LOS ANGELES, CA- In line with Pharmaka's traditional commitment to engaging and educating the community of Los Angeles on matters within the contemporary art world, this exhibit ties in with a subject that has been first explored by the gallery in early 2007 with the historic experiment of "LA Ethos", which challenged Los Angeles not only as an art capital but also its status within the global art world by defining an "L.A. style".
Featuring works and panel discussion (recorded for podcast) by and with the artists living and working in Berlin, this show will provide an adequate insight into contemporary art making in Los Angeles' sister city Berlin - already established as one art capital of the world.
"Which Way Berlin - LA?" aims to discuss Los Angeles as the so-called "New Capital of the Art World"; and to examine the similarities and differences between the two. Does the environment make the artist or does the artist make the environment? These are some of the topics discussed in exchange through actual experience and view of artists living in an established art capital. The exhibit further invites the German and American community to celebrate cultural achievements of Berlin and Los Angeles.
In 2006 the Pompidou Center in Paris opened a show titled "Los Angeles 1955-1985, the Birth of an Artistic Capital'. The discussion about Los Angeles becoming the new capital for the arts in America or even the world was newly inflamed. Is Los Angeles the new center of the art world?
Los Angeles offers a growing settlement of artists and international galleries, art fairs and private collectors, good weather, affordable workspace which has created a thriving community and a palpable sense of promise that make L.A. a favorite destination, leading many to believe L.A. will succeed this time. But there are critics of this notion that point to the on-again, off-again spurts of productivity, creating disbelief about a "la-la-Land" that's just too casual.
Is a center created by the number of artists that live and work in one place or by the number of galleries and museums that a city offers? Or is it the type of work that is being created and exhibited that is unique to the environs of which it was created?
Since the historical fall of the wall In Berlin, an increase in prosperity has engulfed the city and has boosted most notably its art and cultural scene, making Berlin the new Art Capital of Germany and Europe with Berlin's 450th gallery opened recently. But galleries and artist are not the only ones responsible for Berlin's transformation. A long artistic heritage as well as a history of public and private funding and high-class museums for art, history and culture - not only on the Museum Island, where stunning buildings, historic and new architecture share the location - and affordable work / living space, have helped with the establishment of Berlin as the new art center for Europe.
Featured works are by artists living and working in Berlin, Germany and one German artist living in Los Angeles, representing a variety of techniques and concepts for contemporary German art; each one of these artists were trained at Germany's most acclaimed national art academies (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Karlsruhe and HDK-Berlin) by world renowned artists such as Franz Ackermann, Horst Antes, Meuser, Marijke van Warmerdam, Corinne Wasmuth, Anselm Reyle, just to name a few.
Annett Bienhaus' mystic scenery in Paintings, Watercolor and Collages explores transience in reference to baroque still lives. Inspired by the flora and fauna and the legendary tales of south Germany, Bienhaus' works are magical and beautiful, as well as, a little menacing. Her compositions create tension through "pouring" and tripping" in abstract areas so as to contrast realistically painted imagery and blank canvas.
Doro Hofmann creates her highly esthetic and surreal Pop-Art worlds in oil on canvas, in pencil on paper, in Monotypes, in Collages, and in room-size installations. Inspired by the necessary and functional structuring of our society and the influence daily News imagery and Advertising has upon it, Hofmann's work is often socially critical. Her art explores and exposes what hides beneath the glamorous and seductive surface of the mass media.
Alicja Kwade works in a multi-faceted and original way, employing a number of different media (installation, sculpture, photography, video) and materials. Her artwork makes use of classic sculpture materials and of everyday objects that she distorts to strip them of their usual context and meaning. She poses questions of authenticity and value, perception and classification. At the same time her art combines science with poetry and playfulness. She currently has a solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin through her Piepenbrock Prize for Sculpture.
Yasmin Müller works with a broad variety of different materials and techniques; from three-dimensional pieces, to work which employs used paling boards and shaped canvas, to large-scale murals. Her work references classic 'Hard-Edge Painting', 'Pop Art' and 'Minimalism'. She uses applied aesthetics primarily from fashion, design or cultural trends. Herein she explores the institutionalization of so-called subcultures as defined by the stereotypical everyday things with which they surround themselves.
Ulf Neumann's concrete objects nest in the exhibition room. They ensconce a wall, throne metal frames, assume the floor, dangle from the ceiling, and bridge walls of a room together. Every single one of his objects is intensively researched as to how it fits into the evolutionary history of Architecture. In his work Neumann concentrates on framing and transforming existing architecture, so as to evolve a new context for architectural structures.
Anja Schwoerer's unique paintings surround the viewer with absolute darkness, and at first this universe seems self-enclosed. But the brightly colored contrast in her geometric compositions open endless dimensions of Rorschach test-like batik patterns and psychedelic figurations.