There’s no question that Berlin is known for its wild nightlife, evolving art scene and innumerable possibilities for creative endeavours. In a city that is reputed to have over 450 galleries, even for insiders planning a Saturday afternoon of gallery visits becomes a tangle of who, what and where. There are the classic galleries, those institutions that are almost sure to have thought provoking exhibitions by solidly established artists and the young galleries with all night openings packed with scenesters; but what about the galleries that stand in between? Those that are mature enough to have a proper space and yet still young enough to present fresh faces to the Berlin scene?
Mitte-based Galerie Christian Ehrentraut is one of these spaces. What sets the gallery apart is Ehrentraut’s belief in taking the artist-curator relationship slow. The artists he represents have been carefully selected, a process that has sometimes taken years. One of Ehrentraut’s defining philosophies is his devotion to his artists and their work. He views art as far more than an investment, it’s something to fall in love with, and all the better when he can be the catalyst.
The gallery’s current exhibition is a solo-show by Canadian born, Berlin-based Shannon Finley. The works are beyond exciting and into the realm of positively thrilling. Finley thinly layers paint creating prismatic shapes and figures, resulting in a holographic collage. The geometric shapes seem to pulsate under the viewers’ constantly shifting eye. The longer you look at the work, the deeper it becomes. It’s clear that Finley comes out of a generation of video games and florescent hued pop culture, but the result is pleasing instead of garish. The play of light, layers, glitter, shadows and bold tones creates a powerful juxtaposition between the simplicity of the geometric forms and the complex depth of the work. These are not the kind of works that can be easily reproduced on a website, as only a shadow of their intensity is evident in digital form, it’s definitely a show and a gallery to experience in person.
“Specters into Signals” is showing from until 31 March 2010.
More information about the Galerie Christian Ehrentraut can be found here: www.christianehrentraut.com
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter
Images courtesy of Florian Denzin