Contrasts create unexpected interferences.
“Clair-obscur” juxtaposes and tries divers artistic positions of contemporary painting against the backdrop of the topic “Dark and Bright”.
The ambiguous title tells us about the never ceasing rhythm of day and night, light and shadow:
it dominates nature and the realm of human physical, psychological and historical experiences alike.
As a means in painting the use of clair-obscur allows the maker to juggle dramatic effects, enhance the illusion of space, increase expressivity and intensify a nervous psychological timbre.
The notion of clair-obscur also reflects the rich and multi-layered history of the show´s location. Karl-Marx-Allee had been the boulevard of socialist exaltation during the GDR-era. As an avenue designed for military parades and luxurious residence for political elites it demonstrates and glorifies the socialist idea and reduces it to absurdity all the same.
Nowadays it´s an area in which high end brands have lodged themselves using the historical representative buildings adorned with scenes of the socialist ideal for their commercial purposes.
Without directly referencing any of the political connotations the show takes up the challenge of a young generation of artists positioning themselves in such a contradictory and, to certain extend, brutal environment
Sam Rountree Williams
Hannah van Ginkel