Katharina Schnitzler confronts us with perception and our accepted realities. She creates worlds of images which subjectively meet people’s needs for solutions. In her work she layers countless textures, coats of paint, drawings and words. Paintings and drawings emerge – installed, poetic, deep, witty and closely interwoven, and therefore both brutal and beautiful!
“1000 Africans” series of works
Since 2014, the 1 African flower still life series of works has been developing from the “1000 Africans” series in small formats, and is oil on canvas, mostly as a two-part installation. Flower still lives inspired by Tobias Rehberger’s “portrait jars” and Ai Weiwei’s “1000 Chinese” Documenta as well as “East Africa’s dangerous blooms:” cheap flower production for Europe (our post-colonial connection).
“1000 Africans:” images of people entering at the coasts of Europe that cause diverging emotions. Sympathy, horror, fear, and distance. Images that come closer and closer and start stirring the pot of intractable resentment. Helplessness, carelessness. Looking. Looking away. Taking away. Giving. Helping. Help. One’s own life.
Every individual story is a drama: a life washed away in the flood of the great wave of refugees.
“Nature morte” gives a reminder of the mortality of everything that is here. An admonition to perceive the beauty of the world by its mortality. Presenting lifeless or still objects developed into an object of prestige in the 17th century in the Netherlands. A symbol of purity as well as of death. Also a figurative language for individuality, character, and delicateness – inspired, full of hope, mortal, and harmless.
“No Return” series of works
For Katherina Schnitzler, new questions arose again and again during the intensive work on her “1000 Africans” series of works and during the recurring involvement with each individual flower still life: question upon question. Since the end of 2015, they have been erupting into the No Return abstract landscape paintings. Traced by laser beams and seeking their destination like a missile. Otherwise: emptiness. The emptiness of waiting on people who will soon wander through this landscape. The emptiness that comes when the people have moved on. The emptiness that develops in the old home, which we might find when looking for a new home.
In this emptiness, we feel loneliness, fear, and hope on a journey into the unknown. A journey into the unknown on all sides – No Return.
Regardless of what happens, we cannot turn back – No Return. Fleeing people cannot just return to their old life: it does not exist anymore. And here? What is happening now, will change our society, and we do not know how. It depends on us, all of us, to fill the emptiness of the unknown and to help shape the future.
Afrikaner 960, 2015
Mischtechnik auf Leinwand oder Stoff
Bildinstallation, 2-teilig, 60 x 30 cm
Katharina Schnitzler „1000 Afrikaner“ in Berlin
painting, installations with paintings, oil drawings, drawings
Exhibition from January 21st to March 12th 2016
Artist talk (german)
Saturday, February 20th 2016, 5:00 pm