Tag Archives: leipzig artist

Artist Spotlight: Nora Manthei

Nora believes there are two kind of artists. There are the ones whom always knew they wanted to be an artist and the ones who had experiences which gradually revealed an artistic pathway. Her mother is an art teacher so she had a mix of the two above. She was always looking at coffee table books of important artists and wanted to become a painter because it was easy for her to understand what a painter does. Slowly she understood that for her there was more to working in art. It could be a form of language.

After finishing high school, she had the idea that one should already be a big artist. Obviously that was not the case, so then she supported this idea by studying art history in Leipzig. This too was not highly satisfying either so she started studying in Weimar Bauhaus University in the field of art. This was much closer to what she was seeking as she had the mind space to concentrate on her projects regarding the city and the lessons.

After Weimar, she continued studying in Halle, and from there she did an Erasmus exchange in Vienna. This was a turning point for me,” Nora says. Up to this point she was working with every type of materials and the centre of the works were all political subjects and always about moral issues. Vienna helped her to stop packing her idea and giving it to people to unpack it.  She started telling stories and writing down. She decided that she didn’t want to work with the topics that are chosen, rather the things that she had experienced herself.

The matters that you are confronted with in daily routine is Nora’s focus. She prefers to work with topics that are familiar to viewers so there is a common theme to connect with. She doesn’t think it is reasonable to make art for a small group of people who are highly educated and reference it in a way that is not readable for everyone.

Nora has her studio in an old factory. It’s a shared art space in the east of Leipzig. It’s like a collective but everyone works independently. It is the conversations, events and shared space that makes it feel like a collective.

At the moment she is working a lot with texts and typography. She has made several books. However sometimes she goes back to conceptual work like the works she displayed in the first show of the PK RD41, including writing sentences and crossing them out again.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

In addition, she does lots of photography. “Most probably every photographer experiences that moment when she blames herself for not carrying the camera with herself and loses a great shot, but when you are working with text, you have your mind always with you, You just need a pen and a piece of paper,” Nora says. Nora believes you shouldn’t put your emphasis on working with a certain media. You have to stay open to change.

“it is the most important thing for an artist not to keep repeating herself just because it’s going well and selling well.”

Artist Statement: Doubting and transforming is my process. My way of working is constantly complemented by various techniques and media, which are based on the content and emerging of piece. Since 2017 I have been working mostly with text and its interaction with pictures. These works are beginnings or fragments that can be described as a kind of everyday archeology. Out of overcoming distance and immersion into a matter, an alienation irrevocably follows. The constant back and forth is essential to be able to look from the self to the subject. For me, a work of art really only exists when it has entered the world of images of the beholder. Art is for me a connecting and supportive element to make the complexity of the present tangible. Art challenges, questions and does not give in.

written by Elnaz Mostaan

you can look at Nora’s website for more of her work

And come see her work in the following show

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00

Artist spotlight: Henrike Pilz

Henrike struggled not to be an artist. As a daughter of a woman painter, she was aware of the problems of being a woman artist. Studying history was a compromise, and it did not make her happy. Finally, this German made up her mind to become what her body asked for. Her artist career commenced with realistic painting, which she finds as a “pure imitation, a matter of practice, you don’t need to think”. As this became insufficient, she researched the historical movements and aesthetics to discover her own voice.

Painting in her life is an impulsive act and way to clear out her thoughts. When in act, she enters into a trance where thinking becomes easier. Henrike is inspired with the pictorial process itself where she thinks not only with her hands, but where her artwork is also intuitive.

Cy Trombly, Joseph Beuys, Silvia Baechli, Marcel Duchamp; the main sources of influence for Henrike Pilz are evident when looking at her work. She is attracted to art concepts and changing state of mind through art; primarily her own and hopefully awareness of the public. Not far away from working led by intuition, Pilz wants her vision to stay focused on the concept.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Ever since she was a child, her mind was full of ideas and questions. Finally, the grown up child took the path of the research, providing a way for the curiosity to be shared. One of her purpose is to make art for the society as a place for empathy.

When the idea comes, Henrike feels that something is sprouting within her. The only way of inspiration is having time for herself. In a Pollock-style, Pilz takes the ground as her canvas and blends the colors from different color cans which are her primary tools. Whilst she uses this instrument to display her interior world, the whole process is developed in a slow way of repetitive looking and painting. The main tool is the can, the second is the paint brush reserved for the details. The constant in this process is the frankness and clarity.

The artist is not working only in this medium. In 2016 a documentary movie “XXS – decompose, a strategy”, made by Henrike and her team, was released. It was about the DDR- System. The country, the socialism east Germany in times of the iron curtain. The movie was based on interviews with four people talking about their personal lives.

Contrary to the institutional idea of having idols instead of artists, the real success for Henrike is to develop herself through art, to be comfortable with herself and have a peaceful mind. Impressing and inspiring people with her abstract paintings would be yet another success.

Written by María Valcárcel


Come and see Henrike’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Performances: from 20h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany