In this exhibition, the artists look for the “promised land” Arcadia. A land of milk and honey, a paradise. They search for it within Greek mythology, in the past, in the future and inside of themselves.
As different as the artists of the Open Atelier are, so are their paintings and way of referencing the exhibition’s theme. Martin Nieder, for example, directly quotes the show’s title in the piece “Arcadia”. His painting reveals a Canadian landscape, created very precisely with a delicate brushstroke. The luminous, extensive color composition brings to mind Pop Art at first glance. After a closer look, you surprisingly find a stylistic element of Surrealism: the horizon line challenges the perception of the otherwise strictly composed perspective. Martin Nieder has worked in the Open Atelier for seven years. His works have been on display in our gallery several times and at other exhibition spaces.
The pictures of Haci Sami Yaman, who has been working in the Atelier for a year, are contrasty compositions of dots, strokes and lines seemingly following certain rules that are not immediately comprehensible. They form patterns, structures and streams that are fascinating in a unique way. At the same time, his pictures are reminiscent of aerial views or sketches by landscape architects. The dynamic configuration of the images is even more impressive when you know that Yaman is an artist who is almost completely blind. The Atelier has a special kind of acrylic pens for him to use. When he applies the paint, the artist is able to orient himself by pushing the pens forcefully or by tapping. With the work he puts into his paintings, Yaman suggests underlying theories of energies, operating modes of switching systems and other philosophical-technical constructions of thoughts.
The works of Ursula Hanke show her great passion for experimentation. She is constantly looking for a new artistic challenge by trying out new techniques, mostly graphic in nature. On display in the exhibition are two of her paintings in which she implements the same motif with different drawing materials. The meticulously shaped landscape – in one version as a red chalk, in the other as an ink drawing – opens, due to its precise reproduction, a content-related area of tension between original and copy, playing with reproducibility of emotionally charged, romantic landscapes.