September 16 – October 28, 2023
For Art Week 2023, the gallery presents works by the painter Anna Leonhardt for the first time. Based in New York and Berlin, she was born in Pforzheim in 1981 and began studying painting under Ralf Kerbach at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden in 2002, where she graduated with a master’s degree in 2010.
Displayed in the first two rooms of the gallery, Anna Leonhardt’s paintings explore color, materiality, and space. By sculpting and layering the paint with a palette knife, the artist creates polychromatic, vividly rendered color fields with strong textures and spatial depth that form the background to floating abstract blocks of color. The gradual transformation of color, shape, space, and light creates a charged relationship between figure and ground.
Leonhardt’s earlier representational and figurative compositions have steadily dissolved into clashing fields of color over time, culminating in a consistently abstract style of painting that emphasizes the working process.
In her current works, Anna Leonhardt stretches out infinitely expansive spaces containing abstract blocks of color that interact with each other.
The backgrounds of the images consist of several overlapping layers of thick oil paint in multiple colors: sometimes blurred, dull, horizontal color stripes and gradients, sometimes surfaces divided into two or four fields.
Abstract blocks of color are applied in front of, against, or within this background as impasto layers of paint. Together with the background, they establish an impressive three-dimensional image space that continues into the depths. Brilliant, luminous colors and the effect of light and shadow play an important role in these thrilling compositions, heightened further by the way that the different colors react to each other. All this abstraction is underpinned by the artistic principles of representational painting: the forms emerging from the background of the image look like objects or figures, visible and invisible at the same time.
Parallel to this, the exhibition "VOLVER" (RETURN) with works by the artist Claire de Santa Coloma will be shown.