Tag Archives: Leipzig Painters

Artist Spotlight: David Elias Schilling

David is back! He is a Vienna-based artist, born in Leipzig and has spent his founding years here. Now he is at PILOTENKUECHE, rediscovering and appreciating his home city with a fresh pair of eyes. After 12 years in Vienna, he is observing the changes that Leipzig has undergone. But he has also changed. He is able to use his accumulated knowledge to discover new facets of his childhood Leipzig. The adult David is finding this new perspective on the past a very interesting experience.

His Leipziger roots manifest throughout David’s work. Knowing his family history and that of the city, we can understand David’s art on a more personal level. He grew up near the coal mines and his grandfather was employed within the industry. David childhood was informed by stories of the coal quarries and exposure to the landscape on a daily basis. He praises the aesthetic power of quarries. “It is like a hurricane” he says, describing the visual impact of the “moonlike landscape”.

David is a painter, who has also received professional training in photography. Thus, occasionally he utilises both disciplines in his practice. He found that photography alone was too clean as a medium and limiting in certain ways, whereas in painting David was able to integrate the momentum, the energy and the movement that is present throughout the creation. He also mentions that the lines and shapes on the paper trace artists’ morphology, adding an additional quality. Therefore, David uses large formats as they give more space for physical freedom and an opportunity to interact with the piece in a bodily manner.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Although his approach to painting is very expressive, David is very attentive to the detail and thoughtful about the materials he chooses. The choice of medium is tightly knitted to his birthplace and early exposures. David’s paintings have a very graphic aesthetic to them, he’s work channels the métier of contemporary drawing. He paints almost exclusively on paper using charcoal, ink and graphite, producing high contrast images.
He prefers to work on paper as it is less eternal than canvas, outlining the value of the present moment. The use of charcoal is self-explanatory, but is not by accident why he uses solely a specific brand of ink. David says to have a nostalgic connection with the ink from Rohrer & Klingner (a company established in Leipzig in.1907). This ink was the top choice in schools, used by children to learn writing.

He is also a gardener. His love for botany was ignited when he was assigned a tiny corner in the family garden. His corner plot grew bigger and bigger with each passing year. Now he can proudly speak about his collection of flowers, particularly his wild roses. As a gardener David is enchanted by the change of season, especially the springtime when nature comes back to life out of nothing. He is equally fascinated by the seeds and their ability to stay dormant for decades, just to be awakened by the right circumstances. Currently, whilst back in Leipzig, David is researching plants that are reappearing in Leipzig’s old quarries.
Within his art practice he integrates motifs of flowers, plays with their symbolism and creates harmonious Ikebanas. He is intrigued by Japanese zen gardens as well as tea rituals and Japanese ink painting.

David is a curious person and a multifaceted artist. David adores opera, he will be the one who is humming or whistling a fragment from a classical piece. Currently he is smitten by Shostakovich 11th symphony, but obviously being born in Leipzig he had the love for Bach placed in his cradle. David is interested in Bach’s’ approach to composing, his use of mathematical principles, Fibonacci sequence as well as numerology. David tries to apply these techniques himself, he studies principles of harmony, but is mesmerised by contrasts.
He is attracted by Vanitas and recognises both the beautiful and the ugly, We need both. David says: ”It is life, there is dirt and it is beautiful!”.

David manages to interweave various disciplines, techniques, personal history and symbols in a surprisingly harmonic and balanced way, creating art pieces that complement each other and form a complete oneness. Though one doesn’t have to recognize the information embedded to appreciate aesthetics of his work.

images supplied by artist

See his work at the following shows:

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

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

Sat 16 / Sun 17
Thur 21 / Fri 22 / Sat 23
14:00 bis 18:00

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

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

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

PILOTENKEUCHE, Franz-Flemming-Straße 9, 04179 Leipzig

Press while here at Pilotenkueche:


Beyond ‘Hypezig’: Connecting international artists in eastern Germany
by Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

Artist Spotlight: Elisabeth Kraus

Sometimes the moral duty of the artist, whether conscious or not, is to wrestle with the soul of society and the pitfalls of human nature. Often we deal with larger issues by turning inward and examining our inner worlds. In this case, the inner world of current Pilotenkueche resident Elisabeth Kraus is rich with analysis, emotion and playful exploration. In the last few years she has been on a winding path led by intuition, pursuing art inspired adventures across the globe. Most recently this path has landed her in Leipzig, a burgeoning cultural hub.

Elisabeth’s inquisitive spirit seeps into her practice through the themes and motifs she engages in as well as through the mediums she experiments with. This means she is constantly analyzing and searching, always observing and at times simply waiting. Her works encompass themes of societal responsibility, nature and humanity, and human nature in some of its most extreme forms. The common thread that keeps her engaged is the power of empathy as a catalyst for change. The result of this mixture of inspiration and analysis is a broad spectrum ranging from sculpture and sound installation to conceptual pieces and performance, and, more recently, a return to painting. This all amounts to ‘creating a playground for all the senses’. This playground becomes the sensorial vocabulary through which Elisabeth communicates.

This kind of ‘playground’ also translates into a way of being. Through her extensive travels with an openness to surprise and a flexible sense of the meaning of home she has exhibited throughout Germany and has found a nurturing creative and social network in Beirut, where she connected with the Haven for Artists – a non-profit arts organization bolstering the underground art scene in Lebanon and the Middle East. At this safe space and residency she was able to settle a bit and create a meaningful network through which her art practice could thrive.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Several of the works that arise from Elisabeth’s idiosyncratic sensorial vocabulary take the form of interactive sculptural pieces. Most notably, a recurring project, are the small spheres she makes cast with an image of her face on them that fit snugly in the palm of one’s hand. They are meant to bounce around, move from hand to hand, and occasionally gaze into the participants eyes. The literal bouncing and transient nature of these balls becomes a direct metaphor for the nomadic lifestyle that Elisabeth has been living and all of the ups and downs that it entails. Many more of her works deal with more outward societal concerns. With the ways in which humans transmit knowledge and culture and how this is filtered, understood and absorbed.

During Elisabeth’s time with Pilotenkueche she will keep her spirit open to inspiration and continue investigating these recurring themes through her work while also experimenting with different media and processes. Upcoming, as well, is a collaborative sound installation piece on-site at Kunstraum Kesselhaus, in the artist’s hometown of Bamberg where she will be working with past collaborator and sound designer Paul Hauptmeier.

The expanse and depth of Elisabeth’s experimentation comes from a passion for knowledge, an openness of spirit and an inclination towards play. It is all of these traits that, when considered, become the portrait of a person looking for answers. Although certain questions may not be answered in the process, the right questions are being asked.

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

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

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
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. 



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.



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.


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.