Two naked women sitting back to back on a podium. The head turned to the side, to the viewer. A sight that could normally be graceful and seductive, but it irritates and disturbs.
For the women’s faces are wrapped with bandages. Hoses wind out from under the bandages and disappear again under the fabric. "It is about the relationship between the inner world and the outer world, the relationship between the outer world and one’s own personality", explains ernst J. Herlet.
In an exhibition at the BBK gallery in wurzburg’s kulturspeicher, herlet and his fellow artist wicky reindl want to capture what it feels like to be perceived by others, and how these feelings and self-perception remain hidden from the outside world. "To fathom the painful border between the inner world of the ego and the outer world of the non-ego is the intention of the two", according to the exhibition text.
Herlet’s oil paintings correspond with the photo installations of his colleague. At the vernissage, a psychologist will speak on the subject of the works, explains herlet.
He has painted his coarse-format pictures in the past months in the "old forge" painted in windheim. The house used to be a blacksmith’s shop, as old residents of the village still know. A painting on one of the gable walls reminds of it. After that, it was used as a guesthouse. Now the former workroom and later guest room is herlet’s studio.
The artist, who was born in 1946 in schweinfurt, moved into the empty building "die messe" a year ago. At first he wondered whether he could stand being a city dweller in the countryside, says herlet. But it was not a problem.
The former guest room offers enough space even for such large-format work, even though herlet had to brighten up the lighting situation with additional lamps. The butt glass of the window panes catches much of the natural light. It imprints on the studio something of the gloomy, dim light atmosphere typical of a taproom in a local village tavern.
The paintings for the exhibition are a bit out of line with their figurative style. Because herlet prefers the abstract. His gallery locates his artistic signature "between abstraction and real symbolism". Herlet often works out three-dimensional, sometimes relief-like structures in his pictures. He likes to use sand and earth from far away countries as material for his work. A colleague recently gave him earth from the sahara desert. It will certainly be found in one of the next works and will give the surface of one of the next works the typical structuring.
The exhibition of wicky reindl and ernst J. Herlet is open from saturday, 16. September, until sunday, 15. October, on view at the BBK gallery in the kulturspeicher in wurzburg. The vernissage takes place on friday, 15. September, at 7 pm.
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