In her first solo exhibit at the Martin Mertens Gallery, Katja Pfeiffer (born 1973 in Karlsruhe) presents us with her latest paintings and sculptures.
The exhibit is entitled Rigging, a term taken from the world of sailing which denotes the lines and chains used onboard a ship to support and fasten the sails and masts. The term is also used to describe the hanging of large billboards and the mounting and installation of light and sound equipment, such as needed in the theatre.
Within the context of Pfeiffer's work Rigging can be understood as the artist's fondness for mock-ups, fake constructions, building sites, scaffolding and temporary constructions. Over the years this fondness has resulted in Pfeiffer amassing a large collection of corresponding visual materials. This collection is comprised primarily of photographs and drawings made by Pfeiffer herself but also of material found on the internet or in print media, as well as images of film sets and Berlin cityscapes. This raw material provides the source from which the artist has developed her own personal artistic vocabulary. Each of her works can therefore be seen as a link within a chain of associations or a member of this larger body.
In these latest works Pfeiffer presents the viewer with scenes and locations that hover between the natural and the cultural; a type of artificial place as one might find in a film studio or the "fake" reality of, for example, the true-to-scale replica of the facade of Schinkels Bauakademie in Berlin. Like a stretched painting, the simulated facade of the Bauakademie wraps around the underlying skeletal structure. The temporal limit of mural-like paintings in the gallery space seems to correspond to the similar restrictions of such temporarily disguised scaffolding constructions.
Here the makeshift or provisional is the programme. It is the fleetingness and the dissolvable character of connections, combinations and situations that plays a significant role for Pfeiffer. These qualities can be found in the small sculpture kleiner Abgrund for example; the small layered boards are held together by nothing more than the pressure of tightly wound screws.
In Pfeiffer's work one often finds surprising combinations of materials that result in playful and yet serious compositions which can be read and interpreted in a variety of ways.
„When I moved to Berlin two years ago, I was astounded by the architectural history and politics of building and construction of the city. If one looks closer, the city is comprised of nothing but wholes and gaps, scaffolding and billboards and everything behind, below and beside."
Opening: Friday, 01. Sept 2006, 6 pm
Length of Exhibit: Sept 01 - Oct 14, 2006
• For the exhibition Katja Pfeiffer released a silk-print edition in two parts. It is available for 350,-€ (edition 10).
• The Konrad Adenauer Foundation Berlin will open a comprehensive exhibition of Katrin Hoffert at November, 22nd. (Tiergartenstraße 35, 10785 Berlin).
• Mark the date: the Martin Mertens Gallery will be participating in this year's Preview Berlin from the 28 of Sept to the 3rd of Oct. We would like to extend an invitation to all to stop by this exciting and young art fair. You can find us at Booth No. 1.06 on the top floor.
• The new Felix Müller catalogue can now be purchased for 15 € at the gallery. A special edition, which contains a signed and numbered silk-print by the artist (edition of 40) is available for 50,- €. More detailed information and images can be found on the website.