Peter Böhnisch - Infinitely close
10 December 2022 – April 28, 2023
Casa Di Marino
Via Monte di Dio, 9
80132 - Naples
Photo courtesy Danilo Donzelli Photography. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Umberto Di Marino.
Galleria Umberto Di Marino is glad to announce Peter Böhnisch's first solo exhibition, opening Saturday, December 10, at Casa Di Marino, in Via Monte di Dio, 9.In continuing the gallery's current research around humanity, in its ephemeral, virtual, spiritual and self- representational representations, the exhibition unfolds through a series of works, most of them unpublished and created especially for the occasion, that explore the possibilities of painting beyond conventional techniques.
Painting seen as the main form of human representation and self-representation, deconstructed in its universal self-verifying claims, personalized, subjectivized through a playful process of learning and re-learning times, emotions and techniques, becomes an intimate expression of own life.
Following the main thread of his own research, the German artist presents a cycle of works with which he explores the possibilities, rigidities and elasticities of pictorial imagery, playing with materials, beliefs and presumed universal essence.
The creative process preserves the origin of the pictorial gesture in its simplicity by assimilating it to the search for the very essence of humanity through the representation of faces and mystical-spiritual realities, carved in the sand - between reliefs and sinkings - that become counterparts of relationship.
<< In my artistic work, I focus on the essence of the human being. In 2013, I spent a few months in Giverny as part of a studio scholarship awarded by the Claude Monet Foundation. In the wonderful surroundings of Monet's garden, I had the chance to develop my artistic work further. I was very interested in finding new ways in my painting that would allow me to work in an even more playful way. The process of learning is an essential part of my work, as learning, in a certain understanding, is for me a direct expression of life, and art in turn is nothing other than life. During my time in Giverny I worked on wooden collages. At the same time, I discovered sand as a painting medium for the first time. I had already been experimenting with painting using only pigments in the years before, but the sand now brought me an incredible number of new possibilities. Since then I have developed my own techniques, which have allowed me to explore new avenues in painting and relief art.
Relief is a immensely exciting form of artistic representation for me. It makes it possible to depict the tense relationship between different realities in which human beings experience themselves in a special way. Depending on the type of relief, it is sometimes anchored more in one world and sometimes more in another. Through the development of new techniques, it is possible for me to work with the sand in a very fluid way, unlike conventional techniques. The way I approach my work often reminds me of an archaeological process, where I try to uncover something hidden in the depths. Time plays a role in my work in various ways. Especially through my experiences in accompanying people who are close to the point of passing away and the associated experience of the transience of the body, I am confronted with the question of a perhaps supra- temporal reality within us. Working with sand, the flowing transitions between painting and relief, open up special possibilities for me to contemplate time and timelessness. One detail is the rifts that appear when I draw through the sand with my finger. The rift, or trench, on closer inspection, is an exciting detail for exploring and interpreting relationships. It is like diving into the Mariana Trench to find that it is full of life. For the first few years, I was mainly concerned with the human face. In it, I can encounter the mystery of humanity in a great condensation. For me, there is great beauty in this. The sand, with its rough texture, its cracks and trenches, contrasts with a world that with its smooth surfaces often tries to suppress the fact of transience.
A new discovery for me is abstract painting, in which I devote myself entirely to colour, sand and my relationship to it. In the end, however, the intention is to bring something alive into the world, something that uplifts the human being and possibly also has a healing effect.>>