It was only three months ago, in mid-March, that all European galleries and museums had to close. What came after seemed like a long, pointless time to many. For others, including the artists of our upcoming exhibition, it was more of a time of calm and concentration.
Many of us spoke to each other on the phone and online, new forms of awareness and the underlying practice emerged. We often dealt with the basics of our existence. Physical paths led us out into the parks and into nature, alone, in pairs or in groups of three, we walked side by side and felt connected and ‘fluidly’ coupled to one another. Described phenomena and the named situation gave and gives our current exhibition in Berlin Charlottenburg its title and content: FLUID COUPLING.
The Danish artist Per Adolfsen (born 1964) lives near Odense on Funen, almost behind the dike. Without continuing to use his studio, he went out every day and drew the landscapes surrounding him, which are often reminiscent of dream formations or the fairy tale of the Odensian Hans Christian Andersen. Drawings in wonderfully cheerful colors, which some may find healing, create an encounter with nature, old fairy tales and the memory of iconic paintings by artists such as van Gogh or Caspar David Friedrich.
Unlike Andersen, van Gogh or Friedrich, Per Adolfsen posted and posts his drawings on Instagram every day. A large community emerged within a few weeks, thousands follow him, and his posts often reach more than a thousand likes.
Sofie Bird Møller, born in Denmark in 1974 and living and working in Munich and Berlin, follows in her work and in her new work block another Danish artist, Inger Christensen, who died in 2009. Christensen was one of the most important poets of her generation and published, among other things, a book called ‘Alphabet’ in 1981, in which she set the numbers of the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in correspondence with the structure and growth of different plant species. Bird Møller incorporates this methodology in the design of its new series. Strong, archaic and pasty brushstrokes, in which the ‘nature’ seems to let off steam, are brought into geometrical shapes by hard, mathematically clear cuts, which have strong art-historical references to classic modernism.
The sculptor Wolfgang Flad (born 1974 in Reutlingen) formulated a completely different approach to art history and nature. His sculptures, which are held in matt shades, appear like plants or root works that have sprung from art history. The inside of plants or even bones can also be seen in the towering, organically shaped structures, which are anything but an aspect of art history. The artist cuts and snips art historical works and catalogs, from which he mixes a paper mache mass. The pieces of paper mixed in this way to form a pulp of high elasticity serve him as material for his sculptures, which he forms on composite roof battens. Sometimes a piece of the industrially usable wood remains visible – like an element from a diametrically opposed reality.