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The exhibition «bursts suddenly» focuses on works on paper by Heike Kati Barath. Watercolors, pencil drawings, and ink sketches emerge parallel to her often monumental paintings. Since the start of her artistic practice, works on paper have been the artist’s store of ideas, sometimes taking on the function of a diary or serving as concrete preparations for canvas paintings. Intense observation of her surroundings, literature, and frequent visits to the cinema are her inspiration. Both things seen and ideas of her own invention come to paper. As in her painting, Heike Kati Barath also tries out various materials, like spray paint, wiggly eyes, and rainbow pencils. Her expressive portraits move along the fine line separating science-fiction and reality, horror and comics. Sometimes funny, sometimes grotesque, always inscrutable. All the works are untitled. Confronted with these images, the beholders are left on their own, they receive no instructions on how to see or understand and are provided with no direction. Only the exhibitions are given a title, often greeting the visitors with a challenge: “come on,” “take one,” “do you want to?”, “kiss me,” “you’re here, too”, “on the other hand,” “sometimes” or in this case “bursts suddenly.” As Heike Kati Barath puts it, “Painting is not just paint on a surface, paintings can go further, ever deeper, directly into the brain of the beholder. . . and then the images are lodged there, anchored. And it’s not easy or even impossible to get rid of them again.” Or in the words of Jörg van den Berg, “One might think of the wonderfully concise statements of Philip Guston, without question one of the central references from recent art history in Barath’s painting: just before his death, he said in an interview: ‘I want to be a stranger to myself.’ Smiling and dread meet one another in these images with brutal directness, without having to decide. One might still be smirking inside while at the same time recalling media images of everyday horror in society. Barath’s images thus possess a uniquely revealing power.”

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