For the fifth time the Kölner Liste presents contemporary art at affordable prices. As discovery art fair parallel to the Art Cologne the Kölner Liste has become well-established in the meantime. In 2018 108 exhibitors from 20 countries show a wide spectrum of art in the most various genres and media on a floor space of 4000 square meters at the XPOST. The unique concept of the fair is characterized by a mixture of galleries, project spaces and artists, which offers visitors and young collectors the possibility to discover cutting-edge, innovative positions off the well-known, always same names in a relaxed atmosphere.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair
The figurative pictures presented by Cesar Piette at the Kölner Liste refer to classical painting and icons of art history, but reinterpret them in a contemporary way. With references to minimalism, abstraction and pop art his figures seem to have come directly from the Pixar Studios, caricaturing role models such as Ingres, Courbet, Matisse and Léger in an ironical way through their plastic look and toy-like appeal. Cesar Piette merges “high” and “low”, in his pictures he drafts a vision of the human body that is shaped out of inorganic material and questions the excesses of obsession with beauty as well as the physical self-optimization through the frozen emotionless look of his characters.
Cesar Piette designs his figures with a 3D software and subsequently executes them on wooden panels with airbrush, following a working process that is based on the traditional principles of classical painting. Thin layers of airbrush paint and the combination of painting and underpainting create a smooth surface, the light of which is shining through the layers of paint as if they were glazes, reminding of a computer screen at the same time. On closer inspection fine brush strokes and little flaws become visible, which make the pictures oscillate between digital and analog. On the borderline of painting, toy photography and printing of 3D renderings Cesar Piette examines the question, how we consume images and perceive the basic principles of art today.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Cesar Piette
Lucie Kazda’s pictures are focused on the tactile experience of surface textures which explore the borderline between illusionist landscape depiction and inner landscapes of the soul. By means of frottage Kazda transfers textures which she discovers in nature with oil paint to transparent paper, thus creating atmospheric moods and crustations of abstract geological formations that evoke a déjà vu moment of really experienced landscapes. Her most important medium is transparent paper, a material the forerunner of which, vellum, is closely associated with the evolution of human cultural history. The transparent paper works like a membrane that filters the light to dematerialize the paint layers laying underneath and to mystify them with a halo of milky light.
The works by Lucie Kazda that are presented at the Kölner Liste demonstrate, how the boundaries between conscious perception, collective memory and daydream are dissolved by the subtle layering of picture elements and the blurring of their contours. Some of her pictures are developed by the superposition of reduced and condensed photographs, which are transformed through overlaying opaque and glazed layers of oil paint. The visual boundaries of the picture elements are dissolved by Lucie Kazda’s approach of layering, while new boundaries are constructed and projected on top at the same time. She prefers to start the process of image conception with a square, which represents the most abstract metaphor for a window to a different world, the pictorial space of which neither strives for an upward movement nor stretches horizontally to form a horizon line, but moves into depth. The center of the square represents a visual power source, an inner source of light, like the view of a billion years old supernova.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Lucie Kazda
For young art collectors the Kölner Liste offers an ideal entry to the world of art and the opportunity to get in contact with artists.
Berlin artist Peter Wilde who was born in Toronto explores in his figurative painting the quality of human relations and their changes they are subject to in the digital era. His work is defined by the question, to which extent the individuality of people still can be experienced in the anonymous web and an emotional relationship can be established with them. To confront the virtuality of these characters with the reality of his analog painting, he is looking for images in chatrooms and social media. The boundary between voyeurism and exhibitionism forms the basis of Wilde’s subject matters, accompanied by the question, how intimacy and humanity are destroyed by publishing on social platforms, and thus by the longing for human contact.
The fragility of this pseudo connectedness to strangers from the web tells the narrative of a cultural alienation, which is characterized by self-expression, being embarrassed for someone else and the public begging for appreciation. In his picture series World View which Peter Wilde presents at the Kölner Liste he has filtered image fragments from Instagram postings, which are only by chance or as backdrop part of the image, or have been taken by their authors only as unavoidable by-catch. With this reversion of subject matter and backdrop Wilde reverses the message of the image, thus questioning the purpose of self-expression, the virtual ego is vanishing in the image noise of information overkill.
