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Berlin based artists


BERLIN >>> NASTOLA

Berlin >>> Nastola presents nine artists from Berlin. The show examines how the concrete context of art production reveals itself in the actual works when they are removed from that very context. How, then, can these art works help us to understand this bigger picture and the wider discussion despite being different from one another? And how can they – in being different – manifest themselves within a dialogical framework?

Openness, mobility, progress, and collective thinking and acting are keys to something new emerging and to the discourse on contemporary art as it moves forward. Bearing this is mind, Berlin >>> Nastola takes its start from the assumption that the way of viewing and understanding art changes, if art works are presented in a context radically different from the one in which they have been conceived and produced. In the case of Berlin >>> Nastola, this means that the works will not be shown in the urban setting of Berlin, and thus in an internationally known and established location for the production of art, but in Nastola, a small rural town in the south of Finland. With this recontextualization, the show ideally leads to a discussion about the premises of both the production of art and its reception. Differences between the individual positions will become just as visible as the connections that link those works beyond disciplinary or formal boundaries and categories.

With works by Tom Anholt, Björn Dahlem, Paula Döpfner, Secundino Hernández, Leiko Ikemura, Marlena Kudlicka, Kirsi Mikkola, Janne Räisänen and Thomas Scheibitz, the show combines painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. The individual works – some of them are site-specific – correlate and connect with each other without losing their autonomy. Every position has its own way of dealing with aspects of materiality, form and process. The different works stand for themselves and yet they are all connected to one another via something larger than themselves, and this ‘something’ – their specific production context, Berlin –  becomes particularly apparent through the change in location.

In the organic architecture of Taidekeskus Taarasti, the exhibition Berlin >>> Nastola aims to shed light on the modes and preconditions for such connections and correlations – for example, by a certain display. In showing how different works of art can enter into dialogue with one another, the exhibition wants to open up a space for thought and would like to invite the visitor to think about the nature and the meaning of shifts in context, and – above all – to accept new perspectives.

Featured artists:

Tom Anholt
Björn Dahlem
Paula Döpfner
Secundino Hernandez
Leiko Ikemura
Marlena Kudlicka
Kirsi Mikkola
Janne Räisänen
Thomas Scheibitz

Tom Anholt (born in 1987, UK) lives and works in Berlin.
“I come from an immigrant family. My mother’s side is Irish, which is why I look Irish, and my father’s side is Persian Jewish”. His acquaintance with the Persian history of his family can be seen in his work, particularly in the miniatures. “It started after my Dad and my Uncle were researching our family history, which influenced my own art historical research. When I discovered Persian miniatures, I couldn’t believe how incredible they were. It was like finding a missing puzzle piece.”
The background to Anholt’s works is in his own roots, but they also show an enthusiasm for contemporary sources: “The people I love, the things I see on the news, the things people say to me, they’re all in there.”

Selected solo exhibitions: Inside Out (2016) at EIGEN+ART Lab, Berlin, as well as Ancient Games (2016) at Project B Gallery, Milan. Examples of group exhibitions: All Together Now! (2016), 1969 Gallery, New York, and You don’t bring me flowers (2015) Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin.

Björn Dahlem was born in 1974, in Munich (Germany). He lives and works in Berlin and teaches as a professor for sculpture at the University of Art, Brunswick. Björn Dahlems works are not sculptures in a conventional sense. For Dahlem creation is a way to sculpt one’s own mind – the philosophical creation of ideas, the acceptance and rejection of themes and the digging up of solutions from one’s thoughts. The works often depict cosmic landscapes, where light has an essential role as a symbol of the immaterial and enlightenment.

Recent solo exhibitions include Mare Lunaris, Berlinische Galerie – Museum für moderne Kunst, Berlin (2015).  Black Hole (Cygnus X-1), Matadero Contemporary Art Center (2014), Madrid. Recent group exhibitions include The Universe and Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016) and Singapore (2017), Outer Space, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2015)

