Lena Schmidt urbanscapes

7 Feb 2009 – 6 Mar 2009

heliumcowboy artspace

Hamburg, Germany


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What was once born from financial need, today is her brand name: The scratch-technique of the young artist Lena Schmidt. About three years ago she started to collect old and used wooden boards on the street which she used as a base of her pictures — and which themselves all told their quite own material history. After the grained surface is coated with colour, the artist scratches her very own picture world into these findings and scrapes: Urbanscapes, urban sceneries which are somehow close to our every day life but at the same time also strange and unknown. And indeed we will not be able to find the places Lena Schmidt engraves in her scratch paintings in Hamburg or other cities in the world. Although one may believe one has passed themselves this very street lantern, this building or that railroad bridge: the Urbanscapes show no bare regional survey or replica of the metropolitan space. The images she creates are rather contrived sceneries which find their models in the streets of Hamburg's outskirts. In quick scetches, Lena Schmidt captures striking situations, takes single aspects of these snapshots and out of the fragments she finally writes down her own urban record onto her wooden pieces, creating a completely newly originated world of images. She gives us insight into desolate buildings or backyards, sometimes reminding of scenery constructions, wrapping us in an almost mysterious atmoshphere. Lena Schmidt's large-size Urbanscapes are places which generate themselves from non-places, from the transit zones of the city: Traffic interchanges, road systems, crossroads, strike for instance. All these sceneries are deserted. And, nevertheless, the shown metropolitan architecture never looks soulless or reserved. Since the artist gives a new form to these real places, she moves them into the spotlight and takes the viewer into a bewildering play of reality and imagery, identity and relation and ties us to her pictures. Lena Schmidt (*1981) studies liberal arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany. She is part of the class of Prof. Marie Jose Burki and since 2007, Lena Schmidt is granted a scholarship of the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes“. She has already been part of diverse group exhibitions, for instance at the Kunstverein Hannover, the “Index06“ and the anniversary show “5 years heliumcowboy artspace“. The gallery heliumcowboy artspace in Hamburg is proud to present her first solo exhibition „Urbanscapes“.

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