Press Article


Pedestals with fairy tale creatures

Galerie Biesenbach shows in "Delicate Strength" works by José Gomes, Vittorio Bianchi, Beate Höing

by Hanna Styrie

The shards of crockery, vases and knick-knacks that the artist Beate Höing finds at household clearances and flea markets are given new honour in her bizarre figurative small sculptures. Cheap copies of Chinese vases, confectionery and sugar bowls serve her as pedestals for fairy-tale creatures and mythological figures, which she assembles from all kinds of fragments and figures she has shaped herself.

Wit and playful lightness go hand in hand with a pronounced sense of form and colour, and she also skillfully balances art and kitsch. Under the meaningful title "Delicate Strength", Beate Höing's ceramic assemblages can now be seen together with works by José Gomes and Vittorio Bianchi at Galerie Biesenbach.

Here, the detailed, allusive ceramics set a counterpoint to the predominantly quiet works of the Italian Vittorio Bianchi. He works on fabrics of all kinds with knives, scalpels and other tools with which he tears and scrapes away the fibres. With these brutal interventions, the artist creates his own patterns of great charm.

The rough structures stretched on a frame are in turn backed with glass fabric, creating the appearance of two-dimensionality.

He also applies the process of skeletonising and roughening to historical tapestry fabrics. Here the injuries are more visible, especially as he leaves the coloured silk threads of the floral decorations hanging.

The main theme of the Brazilian-born José Gomes is endangered nature. His fine drawings move within the creation and destruction, life and death - always with reference to Brazilian nature and culture.

During a residency programme at the Botanical Garden and the Institute of Biology at the University of Rostock, a series of complex collages was created under the impression of the research he conducted there. He supplemented his photographs of plants withstanding climate change with ink drawings.

Pale blue spots indicate the groundwater resources that exist in his native Brazil, which sustain the ecosystem. Here, Gomes gives subtle expression to the struggle to maintain the ecological balance by artistic means. José Gomes lives and works in Cologne.



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