A little bit before the official opening of the Berlin Gallery Weekend, I had the chance to drop by the new gallery Art von Frei run by Eva Moll and check out their running exhibition Into the Deep End curated by Peter Ungeheuer. I grabbed the opportunity to pay them a visit with the director of Azucar and meet both of them; thus, we talked about the exhibition, the gallery and a lot of other interesting stuff.
The exhibition features just five framed hung works but more works can be found on the back side of the gallery in large folders. This is also how the title relates to the exhibition but also due to the fact that all artists are male – something quite unusual in today’s post-feminist world. This men-only concept is quite witty because it also suggests a subtle contradiction of the watercolor as a childish technique and the professional artworks which are being showcased.
This is indeed a continuation of the exhibition in a new fashion. The works all share something in common – the technique of watercolor. As Peter mentioned, there has not been a substantial exhibition with such a medium lately in Berlin and this makes it a unique concept to start an exhibition. All works have been particularly made for the exhibition except for Helikopter.
As Peter very wittily observed, to the general perception, watercolor is not considered a reliable and even ‘serious’ artistic medium and this is probably why such creations have skipped the museum and gallery halls for a long time. Peter’s curatorial concept started exactly from this realization of the lack of exposure of such a medium plus the fact that he prefers to be intuitive about his selection of works; he prefers to stick to the medium and emphasize this aspect instead of trying to weave a concrete narrative through his curatorial choices.
Courtesy of Art von Frei Gallery and artist Ulrik Møller, “Helikopter” (Detail), Photography: © Maria Nitulescu
What I liked the most about the works is that they present a fancy fluidity, they are ‘perspirant’ the way they stand on the wall and they evoke this reverence, without making them less attention-worthy. The fact that there are only five works on the wall provides a simplistic argument for the exposure of watercolor while the white space provides further emphasis on the minimalism of the subject-matter and thus focuses on the technique. The work I have felt attached to the most was Helikopter by Ulrik Møller. In his portfolio the artist features some more of this kind of works with a very loose focus on the object along with a blast of lucid colors.
The gallery features many works by Wolfgang Lugmair who pertains to a more stabilized figurative watercolor painting style with a touch of fairy-tale like abstraction. The Greek Berlin-based artist, Paris Giachoustidis uses a more collage-like geometrical technique while Otavio Schipper, promotes some geometrical subtractive shapes with a hypnotizing impact.
Courtesy of Art von Frei Gallery, Ulrik Møller (“Helikopter”) and Clement Page (“Untitled”)
Installation View, Photography: © Maria Nitulescu
The gallery Art Von Frei is a new promising gallery in the heart of Mitte where you can find a small cozy art space to reflect upon. Don’t hesitate to ask Eva any questions you might have and she will be very happy to answer all of them – probably with a cup of coffee. Also don’t forget to check the artists’ portfolio on the back which will help you get a bigger and more holistic impression of the works and the concept. We are looking forward to more work.
The exhibition runs until May 20th.
Berlin, Germany 10119
Tuesday – Friday: Noon – 6pm
Samstag: Noon – 4pm
Visit by appointment +4915156000344