Leiko Ikemura speaks in her paintings, drawings and sculptures in a unique and very characteristic visual language, which is unmistakably connected to her œuvre: She creates worlds that inseparably unite reality and abstraction, landscape, figure and space. In doing so she avoids any clear compositional and content based delineation – colours, motifs and forms merge flowingly into each other. A pulsating visual structure is generated in which an atmosphere resides that appears unfamiliar, yet deeply touches us in a positive way. The uniqueness in Ikemura’s art may also lie in its impact from both Eastern and Western cultures. She grew up in Japan and emigrated to Spain when she was 21 where she studied painting and created sculptures. She then lived for several years in Switzerland and from 1985 in Cologne and Berlin. She has been a professor of painting at the Berlin University for Arts since 1991. Numerous internationally renowned museums have already dedicated exhibitions to her. A comprehensive exhibition in the Museum Sinclair-Haus in Bad Homburg can currently be seen from 14/9 until 16/11/2014.
Odilon Redon (1840-1916), a main exponent of French Symbolism, left behind extremely multifaceted work characterised by contradictions and contrasts. At times the motifs of oil paintings, pastels works, charcoal drawings or lithographs are mysterious and bleak – especially in the early years – and at other times bright and steeped in brilliant colours. They recall dreams, emanating from the imaginary, or nature. Redon found inspiration in art history, music and literature, as well as religion and Western and Eastern philosophy.
Redon was a painter who stood on the threshold between the 19th and 20th century and playfully carried out the alternation between tradition and innovation in his art. His occasional avant garde tendencies made him one of the most important forerunners of modern art.
For the first time the Ikemura’s works will be contrasted with those of the Frenchman. For this occasion Ikemura has selected new, specially created paintings and sculptures, as well as earlier works. Stylistically, but also in terms of their expressive power, one can, at times, discover a striking relationship with Redon’s powdery, late pastel works.
Text: Janna Oltmanns