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15 May 2012

Lars Teichmann at DEA ORH, Prague

Lars Teichmann


From 16th of May to 16th of June 2012 Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm

Marko Brdarski
+420 776 737 677

Kozi 3
110 00, Prague 1
Czech Republic

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The Dea Orh Gallery is pleased to announce their second annual exhibition of the work of the Berlin-based painter Lars Teichmann. Teichmann (born 1980 in Burgstädt, Germany) was included in the 2011 Venice Biennale (San Marino Pavilion), and in 2009 he won the Under 30 Euromobil Award at Arte Fiera in Bologna (Italy's premier art fair). He studied painting at the University of Arts, Berlin with Wolfgang Petrick and Daniel Richter and finished his degree in 2008 under Valerie Favre. His work is held in important private and public collections in Germany such as the Berlinische Galerie/Landesmuseum für Gegenwartskunst.

Teichmann paints on a dramatic scale, with a restricted palette featuring rich charcoals and brilliant whites accented with 'pulses' of color. The recent works on view at Dea Orh will demonstrate what the artist is best known for: innovative interpretation of iconic paintings of the past. The life-size pictures will feature his expressive brushwork and range from odalisques to portraiture. These works present the authoritarian stances and courtly gestures of their presumably noble sitters, and a suggestion of elaborate hairstyles, sumptuous costumes and accoutrements such as fans, swords, and jewelry. Equestrian works such as Dark Knight depict majestic riders astride powerful steeds. Yet Teichmann's overtly painterly approach only gives us the vaguest outline of both features and signs of prestige, often leaving faces entirely blank. In using the format and structure of baroque courtly portraiture (such as that created by Velázquez), yet denying identity, the artist completely circumvents the genre. This is portraiture not of the sitter, but perhaps of the form itself. His 'Neo' Portraits update and reverse the focus, with swirls of vibrant color in the facial area, and the surrounds painted in an unadorned black, while A Real Beauty and Cute Gal combine the two formats.

Teichmann's reclining nudes similarly reinterpret iconic paintings, particularly conjuring 19th century Orientalist fantasies by European artists. Where serpent-like forms are entwined with the female body, the paintings reference both snake charmer imagery and the conjoined themes of sexuality and death. Nudes such as Poison address the popular subject of the suicide (presumably by asp) of Cleopatra. With Green Yellow Pink, Teichmann has taken on perhaps an even more famous nude—Manet's Olympia—with significant added gestures such as a variant pose, and the inclusion of African sculpture. This latter element suggests a further exploration of the exoticization of the other.

African art is also a key element in a series which pairs regal (yet again faceless) women with animals such as elephants and dinosaurs. In these works the artist compels us to examine our preconceptions of power and powerlessness, domination and subordination. The play of opposites is reinforced through the artist's extreme reduction of palette to tones of black and white. In both absence of color and facial characteristics, paintings like Ghost Sisters call to mind daguerreotypes, and particularly the genre of 'spirit photography.' In using historic sources yet dramatically reconfiguring and recontextualizing them, Teichmann challenges both the viewer's memory and their understanding of the potential meaning of art.

gallery is one of the leading commercial galleries in the Czech Republic. It provides an excellent platform for the promotion of emerging and established artists. The gallery is also the international representative of artists Jakub Špaňhel, Štefan Tóth and Juraj Kollár. Dea Orh gallery participates in art fairs in Dubai, Amsterdam, London, Strasbourg, Bologna, Amsterdam and Barcelona.