Be-Part presents a solo exhibition by Tatjana Gerhard
Be-Part, the platform for contemporary art in Waregem, Belgium, presents a solo exhibition of the Swiss artist Tatjana Gerhard (° 1974, lives and works in Ghent). For Gerhard, this is her first institutional solo exhibition in Belgium
Tatjana Gerhard is an artist for whom painting is a tool to reflect a form of figuration that oscilates between a naive narration and an existential solitude. The human figure is disguised and appears to be a character in often undefinable spaces. Behind the gentleness of the brushstrokes hides an uncomfortable vision on the human species. With her work Tatjana Gerhard takes a painterly position where reminiscenses can be found of artists such as a.o. James Ensor, Emile Nolde or George Condo. Her work is idiosyncratic and genuine affirming the necessity to further reflect upon the human figure in painting.’
In Be-Part Gerhard will show some 30 new paintings and some 40 new drawings. Made in the same loosely applied brushstrokes of thin paint that were employed in Gerhard's earlier paintings on plastic, the new works have an even greater fleeting quality. The artist's intuitive approach and spontaneous execution is inscribed in the fluidity of the mark-making. It is also an integral aspect of her subject matter, a consistently in-between world that is always just out of reach, like the nebulous fragments of dreams that evaporate on waking.
Typical are the unusual, daring color contrasts, set in a driven, nervous writing and in many layers of paint that have been painted over each other. Sombre colours are superposed with vibrant pastels, formless planes are delineated by precise contours, bold brushstrokes cover the underlying and more transparent layers of paint. Many of the paintings depict lone figures or pairs that, in their gestures and relationship with each other, symbolise the contradictions of human nature. Every one of Tatjana Gerhard’s paintings presents an intrigue without, however, necessarily depicting a story. It originates through the sequence of brushstrokes she applies to the canvas. Every paint stroke furthers the visual intrigue that develops on the canvas, either by strengthening a previous paint stroke or quite contrarily by subverting it. Sombre colours are superposed with vibrant pastels, formless planes are delineated by precise contours, bold brushstrokes cover the underlying and more transparent layers of paint. In her painting, Tatjana Gerhard sets out to find solutions to heighten the tensile qualities of the final image. The creation of an artwork, for her, is a quest; not knowing in advance where the act of painting will lead her, occasionally losing herself in the throes of a painterly plot, until an unexpected solution presents itself. It is primarily an intuitive feeling that guides her through this process and not a lazy routine of sorts. Hence, the paintings of Tatjana Gerhard cannot be considered as illustrations or pictures of some other thing, but are to be experienced as a plastic adventure.