Paula Doepfner (born in 1980, Berlin/Germany) lives and works in Berlin.
Paula Doepfner is an artist who studied in Berlin and London. Drawings are the most important element in Doepfner’s work, both as a basis for her installations and for performances. Doepfner also uses natural materials in her works; these she combines with glass, steel or ice. These “insubstantial” materials provide a subtle contrast to the web formed of flowers, branches, grass stalks and other plant materials. Sound also constitutes an essential part of Doepfner’s works. In addition to art, she has studied composition and takes inspiration for her work from, for example, the lyrics of the blues.
“I ponder through my work, why people have subjective experiences. I use lyrical and philosophical texts, prose, and neuro-scientific research into consciousness from different perspectives. Blues lyrics offer an emotional and abstract viewpoint. I find the tension between different approaches very interesting. “Selected solo exhibitions: Put it right here (or keep it out there) (2016) at Kunstverein Reutlingen and Take it right back (2015), Goethe Institute, Washington D.C.  Examples of group exhibitions: YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE (2016) at Galleria Mario Ianelli, Rome, and The Big Other (2016) at Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin, as well as Wo ist hier? #2: Raum und Gegenwart – Bildhauerei und Installation seit 2000 (2015), Kunstverein Reutlingen.
Secundino Hernández (born in 1975, Madrid/Spain) lives and works in Madrid and Berlin.
The Spanish artist, Secundino Hernández, can be considered one of the most interesting of Taarasti Summer Exhibition’s artists. Hernández studied at Universidad Complutense of Madrid and the Spanish Academy in Rome; he is considered a multi-dimensional artist, whose trademark is “action painting”, which employs splashing techniques. His works show references to, for example, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and the works of other Spanish surrealist artists. Hernández has had many exhibitions in first rate art museums and in leading galleries from London to New York.Selected solo exhibitions: Polvorossa (2016) at H2 – Zentrum für Gegenwartskunst in Augsburg, Polvareda (2016), Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, and Entre Primavera y Verano (2015), Yuz Project Room, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, Secundino Hernández (2014), Victoria Miro, London. Examples of group exhibitions: The Difference between Sunrise and Sunset (2016), Schloss Tüsslin, and Entre el cielo y la tierra. Doce miradas al Greco cuatrocientos años después (2014), Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid.
Leiko Ikemura (born in 1951, Tsu/Japan) lives and works in Cologne and Berlin.
Leiko Ikemura is a Japanese sculptor, painter, draughtsman and photographer. She is best known as a depicter of dreamlike landscapes and fragmented figures. Her art aims to lead the viewer into a state of uncertainty – a state in which the viewer is not sure about what they are seeing, but accepts it as real.The first years of her thirty-year career were spent exploring the expressive potential of oil and water colour in semi-abstract portraits and landscapes. Then she became interested in sculpture in 1984. Combining the eastern and western traditions of sculpture, Ikemura uses bronze, terracotta and clay to create versatile biomorphic shapes and fragmented female figures. Shifting to semi-figurative sculpture influenced her other work, as these anonymous, shadowy female figures began to fill her paintings and photographs.The figures in her works often melt into the landscapes creating abstract forms and splashes of colour, recalling the style of her early works. Ikemura uses her powerful expressive images to pose questions about gender, war and religion.Selected solo exhibitions: Mindscape (2016), Kenji Taki Gallery, Nagoya, …und plötzlich dreht der Wind (2016) at Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, as well as All About Girls and Tigers (2015), Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne. Examples of group exhibitions: Spider’s Thread – Spinning images of Japanese beauty (2016), Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan, and Einfühlung and Abstraktion. Die Moderne der Frauen in Deutschland (2015), Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Ikemura has been Professor of Painting at the Universität für Künste, Berlin since 1991.
  Marlena Kudlicka (born in 1973, Tomaszów Lubelski/Polen) lives and works in Berlin.

In Marlena Kudlicka’s works we sense the roots of early modernism. She adopts the avant-garde narrative, only to take it into a realm beyond the paradigm of anonymous and unified perfection. Her analytical reflection on the role of error in shaping a work of art is not a far from Władysław Strzemiński’s notion of the experimental nature of the artistic process.
Kudlicka’s approach to mathematical and scientific thought has more in common with lyric poetry: she expands language and logic by integrating alternative models and “insignificant” processes and produces novel compositions based on various non-intentional and non-rational principles. She visualizes sounds and rhythms by employing dots, letters, digits, and words as visual forms, creating sculptures that resemble drawings in space. For her, linguistics, science, and philosophy are modes of articulation to support speculative and poetic exercises in thinking through her ideas in which errors are not simple characteristics of the sculpture, but rather characteristics about its potential relation to the interests of the ideas: “Mistakes force us to go back to zero, to start over and try to reach this balance by either adding or subtracting elements.”

Marlena Kudlicka lives and works in Berlin. Her works have been exhibited in museums such as Kunstmuseum Bochum, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum in Poland, Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Museum of Art Lodz in Poland, Ludwig Múzeum-Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl in Germany and CGAC in Santiago de Compostela Spain.
Her upcoming solo shows at La BF15 Lyon France June 2017, Zak Branicka Gallery Berlin Sept 2017, Revolver Galeria Buenos Aires 2017 Kudlicka completed residencies at the Residencia de Al Lado w/ Revolver Galeria Lima Peru, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgard, the ISCP in NY, the Art Omi in NY, the Location One in NY, the LMCC in NY.

Kirsi Mikkola (born in 1959, Helsinki/Finland) lives and works in Berlin.

