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Galerie Schuster Berlin

Charlotte Hopkins-Hall und Curtis Derek


Abbildung:
- Charlotte Hopkins-Hall: Untitled, dispersion on painting and acrylic on canvas, wall painting 230 cm x 400 cm, canvas 2 x 150 cm x 100 cm, 2008
- Derek Curtis: Prince of the forest, gloss paint and enamel on aluminiun, 80 x 125 cm, 2008

Charlotte Hopkins-Hall – Statement

According to Descarte, the mind was a 'thinking thing' that encompassed the fundamental nature of his being: his doubts, beliefs, hopes and thoughts. This fact, on its own seems, to me, to be relevant when reflecting on the essence of my work. Through the medium of painting, I am searching for an understanding of my surroundings, with all its confusing contradictions. Recently I have also started to try and understand my inner and more elusive personal environment and apply it to my paintings. Bacon, whose work I admire greatly, is an example of an artist who showed an excellent ability to divulge his own anguish, lifestyle and reflectiveness in the midst of the 1950's society which was recovering from post-war stress and uncertainty: his paintings have an undeniable visual impact. To some extent my work carries certain characteristics of 'conceptual art' (although, generally, I feel at odds with denominations, here it helps me to put a word to an idea). Because of my need for the idea to prevail over the technical aspects of my paintings, I spend a considerable amount of time defining, researching and thinking before I can start producing anything. The very sober and often dominant black and white aesthetic of the pieces reflects the desire to develop a language for my discomfort in a world nestled between anger and nonsense, with which I feel little or no communion. My paintings neither scream out injustice nor hold any political agenda: they are, on the contrary, quite muted and subtly reactive, using the human figure at their core. Why the human figure? I'm not totally sure. It seems perfectly logical for me to materialise my thoughts in this way. As humans are at the root of my concerns, humans are necessarily at the root of my paintings. My concerns lie with various aspects of the human condition: the ridiculous and the unequal and hypocritical environment of our schizophrenic society, but also with the complexities within. As thinking individuals, one can observe in oneself polar characteristics and dualities, however slight. The absolute complexity of the psychological-self fascinates me. I seek answers through thinkers such as Lacan, but remain a novice, and continue to try to explore this realm through painting. Having said this, my pieces are not entirely void of a profound desire to simply paint and research the aesthetic possibilities of a 2D surface. I play very much with space and its impact on the figures and in turn the impact on the viewer. The interaction or non-interaction with the viewer is an essential element of how my work is received. Whether it is inclusive, exclusive or even intrusive, I would say that on the whole I do keep the viewer at a certain distance but I do enjoy using figures to create an atmosphere. It has always been an ambition of mine to include wall paintings in addition to canvases, which I have recently been able to realise in Untitled (Running Wall) (wall painting 230 cm x 400 cm, canvases 2 x 150 cm x 100 cm). This piece consists of a wall painting of an anthracite brick wall with two canvases hanging on it, each of which depicts a person running away. The use of the wall space replaces the classical 'white space' and adds to the piece by including a new background for the pieces to interact with, as well as bringing in other dimensional aspects. Whilst my work inspires and demands a passionate response in me, the reality of being an artist today imposes a burden of responsibility on my pursuit of artistic expression, not least because my predecessors have already struggled with these same issues and succeeded. The prospect that novelties are hiding and waiting in a remote galaxy in art's universe is challenging. Nevertheless, I aim to find a way to express my doubts, uncertain beliefs, disappointments, anger and hopes through the relentless pursuit of my reflections and the medium of painting.

Charlotte Hopkins Hall

Derek Curtis - Statement

Derek Curtis ist ein Künstler, der sich damit auseinandersetzt, wie die Natur und die natürliche Welt durch die heutige moderne Gesellschaft repräsentiert wird. Die Ideen für seine künstlerische Praxis entwickeln sich aus seiner Nutzung alltäglicher Materialien, die er zusammen mit kulturellen oder kunsthistorischen Referenzen einsetzt. Betont wird dies in seinem Werk durch den Gebrauch von Humor und die Konstruktion von Formen, die mit diesen Ideen spielen.

In der Utopia Painting Series nimmt Curtis Landschaftsposter und Bildtapeten zum Ausgangspunkt und spielt mit der Idee der für den Raumausstattungsmarkt massenproduzierten Naturbildsicht. Die spiegelnde Beschaffenheit der Lackfarbenoberfläche seiner vollendeten Arbeiten zieht den Betrachter mit in die Bilder hinein. Die so entstehenden überkitschigen, extrem bunten Werke bilden dabei einen Kontrapunkt zu der künstlichen ursprünglichen Darstellung des Bildgegenstands.

Das Bild Contemplating the Moon führt dieses Thema weiter aus unter Bezugnahme auf Casper David Friedrichs Gemälde Mann und Frau den Mond betrachtend (1830-35) aus der Alten Nationalgalerie, wobei der Betrachter an die Stelle des Paares im Originalwerk tritt.

Bei Smokey and the Bandit 2 bedient sich Curtis Elementen des Films und der Kunstgeschichte zu einem humorvollen Blick auf die Frage, wer bei der laufenden Fuchsjagd-Debatte in England der Gute oder der Böse ist.

Und für Paradies – Parodies spielt er, neben dem Wortspiel des Titels, auch mit der Darstellung des Gartens Eden im Wandgemälde Paradies von Franz Marc / August Macke (1912). Das Paradies wird verwandelt in einen Ort von Imitationen und modernen Ausschweifungen.

Derek Curtis wurde 1967 in Slough, England, geboren und schloss sein Kunststudium am Surrey Institute of Art and Design im Jahr 2000 mit einem BA (Hon's) in Fine Art ab. Anschließend verbrachte er zwei Jahre als Gaststudent bei Prof. Timm Ulrichs an der Kunstakademie Münster. Seit 2003 lebt und arbeitet er in London.

Im Mai 2008 DLC


Galerie Schuster Berlin
Heidestraße 46
10557 Berlin
Tel. 323042 - 00
Fax 323042 - 01
Galerie Schuster Berlin






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