SWAY, HAMPSHIRE, UK.- ArtSway and the Goethe-Institut, London are pleased to announce two exhibitions featuring newly commissioned and existing work by German photographer Beate Gütschow. Both organizations have come together to support this exciting young German artist. R/LS also marks the first British exhibition by Gütschow, who has previously exhibited widely in Europe and the USA.
Gütschow has developed the landscape photography of her previous ‘LS’ series, in which she reconstructed landscape paintings of the 17th and 18th Century. Following the rules and conventions of landscapes painted by Claude Lorrain, Thomas Gainsborough and Jacob van Ruisdael, Gütschow photographed individual elements of landscapes and people and recreated idyllic scenes using digital montage, creating a contemporary apporach to the notion of utopia. As Gütschow explains: “Landscape (nature) never looked like this. In my work ideal means not to exclude the ugliness, it means to construct reality.” For her new work, created at ArtSway, she has extended this montage process to the media of video.
Gütschow’s new works are based upon canvases by Ruisdael - both entitled ‘The Jewish Cemetery’, one made in 1654, the other in 1655, which are themselves assemblages of several idealised features. In response to these paintings Gütschow located the actual Jewish Cemetery featured in Ruisdael’s original. She then sourced and filmed relevant settings in the New Forest and the South of England, such as Corfe Castle, to recreate a close approximation of Ruisdael’s canvases. The results are eerie, melancholic video works that reference the original paintings via the unflinching gaze of the video camera lens.
Beate Gütschow was selected from a group of nominated artists for a residency at ArtSway in September and October 2006. During the residency ArtSway and the Goethe-institut in London provided mentoring and practical support towards the development of two new video works. These two new works will be shown at the Goethe-Institut, London, from 15 February - 8 April 2007, and included in a larger exhibition, with a selection from the photography series entitled ‘LS’, at ArtSway from 24 February - 8 April 2007.
Beate Gütschow was born in Mainz, Germany in 1970 and now lives in Berlin. She studied at Hochschule fur bildende Kunste, Hamburg with Bernhard Johannes Blume and Wolfgang Tillmans, experimenting with painting and video as well as photography. She has recently exhibited in the Mutations I touring exhibition that tours seven different venues for the European Month of Photography, and was awarded the Ars Viva Prize in 2006.