1) complete freedom to act as one wishes – “the gallery from the perspective of an artist”
2) a new blank page where to write something new or simply re-write something already seen but in a different way – “the gallery after the lockdown”
Lately, what with all the lockdowns, cancelled exhibitions, postponed projects etc., things had gotten quite messed up. So we decided to give our artist Nicolò Baraggioli “Carte Blanche” to put up a new show for the re-opening of the gallery: He was to select artists (and works) from our portfolio and, most importantly, write statements about his choices.
The exhibition can be visited from Friday 8 May at 6pm both online and in our gallery space in Cologne (please read about our hygiene standards further down) and Nick’s statements will be posted on Instagram and our website alongside the artists’ selected works.
with works by: Hideaki Yamanobe, Douglas Witmer, Minh Dung Vu, Catherine Seher, Ji Eun Lee, Aske Sigurd Kraul, Beate Höing, Graphic Surgery, Sergio Femar, Ivan De Menis & Nicolò Baraggioli. The artists' works are accompanied by statements written by Nicolò Baraggioli.
9/5 – 20/6/2020
What he does is exactly what I want to see when I stare at a piece of art: simplicity, surfaces, textures, shapes, thickness, angles, achromatic tonalities. Yamanobe – through all his years of practise and experience – has been able to achieve a level of awareness and wisdom in what he does which is truly incredible to me.
It’s difficult these days to find another artist so resolute and capable of reaching that level and standard of quality. That is something to bear in mind as he always delivers outstanding works. Pretty remarkable.
If only I could afford to purchase a work of his. I would be very proud of owning something of him in my collection.
Doug is a good friend of mine. Unfortunately we never met but have exhibited together on many occasions over the last few years and I am a proud owner of one of his works on paper. We started to follow each other’s work years back. I think his feed was one of the first I have followed on Instagram.
There’s only one simple thing I’d want to say about Douglas’ work: the more I look at it the more I love it. He’s capable of giving soul to his works. And to understand a work of his you cannot just look at it once or for few minutes. You have to catapult yourself into his work. Accurately watch and analyse his work for ages to appreciate it in full, or as the Romans used to say “in toto” which sounds much better to me!
Every single inch of his work hides a sub-layer, a double meaning and an attentive and very balanced study. With all that he reaches the perfect contrast in terms of juxtaposition of colours and proportions. His practise is very thoughtful and poetical.
Honestly, I am not very familiar with his work. I got to know it only a few months back when we were shown together at Galerie Biesenbach in a group show called “small world” – a great example of how “small” doesn’t necessarily mean less important or interesting but exactly the opposite: cosy, precious and perhaps even more intimate and valuable than a big scale piece of art – last year in June.
What immediately caught my attention was the fact that he works with a meticulous precision, achieving level of accuracy and scrupulousness second to none. It’s really fascinating to me in his works made with acrylics and fabric that they are so curious and interesting to look at that you would like to spend hours staring at them to discover what is behind every single hole and pattern. Very young and talented artist.
I must admit I am not into figurative art at all. Being an abstract and pretty “minimal” artist I think I do not even have the sensitivity to really understand and appreciate it (this is just one of many of my limits when it comes to figurative art in particular). But – and here there’s a big but – in Catherine’s work, there’s something that really takes my breath away and makes me daydream.
What I do appreciate and love about her work is that with a “simple” and sometime even “faint” scene of ordinary life – often even difficult to consciously understand – she’s able to open your eyes but especially your imagination to something special. Your mind goes beyond the simple representation of an image and an entire universe of events, situations and lives is suddenly in front of you, or better, in your head creating some sort of fantastic and fascinating “surreal-reality”.
In Ji Eun Lee’s work, repetition is the answer to all the questions that might arise in your mind when you look at it. Repetition appears like a mantra in what she does and accomplishes. Patterns, structures, symmetries, equilibrium, lines and shapes are the basis of her work which is expressed and realised through the employment of wood, plaster and other natural materials and also resin to represent the paradox of the world, in other words: to aware her audience that what apparently follows specific rules in life is in fact exactly the opposite.
Because most of the time things are regulated by coincidences and external factors we are unable to control. So she does exactly that in her work: exercise control. But then, repetition also means irregularities, imperfections and fate. And if you “accept” that then you can better read and understand Lee’s work and philosophy.
I had the pleasure of meeting Aske, visiting his studio last year and getting to know him.
What really stands out, for me, in his work is the fact that his approach to art starts from a very intriguing point of view and analysis which is: Time and how things are changed by it (some of his works have been buried, some others exposed to different atmospheric agents such as rain).
His approach to art is very “scientific”; in fact he loves to use any sort of chemical elements, powders and pigments of colours that are just a pretext though, an excuse to investigate something much deeper and more mysterious, in other words: Life. What more interesting than that?!
Beate’s practise is like a storytelling without a single word. It sounds like a proper paradox but this is the way I interpret and look at her work. With just one image, she’s able to summarise an entire story. A life.
I do love her ceramics and especially those of the dead birds. I adore their ephemeral nature which is transmuted by the use of ceramic and its intrinsic fragility. When I look at her “bird pieces” I can imagine and think about something which has lived a life, and it just passed away a few seconds later. And that's where the beauty of her work stands for me: in that second of time between life and death.
I had the privilege and luck to exhibit with this amazing Dutch artist duo at Biesenbach Gallery a few times but above all to meet them in person. What can I say?! Complexity, craftsmanship, visionary and innovative are only a few words I can mention to describe their way of working and the quality of their pieces.
I really think when you stand in front of one of their work you can only stare at it for hours just to try to understand the intricate outline of the work. Simply mesmerising and mind-blowing. It’s an obvious example of great inventive and infinite imagination and creativity.
What I love about Femar’s work is the fact that you are not just simply looking at a colourful work of art but it’s much more than that. It’s a very beautiful object/structure that in his complex simplicity is perfectly balanced in terms of juxtaposition of colours, materials, depths and indentations.
His work is a fantastic example of what an artist with just a few elements (in his case most of the time chunks of woods and acrylics are used) can create: something magical and so very distinctive and unique. This ability of working out great things from pretty much anything is not common to many. Well done, Sergio!
De Menis is capable of making people dream and to crave after his work in which the process is the key.
The under-layers sediment – each one – for a very long time and it takes ages to complete a single piece, like with those Renaissance Italian masters with their astonishing “frescos”, as per what I am told by my friend Ivan. This long process adorns his work and makes it look so intense and precious that you feel the desire of diving into it and being embraced by the depth of its colours and the powerful and vibrant energy it releases.
Eye-catching, good looking and yummy; yes, because looking at it you feel that incredible desire of biting a piece off it.
What I really want to express with my work is that sense of emotional detachment, towards anti-subjectivity and coldness that is identified with the structures, with elements such as surfaces, materials, shapes, thickness, angles, chromaticism that I normally use in my practise. And the outcome I want to achieve is to create an object. Most of the time a sculptural wall object.
My work is based almost exclusively on the use of solid and essential geometric shapes, on modules that can be repeated and combined in almost infinite solution; often small and medium-sized structures that enhance the estranging effect between reality in which the work is placed and the work itself.
What characterises the most my work is its research in finding an executive rigor, composed with a few geometrically defined elements, adopting an essential lexicon, presented as a variation of primary elements, pure, simple forms, with a chromaticism that often coincides with that of the materials.