Egg tempera on canvas, 140 x 160 cm
Miriam Vlaming (born in Düsseldorf in 1971) is one of the most unmistakable and unique voices that the Leipzig school of painting has produced in the last decade. Like an alchemist, she experiments with pigments and techniques, regularly washing down her canvases, as she puts it, 'to deny them an all-too-realistic aspect by way of disclarification.' (M.V.)
She often stretches figurative compositions to the limits of abstraction. Human figures present themselves as if under marshy water surfaces or as so entangled in their natural environments that they seem like vegetation. Symptoms of civilization seem to melt under fluid northern lights. In general, many motifs appear to be fantastic phenomena, although they are quite decidedly rooted in our horizon of experience, even more so considering that Miriam Vlaming often works with photography as her starting point.
In her new paintings, she turns to the human compulsion to control, using views from medical institutions, a prison, and carefully laid gardens. But the constraints and limitations in the name of research, progress, or justice are taken to the absurd as useless efforts in this impressive painting. Nature untamed from the outside crowds in, or walls or interiors lose their contours in a toxic light.
In this sense, the title of her current exhibition Für immer (For Always) should be seen as a paradox. All efforts are constantly being questioned, all striving for order is threatened by the passing of time and the constant unreliability of memory. This is demonstrated especially effectively in the work group Partikular (Particular), which was shown in 2008 for the first time at Miriam Vlaming's solo show at Kunsthalle Mannheim. Filigree crochet work here served as the starting point. Their detailed texture, however, is surrendered to decay, annihilation, and superimposed with other information: fugacity as a constant of civilization. With the bravura of true craftsmanship, a poetic density and dauntlessness, Miriam Vlaming is thus able to master such universal issues.
translation Brian Currid