Mascher uses the term "frequency" as a metaphor for the different operating temperatures, the level or indeed the frequency at which he and his artist colleagues work or run best – if you like: the operating mode in which they move. Observing the way his colleagues and himself work, the question of how the employed time is defined and rhythmized, was Mascher's fundamental interest in the development of the exhibition. Through the intensive communicative exchange in the form of studio and exhibition visits, text messages and in the social media, Mascher understood the similarities between him and his peers that became clearer and clearer, especially with regard to the respective approaches and – even more important – with regard to a dominant narrative view of the world. This narrative view of the world in particular also makes it very clear that each artist filters the information that is processed completely independently and individually. And of course the techniques employed are also completely different:
Lotta Bartoschewski (*1988 in Preetz, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Braunschweig with Thomas Rentmeister and Frances Scholz) is a sculptor and painter at the same time. All of her exhibits are made of plaster, often with integrated objects from everyday life. In this respect she is a sculptor (especially the in-situ work Pidder Lüng makes this clear). However, color is also always used, which gives the formerly liquid material a painterly effect. And in this respect one can also speak of painting. In addition, the objects employed have narrative signifiers on the one hand, while on the other hand they are decontextualized compositionally and thus rid of their function of interpretation, mutating into abstractions.
Rowena Dring (*1970 in Wellingborough, studied at Bedford College of Higher Education, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and Goldsmiths College, University of London) creates with the three works in our exhibition landscapes and studies of trees which – on a technical level – are reminiscent of etchings, but which are sewn and embroidered, techniques traditionally associated with "women's work". While on the one hand she alludes to the world of romantic depictions of nature (not least the painterly world of Caspar David Friedrich), on the other hand she also examines questions of gender-specific artistic production.
Carsten Fock's (*1968 in Weida, Thuringia, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel and at the Städelschool in Frankfurt am Main with Georg Herold and Per Kirkeby) exploration of the possibilities of contemporary painting leads to abstract works that are subject to the process of painting with – most often – figurative associations. We tend to see landscapes, figures and typographical zones, but their meaning is hardly decipherable. Similarly, the question remains open as to whether the results of his work can be defined more as painterly drawing or symbolic painting.
Daniel Hauptmann (*1980 in Hamburg, studied at the Hamburg Academy of Art under Anselm Reyle) includes everyday, often constructive materials in his works consisting of styrodur and acrylic to form painterly objects, reliefs, which overhaul and ignore the internal structure of the everyday objects and thus create a compositional overall view. In doing so, he partly takes the concept of sculpture seriously and cuts away material, that is: he forms through reduction, instead of first using painterly material to arrive at the associated objects.
Andy Hope 1930 (*1963 in Munich, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London) – as an avid collector of comics, films and figures from the realms of horror, supervillain / superhero, dinosaurs and ex-terrestrial beings – explores the world of "low culture" and transfers it into his painting. In our case, the picture and title refer to the movie Justice League, a film that unites superheroes in the fight against Steppenwolf. Only a connoisseur could know whether the figure in our painting depicts this Steppenwolf. But in any case it is obvious that the gust is represented not least by the choice of colours, especially the bright orange. The fact, however, that orange and blue, in which the figure is contoured, are complementary colours, shows how precisely Andy Hope 1930 thinks as a painter.
Esther Janssen (*1976 Maastricht, studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven) can be characterised as a painter without paint. She uses patent leather to create carefully crafted, hand-sewn paintings of civilised, but also oppressive and disturbing environments. Her work contains a deeply personal and sometimes contradictory iconography: gloomy houses, evergreen areas, tidy front gardens, entertainment centres, horses and overcast skies.
