Schönfeld Rivoli presents Little Fires by Christina Zimpel and Tina Berning

Beginning of September Schönfeld Rivoli presents Little Fires by the American artist Christina Zimpel and the German artist Tina Berning.

Christina Zimpel and Tina Berning never met. They have been washed ashore together in the floods of algorithms on social media. Silently observing each other‘s work over years, one in New York, one in Berlin, they noted a strong proximity in expression and artistic approach.

On first glance, their formal language seems contradictory: bold and loud on one side Christina Zimpel), detailed and quiet on the other Tina Berning). And yet, they have a shared interest in the (mostly female) human body and its relation between conditioned aesthetics and supposed self-determination.

In her figurative drawings, Tina Berning constantly explores the web of relationships between conditioned aesthetics and supposed self-determination in the canon of contemporary visuality. With her drawings and collages, she formulates her own image of the human body, it’s inadequacy and its fundamental relation to beauty, expression and emotion. 

Christina Zimpel’s practice centers around the characters and small observances of her daily life in Brooklyn. Weeds and birds get special treatment. Faces are distilled to a few lines, just enough to relate to. The palette is subversively fluorescent or reduced to black and white. Introversion gets banished by her intense choice of color, the louder the better. ​

Isolated from their usual environment, the figures captured by the two artists become vehicles for both expresseion and reflection leaving enough space within, to invite the viewer to interpretate with his own background of life experiences. 

Christina Zimpel and Tina Berning develop their drawings in a daily routine. Endless papers and canvasses are filled, filed and sorted, flooding the drawers, piling up, until a spark arises indicating the warmth under the surface. Small fires flare, the inner flame breaks through. The vehicle becomes a vessel for emotion, expression, intuition. This process doesn‘t happened in a controlled manner, it is a constant and intuitive search for a concentrated, accumulated and somewhat monumental verity, flaming up, every now and then.

It is these little fires, that let both artists‘ work merge in an astonishing way. They seem in total and obvious balance, supporting and enhancing each other, despite their contrasting ductus. Showing these artis‘s work together is a lesson on the relation of content and form and the universality of emotions. 

Fire always starts with sparks.

You cannot put a Fire out

You cannot put a Fire out —
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan —
Upon the slowest Night —

You cannot fold a Flood —
And put it in a Drawer —
Because the Winds would find it out —
And tell your Cedar Floor —

Emily Dickinson

Little Fires
Tina Berning and Christina Zimpel
Sunday 5 September: Preview 'Little fires’ Tina Berning & Christina Zimpel (Rivoli) ​
05 September to 30 October 2021



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