal stage. The trees in Peters’ works are dramatically stage by means of an exceptionally strong flashlight at an angle of up to 180 degrees and a long exposure time. Through this, the trees gain volume and are portrayed differently than with the use of an ordinary flash. The branches look like a drawing. The whole photo achieves painterly qualities and the individual character of every tree steps into the foreground.