Kalin Lindena (*1977 in Hanover, studied at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts with Hartmut Neumann, Johannes Brus and Walter Dahn) began her life as an artist as a sprayer on the streets of Braunschweig. She also used spray paint (together with stain) in her big work Tagesbruch an. We seem to see a landscape interspersed with architectural elements and a sketch of a tree (?), laid down with fast, energetic and swinging brush strokes. And thus we can speak of „painting“. The question mark that the depicted signs suggest (do we really see what we assume we see) is incorporated into the German title, which is supposedly unambiguous because we automatically read it as „Tagesanbruch“ („daybreak“), but which makes us aware of the doubtfulness of our supposed knowledge of a text (or an image), because the more or less precise translation of the German title would be something like „break day“.
Christof Mascher (*1979 in Hanover, studied at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts with Walter Dahn) saw textile works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Bolzano a few years ago and was inspired by them to create paintings in the form of wall tapestries. This form of extended painting was accompanied by a forced but desired deceleration of the "painting process". Mascher spends more time on each work and can at the same time make use of the technical limitations of the possibilities for a specific, symbolic visual language. He weaves his own tapestries, which – like earlier paintings – incorporate elements of pop culture and the game world as well as art historical references.
Ryan Mosley (*1980 in Chesterfield, studied at the University of Huddersfield and at the Royal College of Art in London) is one of the more intuitive painters that can be read as working in the tradition of Romantic painting (as opposed to a Classicist approach). He associates numerous artists of history (Brueghel, Picasso or Léger, to name but a few) with his narratives; at the same time, his paintings are autonomous and – if you like – anarchic, so that they can by no means be reduced to a game with references to art history. Rather, they allow us to associate references of the most numerous kind and in the most diverse directions, which we can never pin down to one result.
Anna Nero (*1988 in Moscow, studied at the Art Academy Mainz with Anne Berning, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig with Ingo Meller and Oliver Kossack, and was a master student of Heribert C. Ottersbach) is interested in objects of our everyday world – their composition, materiality, functionality, context and also – if you want – their "essence". However, it would be wrong to read her paintings as a rebirth of Pop Art and thus as an homage to this everyday world. Rather, she is working on the relationship between object, colour and space and on the question of whether colour is primarily a material or medium creating images or a medium for representation. Ultimately, the painterly gesture, lines and surfaces themselves become themselves content and subject.
Jon Pilkington (*1990 in St. Helens, studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design) refers with his paintings from our exhibition to the pottery tradition from Staffordshire, which was particularly alive between 1780 and 1875 and which was a convenient way to own views of mainly classical motifs, but later also of things from everyday life. While Staffordshire pottery can be described as an early form of Pop Art, Pilkington's paintings can be characterised in their materiality and feel as paintings formed with the material oil on the raw canvas – drawing upon the thematic fields of that time.
Maximilian Thiel (*1984 in Berlin, studied at the Berlin University of the Arts with Valerie Favre and at the ENPEG Esmeralda in Mexico with José Luis Sanches Rull) shows in Frequency three sgrafittos, which – this is a necessary aspect of the technique – oscillate between painting and object. Sgrafittos, a traditional method of wall decoration, are created by applying layers of plaster of different colours to a surface. Parts of the uppermost layer of plaster are scratched off, thus exposing parts of the underlying plaster, thus creating images. In two cases (Profil and Vogel), these are clay-plaster sgrafittos, which were created as autonomous works, but of course have art-historical (especially Art Nouveau) or Egyptian references. In one case (Tiger 1 and 2), Thiel has preserved elements from a mausoleum he built (for the Kunstverein Adler Düsseldorf), which has since been destroyed. This mausoleum is reminiscent of the destruction of mausoleums in Syria, so the artistic act is an act of empathic remembrance and admonition.
Christoph Wüstenhagen (*1979 in Staßfurt, studied at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover and at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg with Werner Büttner) collages gauze and irons transfer foil onto his "painting ground" and in this way creates abstract-geometric compositions that can be read as objects as well as a form of painting. His compositions are loosely reminiscent of works by Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Günter Fruhtrunk and other heroes of the Modernity. He ironizes their works, however, through the simple material and ultimately also through the transparency, which makes the picture carrier visible and thus turns the picture into a reflection and embodiment of its technical functions.