Lothar Hempel’s work lifts disparate images from a wide range of sources and arranges them together to generate disjointed pictorial narratives and surreal compositions. Theatricality, both archaic and contemporary forms, persists across the various mediums Hempel employs. Working between freestanding, mounted digital prints, sculpture, drawing, painting, installation and collage, each work follows a logic of performativity, setting the stage for a character’s sense of action. At times, well-known iconic or mythical
figures are recombined with unfamiliar settings and objects, at others, fragments of geographically diverse but strikingly specific actors garbed in theatrical costumes bring the focus back to Hempel’s interest in cultural artifice.
Occupying the second floor of Modern Art’s Vyner Street gallery, Hempel’s new works range from large scale, wall-based collage works to paintings, sculptures and freestanding mounted images, and include depictions of, among other things, the 1971 Philippe Garrel movie La Cicatrice Intérieure, a Kham woman wearing a traditional Tibetan outfit typically worn to a horse race, and the famous Parisian Metro signage created by Hector Guimard in 1900.