Gerhardsen Gerner

Lothar Jimmy Hempel

02 Oct - 01 Nov 2013

Lothar Hempel
Weisse Stadt, 2013
Acrylic paint, watercolor, oil, crayon and pencil on aluminium
71.8 x 69.8 x 4 cm
Loneliness is a cloak you wear,
a deep shade of blue is always there
2 October – 1 November 2013

We are very pleased to announce a new solo exhibition with Berlin-based artist Lothar Hempel.

Lothar Hempel’s work is generally characterized by a large variety of materials, forms of expression and media.
The artist implements his ideas drawing on a complex formal vocabulary he has compiled over the years, ranging from minimal to pop to folklore. Stage-like arrangements consisting of sculpture, painting, large-format photographs and found objects evolve, reminiscent of film sets or abandoned theatre stages. Narratives are only hinted at, contexts distorted or deleted completely, all drama remains as purely structural framework.

And yet the human figure is always taking centre stage in these installations in a peculiar abstract presence quite typical of Lothar Hempel. There is an analytical side to his works and on the other hand there is also an inherent incantatory, almost spiritual quality to them – a dichotomy leaving room for reflection and criticism, the resulting openness allowing for a somewhat different view onto the construction of history and identity altogether.

For his fifth exhibition with Gerhardsen Gerner in Berlin, Lothar Hempel has put his focus for the first time on painting and presents a variety of completely new small and medium format images on aluminium.

These new images are exclusively of women. Portraits of women, women in groups or as close-ups. Finding his references in European and American films from the 50s to the 80s, the artist mostly takes photographs directly from monitor- or cinema screens. The faces and bodies thus found are then combined and assembled into new constellations.
The resulting photographic collages are printed on aluminium and then painted over completely. This working method involves a strong agglomeration of motifs with the figures seemingly becoming prototypes, gaining an almost magical concentration.

In these new images, a central role is assigned to colour also. It is either applied ornamentally over bodies and faces of the subjects portrayed, rendering them perhaps more legible – or it will appear almost object-like in its psychological setting.

Lothar Hempel comments: "These women emerge only with and through the pictures and yet it seems like I have known them for ages. They are inhabitants of a world that consists only of feelings. A parallel universe, or kind of afterlife. And although my relationship to these fictional women is somewhat obsessive, they remain phantoms, keeping me at a melancholic distance."

The title of the exhibition is derived from the first two lines of the Walker Brothers classic, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore).
Says Lothar Hempel: "The women in my pictures and the Walker Brothers in this 1966-TV appearance – they are two poles of a world I'd like to see united here."

Tags: Lothar Hempel