1. —> 30.3.24
DETLEF WASCHKAU »In the City«
Eröffnung: 29.2.2024 18 ‑20 Uhr
Artist Talk mit Dr. Franziska Thiess
Die Galerie SMUDAJESCHECK zeigt den Berliner Künstler zum ersten Mal in einer Soloausstellung.
Detlef Waschkau’s colorful wooden reliefs tell of the permanent transformation of big cities. Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing and New York are becoming ever larger, ever denser and ever more alike. With the contrast between the masses and the individual, freedom and limitation, the artist addresses essential questions of the modern world. This fundamental tension of contemporary existence is also reflected in the formal combination of strict grid plan and snapshot perspective.
With his colorful wooden reliefs, Detlef Waschkau has developed his very own, unmistakable visual and material language. Painting and sculpture are equal components of his work and are mutually dependent. In the early days of his studies at the FH Aachen, the artist initially focused on sculpture, experimenting with a wide variety of materials and intensively exploring the human figure. Wood soon became his preferred material and, with the use of paint, the painterly component was added. His main subjects are portraits and self-portraits. After moving to Berlin, Detlef Waschkau concentrated entirely on the development of wooden reliefs. Color comes more to the fore and becomes equal to sculpture. The use of multi-layer boards (plywood) provides an absorbent painting surface for the preferred acrylic paint, which the artist applies to the boards in an abstract, expressive gesture and which forms the basis of the painterly design. Photographs taken by the artist on location have served as the starting point for his compositions since he began traveling. The theme is being a stranger in a new culture, self-perception as an outsider and seeker, understanding and accepting foreign realities of life. The artist transfers his composition in a linear drawing onto the painted wooden panel and, in the next step, places a rectangular grid over it. This is followed by a process in which painterly and sculptural elements are mutually dependent. Paint is applied and then partially removed again in the layers of the wooden panel. Individual sections of wood are designed in relief and are given an independent internal structure within the work as a whole, in which all the individual fields come together to form a whole.
By breaking down the boundaries between genres, mixing abstract and representational painting, using industrial materials and the cross-cultural interest of his work, Detlef Waschkau makes an independent contribution to the art of the early 21st century.