22.11. – 21.12.2019
A strict, intensively densifying abstraction, which at the same time testifies to an incredibly sensitive handling of the possibilities of drawing and painting, characterizes the two very distinct artistic positions: the late sculptures and drawings of the time around 1960 by Hans Uhlmann and the monochrome works by Günter Umberg, which seem to float in front of the wall surface and which were created in recent years.
Uhlmann, who studied engineering in Berlin, turned to sculpture as a young man. Geometric bodies, partly completely abstract, partly in strongly simplified configurations of iron or wire, were the focus of his artistic life. He left behind an extensive oeuvre of drawings in addition to his many sculptures. Beginning in the late 1950s, Uhlmann developed distinct black-and-white drawings of line, space, and dynamics based on moving bodies and their outlines. These drawings increasingly condense and leave the amorphous behind in favour of clarity and concentrated austerity. Uhlmann’s works on paper at this time seem at first to follow a completely different artistic approach than Günter Umberg’s works, which are composed of numerous layers of loose pigments with dammar gum and are devoted to painting itself: the reduction to the properties and possibilities of paint, pigment in its pure materiality,
but also, similar to Uhlmann, the handling of surface, space and perception. With his layering technique, Umberg compacts and intensifies to such an extent that painting appears to fall silent and at the same time gains in intensity. Umberg reduces to such an extent that the painting seems to fall silent and creates space for a sensual and meditative immersion. If we take part in the dialogue between the drawings and the wall panels, this effect intensifies all the more, with Uhlmann as with Umberg. Movement and time, that is the participation of the viewer, are decisive for the effectiveness of the individual works and at the same time link Uhlmann’s drawings and sculptures with Umberg’s paintings.