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01 Mar 2013

Olaf Bastigkeit and Gemma Anderson at Galerie Thore Krietemeyer, Berlin

Olaf Bastigkeit
Sketch for softmachine installation, 2013

Galerie Thore Krietemeyer


Opening Exhibition:
Friday, March 1, 2013, 5 pm Exhibition: March 1 – April 20, 2013 Gallery Hours: Tue – Sat 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment

Thore Krietemeyer
+49 (0) 30 81 79 81 - 66
+49 (0) 30 81 79 81 - 67

Galerie Thore Krietemeyer
Grossbeerenstrasse 83
10963 Berlin

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FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2013, 5 PM


Olaf Bastigkeit's work is characterised by his use of classic artistic media and a sensitisation in regard to contemporary topics of aesthetics as well as content.

In the exhibition Softmachine, Olaf Bastigkeit presents sculptural works and paintings, produced in his studio over the past two years, and places these within a site-specific context. To achieve the latter, he uses the invisible traces of previous gallery usage and transfers these, via wall painting, to the exhibition space. The documentation produced in the process of renovating the gallery space serves as a window into the past. Previous functions include its use as a wine shop and as an SPD (Social Democratic Party) office. Decorative wall surfaces in warm tones and colour fragments, which indicate the installation of space-filling shelving units, are among the details that have gained Bastigkeit's attention. The potential usages of the space (i.e. for commerce, office space) interconnect at this point; they are rearranged and used to transform the exhibition rooms.

Against the background of these traces, the artist places a fragile, large-scale sculpture in the front room. This particular work consists of various partially painted fragments; pieces of EURO-pallets, metal construction elements, lashing straps and wooden boxes form a dynamic structure. It is assembled using struts and tensile forces, as well as delicate and voluminous elements.

The second room is defined by works of the series Broken Gestures, hanging on the walls, and by a small-scale sculpture. It is from this sculpture, which is placed on the floor, that the exhibition takes its name: Softmachine. The title is also a fragment of a novel by William Burroughs, although in an adapted written form. Olaf Bastigkeit has adopted the title and, in doing so, Germanised it. Softmachine is a commentary on the working methods of the artist and on the works themselves. From the artist's perspective, these form an organic structure, a new entity, out of an accumulation of functionalities and steps. This is all characterised by Bastigkeit's personal composition of intellectual, sentiment-based and technically oriented working processes, which leads to both clear and precarious solutions.

Olaf Bastigkeit (*1978, lives and works in Berlin) first studied media design at the Media Design Akademie, then architecture at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) and finally fine arts as a master's student under Professor Astrid Klein at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions, including exhibitions of the Kunstverein Berlin-Tiergarten, the Kunstverein Lemgo, the Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, The Forgotten Bar Project Berlin and the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig. Most recently, his large-scale sculptures were presented in a solo exhibition at the Archäologisches Landesmuseum in Brandenburg.

Translation: Neele Reimann-Philipp, Berlin



For her first exhibition in the Project Space at Galerie Thore Krietemeyer, Gemma Anderson (b. 1981, Belfast, lives and works between London and Cornwall) presents a tutelage of observation - perfectly balanced between Art and Science - Anderson propagates interdisciplinarity where two seemingly polarised fields coexist within a shared framework, where for her, neither one can subsist without the other.

Through etchings, drawings, ceramics, photograms and inimitable mathematical models, Gemma Anderson introduces us to the self-conceived realm of Isomorphology. The term, coined by the artist, and the body of work shown in this exhibition are inspired by the mathematical and biological principle of isomorphism; the shared characteristics of 'form'. In Anderson's case, her experimental enquiry compares the shared forms of animal, mineral, and vegetable morphologies or compositions. Following several years of research though observation, Gemma Anderson's cerebral practice has led her to identify a considerable aperture in the documentation of inter-kingdom-resemblance. Specimens from zoological, mineralogical and botanical collections (at The Natural History Museum and University College London) provide Anderson with the evidence she believes points to correlations in the make-up of each 'natural subdivision'. By setting up her own coded language or classification, Isomorphology sustains a path parallel to science, whilst simultaneously belonging to the domain of contemporary art. Anderson tabulates through the visual, the very topographies which scientific classification appears to have overlooked - the result is a body of animal-come-mineral-come-vegetable cognitive studies. Hand coloured etchings depict seemingly fantastical (although observed) landscapes, ridden with quasi-familiar forms that appear repeated throughout, albeit with slight nuances. Whether microscopic or 'life size', Anderson's motifs offer new ways of looking at the organisms with which we tread life. Black and white dark room photos are combined with intervened photograms: amalgamations of photo-collage and electroscope slides. Whilst eerily unfamiliar mathematical sculptures, rely on purpose built computer design software (Anderson and mathematician Coates developed in collaboration, Imperial College Mathematics Department), in order to realise actual form through prior equation.

The ongoing Isomorphology project is being developed a spart of Gemma Anderson's PhD research at University oft he Arts, London. She has won several awards, including a Leverhulme Artists in Residence Award 2012-13, a residency at Acme Studios Fire Station in London, Engineering and Physical Science Research Council award 2011, Wellcome Trust Arts Award 2009, RHA Thomas Dammann Award 2009, Arts Council Purchase Awards 2009, Man Group Drawing Prize Winner (Royal College of Art) 2007. Anderson's work is held in the collection of V&A Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Wellcome Trust, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Royal College of Art, University College Falmouth, The Brais Museum and Queens University. Anderson is currently visiting lecturer on the BA Drawing Award at University College Falmouth.

In September 2013 the Gallery Thore Krietemeyer will show the development of the concept of isomorphology in greater depth- in the first solo exhibition of Anderson's work in Germany.

In cooperation with / text by: EB&Flow, London