The relation between sharpness and blurring defines the intensity of the personality of the portrayed person as well as the extent of empathy, one can feel for him or her. The figures out of focus in the background as well as their actions remain abstract stereotypes, as their identification and thus the emotional connectedness with them always fails, no matter how much the viewer is trying to focus Peter Wilde’s deliberately applied digital impressionism. The appropriation of foreign image content and the painterly blurring of the figures ranks Peter Wilde in the tradition of Luc Tuymans or Gerhard Richter. When the series World View will be finished one day, Instagram postings from all over the world will compare against the trivia and overlooked heroes of everyday life and will ask the insistent question of cultural identity. Starting with A Peter Wilde has arrived at the country with the initial I in the meantime.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Peter Wilde
Sandra van der Meulen’s work represents a synthesis of Far Eastern philosophy and Western aesthetics. At the Kölner Liste she presents pictures reduced in color with large format abstract ink-washes on rice paper as characteristic element, which follows the spirit of Zen Buddhism. The spontaneous brush stroke corresponds to the meditative moment of nothingness and evanescence. The Japanese notion of Wabi Sabi, which means the beauty of imperfection and the impermanence and incompletion of things, plays a major role for her, which is reflected in finely nuanced shades of the ink-washes and the vulnerability of the rice paper. Sparingly used oxidized metals and wooden elements complete her compositions of impermanent materials.
Sandra van der Meulen opposes this Far Eastern tradition to the Western rational approach with its use of precise geometric elements. The balance between these two aesthetic world views is essential for her work. In transparent layers they superimpose each other and enter into a dialogue that gets to the bottom of human existence. The image space of van der Meulen’s large-size works is accentuated by graphic elements such as threads, the irregularity of whose contrasts with the geometric fields of the rice paper, as well as by faded text fields, which stand for Western thinking and at the same time symbolize the disintegration of words and meanings towards the Zen Buddhist nothingness and enlightenment.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Sandra van der Meulen
The Kölner Liste isn’t about speculation and status, but about authenticity and innovation.
The work of Zheni Maslarova Warner is characterized by light and color. With her unique technique she turns classical oil paint into dematerialized color prisms which cast a spell on the viewer through the joie de vivre that they radiate. By means of her subtle application of paint Zheni creates a fascinating contrast between matte surfaces and transparent enamel-like glazes, the brightness of whose remind of Gothic stained-glass windows. The expressive color harmonies of Henri Matisse come alive in Zheni’s work, she has evolved his rhythmic color forms of the Jazz series into a color field painting which interprets color in an entirely abstract way, but captures it at the same time with color forms and gives it a physical presence through its brightness, transfiguring it literally into a light source.
At the Kölner Liste Zheni Warner shows pictures that oscillate at the boundary between classical canvas painting and light installation, through the integration of light boxes, neon and illuminated wire her radiant colors get additional energy and depth that draw the viewer into the images. In doing so, steady geometric fields alternate with expressive organic shapes. Just like in baroque garden design the geometric color fields follow hidden architectural lines of force that subdue nature and incorporate the floral visible brush strokes and textures into the composition.
Under the enamel-like surface of multiple transparent glazes of resin her abstract color shapes appear like sparkling diamonds that lay under the crystal clear surface of the water in the bay of Collioure, where Zheni owns a little studio. The poetry of color is enhanced by the titles of the pictures, quotations from lyric works that shouldn’t be understood literally, but express spontaneous sentiments and send the viewer on a poetic journey. Standing in front of Zheni’s pictures is like looking at a poem by Paul Éluard through a kaleidoscope.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Zheni Warner
Thomas Michel creates his pictures in a unique technique which he has called hydrography. In doing so, he uses ink that he applies on foil and lets it dry. The drying process produces traces of evaporation, sedimentations of ink pigments that make the forces of the liquid aggregate state visible. The pictures that are created in this process follow the principle of directed chance, that’s why Thomas Michel refers to automatic writing developed by André Breton, which disables any control by reason and reveals the images deeply hidden in the subconscious.
This creative procedure was transferred from literature to visual arts by the artists of the surrealist group, especially Max Ernst invented several techniques, such as collage, grattage, frottage and dripping to capture the images of the subconscious. Thomas Michel’s hydrographies come to life through a similar creative approach. Remarkable is the tiny format of his technique, as his pictures aren’t larger than a slide. One drop of ink is enough to create a universe of textures that remind of microorganisms and landscapes of distant planets at the same time. At the booth of Phasis at the Kölner Liste he has set up an illuminated stele containing an original work which demonstrates the tiny dimensions of this technique.
The ink sedimentations forming strange structures emerge according to the same growth and transformation processes as they also exist in nature. Afterwards Thomas Michel uses the small format pictures like a slide to produce prints of them in a limited edition, as it were, hydrography represents a synthesis of painting, graphic and photographic reproduction processes. Magnified the finest textures and most subtle color shades between black, sepia and white become visible, which give the pictures an amazing three-dimensionality and a magic light effect. Some rock formations appear like a whim of nature, others remind of human artifacts. Although man is never visible, in a mysterious way he is always present in the hydrographies of Thomas Michel, just like the remains of a long ago fallen civilization at the dawn of creation.
Kölner Liste 2018 – Discoveryartfair, Thomas Michel
20.04.18 – 22.04.18 XPOST Köln