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Lost Landscapes

Exhibition title: Lost Landscapes 
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Koppel Villa, Zelený kríček 3, Trnava
Curator: Roman Popelár 
Exhibiting authors: Waltraud Danzig (D), Hubert Huber (D), Anja Kutzki (D), Stefan Meisl (D), Verena Schönhofer (D)
Opening: September 7, 2017 (Thu) at 6:00 PM
Duration: September 7, 2017 (Thu) - October 22, 2017 (Sun) 



Lost Landscapes is a thematic exhibition compiled by the curator, using works of art of five German artists - representatives of linear, geometric or lyrical abstraction.

The cooperation between the exhibiting authors and the curator started in summer 2016, when the first meeting took place in German Passau. Lower-Bavarian scene unites tens of artist; the main goal was to renew the cooperation that started in early 1990s between the teachers of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and a group of artists led by a young conceptual artist - Hubert Huber (*1956). After having studied many portfolios, the curator selected five artist; even though their works of art have related content, their starting points are different. The works will be placed in five rooms in Koppel Villa.

An artist of an older generation, Waltraud Danzig (*1945), has been using predominantly graphic techniques. One of her integrated cycles created in the early twenty-first century (after 2000) strongly resembles topographic maps - landscape sections from an aerial perspective. The author describes them as monochrome linear arrays. Her "landscapes" do not give a fictitious impression; other way round: a spectator may perceive them as a real unit, a specific landscape. Hubert Huber has been among the leading figures of the local visual art scene for three decades. Regional curators refer to him as a "master of a triangle". He is a sculptor, graphic designer, and a creator of local installations, in which he integrates historical or local architecture, often in the form of light art. He is an artist with environmental consciousness, using symbols as means of expressions. Altering them and embedding them into the landscapes, he creates images that mediate always up-to-date ecologic messages in a playful form. An optical illusion that he tries to create in many of his works, enhances the sense of urgency in spectators.

Three representatives of a younger generation bring forth a different, but still rather universalistic, concept of the topic: Anja Kutzki (*1973) inclines towards minimalistic positions, mostly reducing colourfulness to shades of black (or grey) and white. A red line in white creates a boundary. Not just a boundary in the landscape: it is a physical threshold, a threshold in an individual's mentality, a threshold of pain. The colourfulness in older cycles has been reduced to minimum - to small geometric fields, like a shade of life in a globalised society, an aesthetically impressive uniformity.

Acrylic paintings of Stefan Meisl (*1976) are, on the contrary, landscapes of mental states, strongly contrasting with his white geometric objects, with their static nature disrupted by motion caused by magnets. By means of placing them in one point or in homogeneous arrays, whereas each "pinwheel" reacts with a different movement, he makes moving objects of them. The movement taking place on the objects (not the movement of the objects themselves) becomes unpredictable in terms of intensity and time. They are white landscapes with technically regulated, but still unpredictable, processes taking place on them.

In the exhibition, Verena Schönhofer (*1980) will present her subjective landscapes from a colourful series called Neuland (2014-2016); however, she is rather among multi-genre inter-medial artists in terms of her activities in German art scene. Inspired by natural forms and structures, she depicts her imaginations of landscapes. The artist works in an inter-disciplinary manner, presenting acrylic paintings, ink paintings and gouaches on a paper or canvas in her exhibition.

Lost Landscapes are not just a deep insight into the spectrum of works, type and the way in which the topics of some artists with different or similar approaches are processed. The poetical name of the exhibition is, above all, a call for seeking and (re)finding these landscapes. They are sought by a spectator, but the topic is re-defined by the artists. In the context of ongoing climate changes and social unrests across various regions, this typical and, by principle, "eternal" topic starts to be perceived in a new light.

Roman Popelár

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