Kirsi Mikkola was born in Helsinki, but studied mainly abroad: first two years in Paris studying French, Italian and the history of cinema at the Sorbonne. She began her career as a sculptor and continued her studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where she also studied painting. After this, she transferred to Berlin to the University of Fine Arts and concentrated on the study of painting. After graduation, she received an invitation to exhibit in New York and stayed there for fifteen years. During this time, she had many exhibitions.

After the death of her mother, she returned to Finland, and had her childhood home, a rural house from the 1800s, moved to a lakeside plot, where she renovated it. This was her base for ten years. Nowadays, she finds it a place where there is a good sense of perspective so that things fall into place and she can achieve peace of mind. Berlin, however, was calling and in 2010, she returned there and held her first exhibition of this period. Since then she has worked in Berlin.

In 2014, Kirsi Mikkola was invited to be Professor of Painting at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, so part of her time is now spent there. She has 25-30 students per year from all over the world. As a teacher she strives to develop her students’ own abilities to continue as independent artists after their graduation. She feels that as their teacher, she gains a lot of enthusiasm from her talented and eager students

Selected solo exhibitions: Qumqat (2013) at carlier | gebauer, Berlin, and CentrePasquArt, Biel (2012). Examples of group exhibitions: If only Bella Abzug were here (2016), Marc Straus, New York, and Landschaften und Vergessen II (2015), Magazin4, Bregenz. Mikkola has been Professor of Fine Art at Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Vienna since 2014.

Janne Räisänen  (born in 1971, Pudasjärvi/Finland) lives and works in Helsinki and Berlin.

Janne Räisänen has been described as a versatile artist. On graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts, he received awards as a young artist. He has absorbed influences on his works from the phenomena of urban and club culture, from street fashion and pop culture; he is considered to interpret the spirit of the times through intelligent humour. This intelligent humour is revealed in the names of some of his works, often incorporating puns and allusions to autobiographical situations: “Christmas in Sörnäinen” (2009), “Week for changing nappies at the pathological institute” (2001) and “Jesus Terrorists from Moscow Disco” (2006). Räisänen’s artistic style has been called expressionist and so-called Bad Painting. In addition to Finland, his works have been on show in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, not to mention Berlin, where the artist has lived since 2010. Räisänen first got to know Germany as an exchange student at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Maine.

Räisänen has described his life in Berlin as a dichotomy. The bureaucracy of everyday life with its numerous forms to be filled in has tried the artist’s nerves from the moment he moved there. Furthermore, the rudeness and irritability of the people has been striking. “There are a lot of people in a big city. People walk and look straight ahead and don’t see other people,” says Räisänen regretfully. He has not, however, sunk totally into the bog of Berlin. The atmosphere of big city artistic life is relaxed. He hasn’t regarded other artists, like for example, Paula Döpfner, as rivals. “We are one big family”. Räisänen doesn’t admit to missing Finland much. He has never regarded himself as a Finnish artist. “I am more of a global artist. National borders mean nothing in the age of the internet”.

Selected solo exhibitions: Janne Räisänen (2015), Kunstverein Galerie am Markt, Schwäbisch Hall, as well as Out of the Box (2015), Kunsti Museum of Modern Art, Vassa. Examples of group exhibitions: Die dritte Hand – Last Exit Painting (2015), Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, and Touch – Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection (2014), EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland.

Thomas Scheibitz (born in 1968, Radeberg), lives and works in Berlin.

Thomas Scheibitz values precision. In his own works, exact control is central. He is a painter and sculptor who was born in Radeberg, Germany, and works in Berlin. Scheibitz works with many materials and techniques. He sets himself very demanding goals.

He has also worked with printing presses, and the subject misprints generated a work called “Tisch, Ozean und Beispiel” freely translated this could be “Table, ocean and examples”. It is a twenty year overview, a private album of his works, and recounts what the works mean to the artist himself. The possibilities of printing are accurately clarified.

Scheibitz rose to international recognition along with Tino Sehgal thanks to the 2005 German pavilion at Venice.

The basic forms of Scheibitz’s paintings are recognisably familiar patterns. Floating figures act to unbalance even a sure eye. A sense of space is strong in the paintings and they contain many structural elements. The paintings have a powerful constructivist character. The works don’t underline one particular observation but rather tell many stories. The harmonious overall effect and the fine execution make them of lasting interest.

Selected solo exhibitions: Schaulager 9.44 (2016/17), Bureau Mueller, Berlin, 15.92 x 16 (2015), Parra & Romero, Madrid, as well as Radiopictures (2014), Sprüth Magers, Berlin, ONE-Time Pad (2012), MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main.  Examples of group exhibitions: My Abstract World (2016/17), ME Collectors Room Berlin / Stiftung Olbricht, and Malerei als Film (2016), Kunsthalle Darmstadt, BubeDameKönigAss (2013), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Fruits de la Passion (2012), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.