'FAR & WIDE'
NAH UND FERN
‘Works by the two artists oscillate between the skies and earth, closeness and distance, vastness and depth. They switch from figuration to abstraction, palpable actuality to impalpable mood’
Angela Zohlen and Ulrich Kretschmann, artistic colleagues and life partners, work in entirely different styles and with wholly separate yet related focuses. Displaying the two artists next to each other, the first noticeable difference is scope. While Zohlen looks at nature up close, focusing on texture and horticultural shapes reminiscent of Karl Bloßfeld photographs, Kretschmann widens his gaze, painting brilliant panoramic landscapes. Their work is essentially abstract, painted more from memory and mind than actual source material, focusing more on mood than realism.
Both artists work in layers. Zohlen applies a mix of pigment and rough grained sand to canvas, scraped back and reapplied numerous times to create the plant like shapes and textured backgrounds that make her work so immersive. Kretschmann works more classically, layering oil paint on a black primed canvas to produce the brooding depth of cloud-filtered light and the masked, ominous, sometimes jutting contours of horizons.
While Zohlen and Kretschmann have exhibited alongside each other in the past, this is the first time they produced work with the sole goal of showing together in a two-person exhibition. “We both work in opposite ends of Berlin. We would leave for our respective studios in the morning and return home late at night to talk about the work we did that day, exchanging ideas, showing each other images and giving updates on our process”, Kretschmann said. Due to the fundamental difference of style, their influence on each other is hard to pinpoint. The effect of their nightly conversations is a tension that appears once you place the works next to each other, as if they translate shared ideas into their individual languages on canvas.