Tag Archives: Contemporary Painting

Artist spotlight: Clement Bedel

French artist Clement Bedel transports us into an oneiric space and time. He does it through the vivid realism of his enormous painted canvases. The environments, in which spectators feel immersed, oscillate between the real and the fantastic.

The world he represents is a sort of hybrid. These places invites us to reflect on the direction the earth is going: from the indifference to war refugees, to the carelessness towards the overconsumption, the environmental disasters and the consequent climate change.

Clement began his artistic career making videos and installations. Only in recent years, after moving to Serbia, he began to paint. His interest was born with the admiration for Max Ernst’s surrealism.

As in a dream in which we can’t run, his figures seem trapped in a melancholy context. He explained: “The occupants of these landscapes are, in their German romantic passivity, the recipient of the Weltschmertz, the word used to express the feeling of one carrying on himself the weight of the world”. The figures are often lonely; they are impersonal, faceless and could be identified with anyone.

The architecture he paints does not have a logical, structural sense. The environments are upside down and also work if we look at the painting in reverse. The water gushes from undefined sides and it is not clear where we are. There is not a central point of attention, but our gaze runs from one side to the other because of the peculiar perspective.

For the series of paintings he started visiting and taking pictures of abandoned factories. From this material he developed his imagination in compositions of various elements. Today he is excited about working in the space of Pilotenkueche, which was also a factory in the past.

His first painting was darker and gloomy, people were dying. While the last series called Shimmering through reality is more ironic and cynical, there are bright, strong colors and fluid movements, as in the painting with the multicolor swirl symbolize the amount of plastic in the ocean.

The abundance of nature is the personification of light in constant fight with destruction. The nature in his paintings is the metaphor of an anchor of survival. Will the human be able to take care of its precious resources?

Clement does not want to do something dramatic or depressing; this is not a dystopian view of the world. It is certainly the end of an era, but with nature constantly reborn. Nature remains alive as well as human constructions: he considered both strong elements.

This project of painting is constantly evolving and changing according to what he sees and the news he is reading. In his new series, started at Pilotenkueche, he paints the new symbolic element of the agave: it grows strong and resistant without the need for excessive water and invests all the energy in its flower, but after two months it dies. This flower is the metaphor of the point where humanity arrived today. We have grown very quickly, taking all nature’s energy, but we are running out of resources. We are destroying what gives us life.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


See Clement’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9


Artist spotlight: Zheng Wenxin

Zheng Wenxin’s work is comparable to an archaeologist who rediscovers, documents and studies the moments shared by her friends on social media. The action of painting is useful for her to interpret and convey the feelings she has with the virtual space: too flat and vast. In fact, this ‘reality’ very often gives us a wrong and hasty perception, a lot of information is veiled or completely obscured.

She transfers the rapid flow of events on scroll with an abstract style as if to capture that moment. Her long carpet of colors is a concentration of emotions perhaps already forgotten by those who have made them public on the Chinese platform WeChat.

She has always focused on the psychology of the individual throughout the years of her artistic practice. What interests her today is the extraordinary speed with which technology in China is growing from year to year. The quantity of images available to us has made this instrument the new source of inspiration; as she says: “This is another kind of painting still life”. This is the contemporaneity that she is living and she is conscious that all this can change within a few years.

The artist chooses one single day, takes only the date and place of the post and paints everything she sees without preferences: most of the photos she encounters are selfies. And it is through this randomness that she realizes the labile distinction between what is private and public in the life of her friends. Sometimes the images she paints are very intimate scenes of the individual. On the artist’s part there is a suspension of judgment. She does not deliver a criticism but a desire to restore that tension between what we see and what we think we see.

Her brushstrokes do not want to faithfully represent all she sees; it is almost impossible for the viewers to reconstruct a direct connection with the photos or to trace the source because she only captures the sensations, the words, the perception of the colors. The figures in the paintings look like silhouettes. They are distorted. They are like masks.

It is a combination of fields of colors and geometric lines, almost cubist, that create a continuous flow. This is effective for returning the typical noise and fragments of social media. The two-dimensionality is also an aspect that she takes back from the mobile screen, and for this paradoxically she can be considered a realistic artist. The titles of her art work, which are coordinates of the place where the posts are published, can be cryptically a key to enter works.

The pictorial composition is a set of images apparently disconnected but must be grasped as a film of confused memories, like a dreamlike video of images.

With the Pilotenkueche project she has adopted – not only the scroll – but also a new experiment in materials: a series of small square alluminum plates portraying the rapid life stories.

The difficult challenge for Zheng Wenxin is to transmit these new social relationships with the ‘old’ artistic medium of painting.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


See Wenxin’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9

Artist Spotlight: Karine Fréchette

Wide spectrum of bright colors, illusion of movement, complex composition with psychedelic elements – that what defines Karine’s Fréchette art work. Her art can be described as a blend of Op art from the 70s and abstract art, especially when it comes to the composition. Karine’s art practice is inspired by other artists such as Bridget Riley, Claude Monet or Frank Stella. One of her biggest inspirations is Czech abstract painter Frank Kupka and his visionary and mystic composition. When one comes closer to Karine’s paintings, they are almost hypnotized by the entrancing wave-like patterns.

