ABRACADABRA Group show at Egbert Baqué Contemporary Art, Berlin 19 July – 30 August 2014
On July 19th the Egbert Baqué Contemporary Art Gallery in Berlin inaugurated a new exhibition, ABRACADABRA. As the title of the show suggests, the aim of the group exhibition is to amaze. Since late antiquity the word ABRACADABRA has been known as a magical formula throughout the Old World – from Babylon to Carthage, in Byzantium, Jerusalem and Rome. In accordance with the cabbalistic tradition it means I create while I talk.
The group show assembles works of various German and international artists, well-known names and emerging artists. Like the astonishment and charm that the popular magic formula evokes, the works of ABRACADABRA transform the spaces of the gallery into a marvelous and captivating world.
The viewer is welcomed into a cocktail of strong and intense colours that run like a golden thread through this show, connecting different genres, styles and generations. They are the real protagonists. The ensemble, a miscellaneous combination of works whose aim is to amaze and excite, extends from paintings oscillating between abstract and figurative to street art, from small-sized works to big canvases, from oil paintings to pencil drawings.
The exhibition, both fascinating and seductive, releases positive vibes, just like the city where it takes place. This group show has a strong personality, peculiar and eclectic, but it’s also very laid back and summarizes between its walls the spirit that makes Berlin so special and stimulating. A magical mystery tour where the paintings invite us to discover and explore their charms, deploying layers of colours and sharpening our sight to catch the details and to reveal the surprises they hide.
Maike Abetz (Düsseldorf, 1970) and Oliver Drescher (Essen, 1969) bask in the blooming vivacity of Sixties’ pop culture. Their paintings are time machines walking us down Memory Lane, through cult figures of the time surrounded by surreal and optical backgrounds. Image spaces dissolve leaving room for Op-Art fantasies, pop icons and rock stars.
Winston Chmielinski (Boston, 1988) graduated in philosophy and creative writing in New York. Despite his young age, he already showed his work in many exhibitions in the United States and Europe. His paintings are organic canvases where figures dissolve and reconstruct themselves. Colours concentrate creating forms that go beyond their recognizable limits. We perceive these dreaming and magical presences, exploring the many possibilities of colour and shape.
Neal Fox, born in London in 1981, where he currently lives and works, is a well known artists and illustrator. He published illustrations in important English newspapers like The Guardian, The Independent and The Times. His more personal artistic work is composed of hysterical and phantasmagorical drawings, psychedelic portals guiding us into the past. The world of Neal Fox passes through times and spaces in a universe of grotesque pop icons and surreal inventions.
Giuseppe Gonella (Motta di Livenza, 1984) currently lives and works in Berlin. The young Italian painter won the Atelier of Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice as well as other national and international recognitions. His paintings are crossed by layers of colours where figurative elements and voluptuous brush strokes follow one another revealing shapes and details. Gonella’s canvases appear as materializations of dreams, flowing confusingly and untidily until the time we wake up, when they start to vanish and disappear, leaving just a suspicion of another reality.
Ivar Kaasik (Kingissepa, 1965) is an Estonian painter who has lived in Berlin since 1992. He graduated in Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts and had exhibitions all around the world. Kaasik affirms to depict what has already been mediated and to portray the underrated. His often meditative representationally or abstract works put painting in a modern context.
Mrs. Chy (Stuttgart, 1978) is a member of the Real Home Girls, the oldest group of female graffiti artists active in Berlin since 1993. Thanks to her numerous travels around Europe and to various live painting performances, she became a frequent guest in the predominantly male street art world. In her works, her peculiar style of morbid shapes and feminine designs stands definitely out.
Wolfgang Neumann (Filderstadt, 1977) is a German artist, poet and musician. Using vivid colours and strong strokes Neumann plays with popular images drawn from the media, television and art history as well as with celebrities and historical figures. His works are full of energy, and focus those themes into grotesque and surreal compositions full of contents.
Tim Plamper (Bergisch Gladbach, 1982) graduated at the Art Academy of Stuttgart and since then presented his work in Germany and abroad. In his works he realizes graphic and hyper realistic drawings that swing between drawing, collage and painting. Surreal and enigmatic black and white images, negatives of a reality that develops itself on more levels, bringing to life mysterious and enigmatic compositions.
Snapple is a young Berlin based artists whose identity is unknown. She prefers to remain anonymous and, despite not having attended any painting or drawing courses, she realizes exquisite pastel copies of famous masterpieces of art history adding a unique twist: Jan Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring mutates into a punk girl with a nose piercing and The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet flaunts a Pussy Riot tattoo.
Poet73 (Berlin, 1973), born and grown up in the German capital, discovered the underground culture at an early age. He started painting his first American style graffiti at twelve. During the past twenty-five years he realized many artworks and murals around the world and since 2006 produces also works on canvas. Nowadays he is one of the oldest, most respected and influential Style-writers active in Europe.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.