This is Demester's second solo exhibition with the gallery and his first solo presentation in Berlin.
Jérémy Demester explores the nature of art and its relation with the founding myths of our world: symbolism, energies, alchemy, fate, sacred representations... His paintings and sculptures can thus never be taken at surface value as they are always layered with diverse, and sometimes cryptic, meaning. In reference to his nomadic roots, Demester describes himself a gypsy painter and a quest for identity underpins his work.
This new series of works was completed during the artist’s ten almost monastic months spent in his studio in the south of France and marks a surprising turn in his practice. The works express a dialogue with figuration and natural elements, as well as with the personal history of the artist (memories from his childhood or from recent trips to Africa and America). These memories are embodied by sunrises and sunsets, forests and timeless moments between the past and the present, raising questions about the ideas of still-life and subjectivity.
Demester's paintings and sculptures involve a strong presence of both body and motion. The abstract works, including blurred lines and gradations, usually created with the use of spray utensils or with a computer, are here made by hand using the old master’s techniques and thus create a genuine sensorial and physical experience. Influenced by the spirit of Caspar David Friedrich and Arnold Böcklin, each canvas is the abstract expression of a particular memory, a narrative. The abstraction gives free reign to meditation, as if we were looking at a sky in the romantic or the symbolist tradition.
Another language, neither abstract nor figurative, is employed by the artist in a series of paintings inspired by the patterns of war paintings of native American-Indian tribes. Using specific industrial and military painting techniques, Demester conceives each series as an experiment oscillating between building up a visual information and implementing the techniques of its subsequent distortion.
A homage by Jérémy Demester to the late French artist Raymond Hains will open simultaneously in Bleibtreustrasse 45.