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Anke Völk Main Profile Image

Bernd Borchardt

Anke Völk

Berlin/Germany

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Installation, Painting • Born in Idar-Oberstein/Germany • Studied at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe/Germany
 3

Published  05/05/2019   |   Updated  06/05/2019

...metallic blue, metallic green, dragonfly red and neon pink...

From the very beginning, Berlin painter Anke Völk’s work has aimed at expanding the range of possibility, and namely on the basis of an eclectic art-media pallet that always implicitly deals with pictorial issues. Nevertheless – or perhaps exactly for this reason – an artist like Anke Völk can be considered one of the more complicated figures in an art history based on the concept of disciplines. Judging solely by the body of paper-based...

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From the very beginning, Berlin painter Anke Völk’s work has aimed at expanding the range of possibility, and namely on the basis of an eclectic art-media pallet that always implicitly deals with pictorial issues. Nevertheless – or perhaps exactly for this reason – an artist like Anke Völk can be considered one of the more complicated figures in an art history based on the concept of disciplines. Judging solely by the body of paper-based works she has created in recent years, it is clear that no simple classification is possible. Her new exhibition ON in Drawing Room consequently combines a series of highly diverse works in a new installation which naturally incorporates the exhibition venue, and uses shimmering wall pieces and kaleidoscopic paintings to convolute and expand the space. In this configuration a ‘Völk work’ categorically does not stand for something else, being intended neither as a mouthpiece for some subjective theory, nor as a memento mori of a bygone epoch in which abstraction was equivalent to revolution. Self-references, which appear primarily as half-hidden, silk-screened copies of earlier works of hers, are therefore to be read in this context solely as the occasional necessary assertion of her own individual artistic standpoint.

Without a doubt, all of Anke Völk’s works have retained something of the essential, complex quality of pre-modern compositional sensibilities, in which pictorial and real space merged into one another, and paints were so precious one rationed them carefully: purple for the king, blue for Mary, and silver and gold for the church. The rest stayed grey. Although: All things become grey when the light fades. Darkness follows inevitably, when light remains absent until black finally relays absolutely no more light to the eye, and absorbs the wealth of colours. In the history of colour theory, Goethe was not alone with his declaration: “Nothing bright can compose itself from dark things – just as from more and more shadow, no light originates.” In Völk’s luminous, atmospheric experiential space, which brings the tangible into relationship with the intangible, the opposite nevertheless occurs. In this space, the artist does not just reduce colours to their original components, namely to light and to the painting underground from which light is reflected; she also achieves the same results with the non-coloured antipodes white and black, and the indeterminate hybrid grey. As a product of her analysis of the dynamic potential of colours, she produces metallically gleaming surfaces with the lucid quality of water, and the dull lustre of polished metal. The mercurial, potentially space-consuming quality of the sheets of colour mounted directly on the wall is initially held in check only by its unfinished character. The austere framework structure of the canvases, which appear as pictures within pictures, proves to also have formal borders, although the vibrant colour field in the background loses none of its radiance thereby. Together, installation and relief produce a magnificently colourful, elegant spectacle. This chromatic diversity is then mirrored on the exhibition’s night side. The dark canvases hanging opposite transcend the glow of their intensely coloured counterparts in a subtle game of hide and seek, in which multiple layers of colour and material reveal their true character through scratches and isolated flaws. The material plays a role of its own in this, but never becomes the content.

Thus ON, like all of Anke Völk’s installations, is an arena for the old conflict of abstraction: of an existence as artwork with no direct relation to the world, and its quality as decorative object and surface. For this, the artist activates the polyvalence of the effect. The result is the abrogation of abstraction’s elitist, hermetic character. In this way, abstract art can be revitalized in the current context.

Susanne Prinz

Installation view

Installation view "Red Black Yellow", Le Salon Plastique, 2018; Photo: Bernd Borchardt

Installation view

Installation view "ON", Drawing Room, Hamburg, 2018; Photo: Bernd Borchardt

Untitled, 2018, acrylic, pigment, oil, paper on canvas on MDF, 63x47 cm; Photo: Daniel Antonio Rodríguez

Untitled, 2018, acrylic, pigment, oil, paper on canvas on MDF, 63x47 cm; Photo: Daniel Antonio Rodríguez

Untitled , 2015 (2 pieces) varnish spray, several papers, each approx. 300 x 80 x 6 cm, Installation view

Untitled , 2015 (2 pieces) varnish spray, several papers, each approx. 300 x 80 x 6 cm, Installation view "ON", Drawing Room, Hamburg, 2018; Photo: Bernd Borchardt,

Untitled, 2018, flashe, acrylic, pigment, paper, screen print, monotype on canvas, 160x120cm

Untitled, 2018, flashe, acrylic, pigment, paper, screen print, monotype on canvas, 160x120cm

Untiiled, 2017, acrylic, pigment, paper, screen print on canvas, 160x120 cm

Untiiled, 2017, acrylic, pigment, paper, screen print on canvas, 160x120 cm

Untitled, 2019, acrylic, pigment, paper, oil on canvas, 45x35 cm

Untitled, 2019, acrylic, pigment, paper, oil on canvas, 45x35 cm

Installation view

Installation view "CHROMAINTENSITY", Kienzle Art Foundation, Berlin, 2017; Photo: Eric Tschernow

Installation view

Installation view "Botschaft", 2018, Botschaft Berlin

Red, Black, Yellow, 2018, acrylic, oil, paper on canvas on MDF

Red, Black, Yellow, 2018, acrylic, oil, paper on canvas on MDF

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

The light and layers

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

pigments, acrylic, oil, paper, canvas, aluminium,

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

any place with family and friends


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2018

"RED BLACK YELLOW", Le Salon plastique, Berlin, Germany

"ON", Drawing Room , Hamburg, Germany

"MIND THE GAP", with Frank Maier, LAGE EGAL, Berlin, Germany

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GROUP

2019

"To put on paper", Errant Sound, Berlin (June)

"Onyx", Alfa Gallery , Miami , USA

"Lecker Malerei", Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin (June)

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WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Kienzle Art Foundation, Berlin

Landesbank Baden Württemberg , Stuttgart

Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung, Forschung und Kultur, Rheinland-Pfalz

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GALLERIES

Drawing Room Hamburg | http://www.drawingroom-hamburg.com/

PUBLICATIONS

AWARDS

2012 Atelierförderung, BBK, Berlin

2005 Bayerisches Atelierförderprogramm

2004 Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn

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For more information and inquiries about this artist, please contact Artitious by emailing to artist@artitious.com

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