I have a feeling I found my artist style by accident. It just happened. Somewhen during my masters I start to do those trippy, almost hallucinating imagines and then I just lost control”.


Karine is a Canadian painter, based in Montreal. The city itself had a big impact on her art work. Montreal has not only a long-time history of an abstract painting, but it is also full of contemporary art and blooming cultural scene. At the same time, while living there, you don’t see big names that often. Most of the famous paintings can be seen only on the internet. That’s where Karine’s interest in digital word, 3D modeling and scientific imagery comes from.


She chose Visual and Media Arts as a major for her Bachelors, which she studied at Université du Québec à Montréal. It was a multidisciplinary program, that combined video art, glass, painting, ceramic and other art techniques. “I got completely lost there. I didn’t know what I actually want to do. For a long time, I was really into video art and you actually can see a big impact of that on my current art. But then I decided to focus on painting”. Karine obtained her Master’s degree in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University.

Her artist path was pretty straight forward, as Karine never did anything else but art. She always felt that the most meaningful thing she could do is to paint. “To be honest first I thought it is impossible or even too ambitious to have pretensions to become a professional artist. But I just kept doing what I enjoyed. It took me some time to get the confident to say: yes, I am an artist and that what I do in my life”. In 2018 Karine won a Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting, which helps fund emerging Canadian painters who will live, create artwork and travel in Europe for 9 months. That’s how she found herself at Pilotenkueche residency in Leipzig.

Here Karine is trying to work with new materials and apply new techniques. Instead of traditional canvas, for the current exhibition she used slightly transparent fabric and neon colors to create an illusion of flowing waves which represent circles of life. As much as she likes Op art, she doesn’t really like to follow regular shapes. To achieve more organic lines, she just tore a piece of paper and used it as her shape. “Usually there is no plan or even a sketch beforehand. It is a pure improvisation. I like that these is always something between control and working blind. I think it is important to have a feeling that you are working a little bit blind even if its controlled”.

Despite the fact, that it has been almost 10 years since Karine started her artist career, she still keeps experimenting with her style and trying out new things. “Even though I know that my style is not going to change radically, I am really scared to stuck in one way of doing things, that’s why I always want to move forward”. After the residency at Pilotenkueche, Karin is planning on joining a long-term residency back in Montreal. One of her future plans is also to do a project in which she wants to interact more with the space and light and try to involve audience to discover her painting in a new way. Depending on where a visitor stands, he or she can see different dimensions and the drawing become something different.

written by Kristina Nizamova

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You can see Karine’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Visiting: Kalicki & Veo // 15.02.18

Last week the residents were invited to the ateliers of our team, at their studios in FF15, a building neighboring Pilotenkueche’s very own headquarters. Lucino Veo, who’s practice is rooted in technique and tradition presented a selection of his work and shared his thoughts on art, craft and the art market. Natalia Kalicki for her part, presented her raw, messy and evocative visual commentary on consumerism, consumption and the absurdity of modern lifeFollowing the visit, we visited our local S1 Vinyl & Kaffee where Kalicki’s work is currently on view. 

Impressions

All Photos by PILOTENKUECHE

Links
Lucino Veo  
Natalia Kalicki
S1 Vinyl & Kaffee

Visiting: Lucino Veo and Natalia Kalicki / 24.08.2017

Last Thursday we visited the neighboring studios of Franz-Flemming Str. 15, to visit the ateliers of Lucino Veo and our own Natalia Kalicki. Veo shared his fascination with old master techniques while Kalicki showed some of her previous work.

Impressions

All photos by PILOTENKUECHE

Links
Lucino Veo  
Natalia Kalicki

PILOTENKUECHE is regularly visiting artists, galleries and museums with its residents to introduce them to the local art scene and – moreover – to create an exchange between our international guests and the practitioners based in Leipzig.

Visiting: Lucino Veo & Natalia Kalicki

Last Thursday we visited the neighboring studios of Franz-Flemming Str. 15, to visit the ateliers of Lucino Veo and our own Natalia Kalicki. The two previously studied at Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada, and after adventures in Finland and Italy, are currently Leipzig based.

All photos by PILOTENKUECHE

Veo has cultivated a fascination for old master painting techniques. His intensive process reflects a careful investigation of bygone methodologies, and the relation of that methodology to sometimes whimsical, often fantastical, yet distinctly lucid themes. Kalicki, while also focused on oil painting, approaches the material with Dionysian zeal, and is absorbed by concepts of obsession, consummation and self-consumption, electing a jolly grotesqueness to best epitomize the human kingdom. 

PILOTENKUECHE is regularly visiting artists, galleries and museums with its residents to introduce them to the local art scene and – moreover – to create an exchange between our international guests and the practitioners based in Leipzig.