|MAKI NA KAMURA - Falkenrot Prize 2013|
|Opening: Thursday, 14 November, 7-10 pm|
Exhibition: 15 November – 15 December, 2013
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Showroom Kottbusser Straße 10, Berlin-Kreuzberg
The Falkenrot Prize was initiated in 2005 and it is being presented for the seventh time this year. It is conferred upon international artists who set new standards in contemporary art and painting, in particular through outstanding self-awareness. This year the Falkenrot Prize has been awarded to artist Maki Na Kamura, who lives in Berlin. As in previous years, the prize includes the presentation of a comprehensive show of work by the prize-winner, which takes the form of a solo exhibition in Künstlerhaus Bethanien.
Maki Na Kamura comes from Japan, having moved to live in Germany in the mid-1990s. Since 2005 she has been living and working in Berlin, where the gallery DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM presented her solo exhibition Geometry in LD in late 2012. In this exhibition the artist experimented with the powerful nuances of the colour red as well as the balance of structure-generating geometric forms. In 2012 Maki Na Kamura also received the Prix Marcel Broodthaers – en peinture.
A frequently recurring theme in Na Kamura’s works is the influence of western painting on visual clichés in reference to Japanizing landscape depiction. Christoph Tannert, artistic director of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, paid tribute to Na Kamura’s straightforward painterly concept with the following words: “Color spreads itself intoxicatingly in her work. Color creates space, creates landscape, and yet displays itself in the process. The painting doesn't hinge on the distinction between the abstract and the concrete." (Catalogue text).
In Maki Na Kamura’s landscapes we believe we can discern various things: e.g. numerous skyscrapers, referred to by the artist as “Fifteen-Story-Pagodas”. We also see people who look as if they are trying to escape from something. On second glance, however, we begin to discern the multiplied cityscapes of Greifswald by Caspar David Friedrich in the buildings and see people who seem to having nothing whatsoever in common, like the typical staffage that has always been placed in western landscape depictions without playing a more significant part in the composition than extras in a film. Do these landscapes – in the spirit of a suggestion by Werner Hofmann – represent danger? Or perhaps merely an ‘over there’? “Over there everything looks OK!”, as Na Kamura once said.
A catalogue edited by Künstlerhaus Bethanien, with numerous illustrations of work and a text by Christoph Tannert (G/E), will be appearing for the Falkenrot Prize 2013 – published by DISTANZ Verlag GmbH Berlin.