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Kim Bartelt Main Profile Image

Kim Bartelt

Berlin, Germany

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Malerei • Born in Berlin, Germany • Studied at BFA Parsons School of Design, New York
 1

Veröffentlicht  30.04.2018   |   Aktualisiert  05.11.2018

A Short Introduction to the Recent Work of Kim Bartelt

In her work, Kim Bartelt does not paint surfaces; she paints with surfaces. Instead of a brush with paint on it, her painterly work consists of irregular segments of colored and transparent sheets of paper which she applies to the canvas. Her technique and choice of materials could have been regarded as a reflection on the nature of painting. Her decision to abandon liquid paints in favor of two-dimensional, flat elements, could have been...

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In her work, Kim Bartelt does not paint surfaces; she paints with surfaces. Instead of a brush with paint on it, her painterly work consists of irregular segments of colored and transparent sheets of paper which she applies to the canvas. Her technique and choice of materials could have been regarded as a reflection on the nature of painting. Her decision to abandon liquid paints in favor of two-dimensional, flat elements, could have been interpreted as a sort of investigation into the given characteristics of painting as a two-dimensional, flat object. But in fact, her work goes further than that. Recently she started to use irregular segments of colored and transparent sheets of paper to cover vintage copies of 1950s, east-German educational posters with depictions of landscapes printed on them. By doing so she pushed her painterly work away from the imperative of modernist abstract painting to obtain unity between the material properties of painting and the painterly act. Rather than unity, she establishes her work on conflict, on concealment, on erasure. Yet, very soon it becomes apparent that her act is more dialectical than negative. More than burying them underneath, her delicate tectonic topographies of flat elements incorporate the posters they conceal as their underlying foundation. Suddenly, the paintings reappear as dynamic equations of different kinds of spaces, as an interplay between the representational illusionistic space depicted in the poster and the actual topographical space of the paper arrangement.
In addition to the over-layered posters, Bartelt’s recent work is marked by another group of paintings which use the same technique but in a different context. The second group of paintings is inspired by the watercolors of J.M.W. Turner, and especially by his depictions of Lucerne in the early 1840s. The association of Bartelt’s paper paintings to Turner’s watercolors resonates the course of history, and more specifically art history, between his time and nowadays; it turns her painting into an act of commemoration and into an indication of loss. It emphasizes the shift of painting from a strictly manual, brush-based practice, into a self-reflexive practice devoid of what was known as the painter’s gesture.
The most recent works called 'Puzzles' have been created from 'leftover' papers of Kim Bartelt's former works. The shapes of paper are taken as they are found on the studio floor, they are not being altered, and then glued to the surface in an attempt to archive the process of her work.

Puzzle I, 80 x 100 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

Puzzle I, 80 x 100 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

Puzzle hanging at the Noack Foundry in Berlin (with sculptures by August Gaul)

Puzzle hanging at the Noack Foundry in Berlin (with sculptures by August Gaul)

Puzzle II, 125 x 160 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

Puzzle II, 125 x 160 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

detail of Puzzle II

detail of Puzzle II

Puzzle III, 130 x 195 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

Puzzle III, 130 x 195 cm, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

detail of Puzzle III

detail of Puzzle III

Puzzle 4, diptych, 100x160 cm, paper on canvas, 2018

Puzzle 4, diptych, 100x160 cm, paper on canvas, 2018

puzzle V / Archeology, 80 x 120 cm diptych, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

puzzle V / Archeology, 80 x 120 cm diptych, paper and glue on canvas, 2018

Luzern 40x50 cm paper on canvas 2015

Luzern 40x50 cm paper on canvas 2015

detail of Luzern

detail of Luzern

The Red Rigi 80 x 100cm paper on canvas 2016

The Red Rigi 80 x 100cm paper on canvas 2016

detail of the Red Rigi showing the papers which are glued to the canvas

detail of the Red Rigi showing the papers which are glued to the canvas

Lake Lucerne 125x175cm paper and oil pastel on canvas 2017

Lake Lucerne 125x175cm paper and oil pastel on canvas 2017

Lake Lucerne 125x175cm paper and oil pastel on canvas 2017

Lake Lucerne 125x175cm paper and oil pastel on canvas 2017

detail of Lake Lucerne

detail of Lake Lucerne

Castle of Chillon 100x100cm paper on canvas 2017

Castle of Chillon 100x100cm paper on canvas 2017

Detail of Castle of Chillon

Detail of Castle of Chillon

working on the maps

working on the maps

detail of the old school maps

detail of the old school maps

Mittleres Saaletal 80x120cm paper on old schoolmap 2017

Mittleres Saaletal 80x120cm paper on old schoolmap 2017

Norddeutsches Tiefland 80x120 cm paper on old school map 2017

Norddeutsches Tiefland 80x120 cm paper on old school map 2017

Detail Norddeutsches Tiefland

Detail Norddeutsches Tiefland

The Bay of Uri 88x110cm paper on paper 2018

The Bay of Uri 88x110cm paper on paper 2018

detail of The Bay of Uri

detail of The Bay of Uri

Detail of Bay of Uri

Detail of Bay of Uri

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

The silence

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

Paper, thin papers. I have stopped using actual paint a few years ago and only 'paint' with coloured transparent tissue papers. They help me achieve the desired layers while preserving a transparency. When I layer many of them they even start to take on a fresco-esque aspect which is very interesting.

What themes do you pursue?

I try to create spaces where the mind can be still. This is achieved through transparency, delicate texture, layers and geometric forms which provide a structure and therefore a space to feel safe.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

My painting teacher Judy Glantzman in New York said: 'Don't let anyone into your studio as long as your art is not ready to be seen'. This advice helped me to stay focused on my work and not hurry out with half finished or not thought through works. It made me work very secluded for many years, and I didn’t carry my work outside the studio very much. I enjoy every minute in the studio and the process of creation itself. I believe that this advice gave me the quiet I needed to develop my art, and allowed it enough time to mature.

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

Translating books or poetry from other languages is something I find very interesting. It demands 'reading between the lines' and 'understanding the thing as a whole', which is necessary for the creation of a visual art work as well.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Home, lakes and the sea.


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2016

Paper, @hettler.tullmann, Berlin, Germany

2015

A Fleur de Peau, Galerie Lacke Farben, Berlin, Germany

2013

Wide Nights, Galerie Lacke Farben, Berlin, Germany

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GROUP

2018

Let Me Know Before You Arrive at Warbling, London, UK

Anonymous Drawings at Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin

2014

Weihnachtsausstellung im Löwenpalais, Stiftung Starke, Berlin

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PUBLICATIONS

EDUCATION (detailed)

1994, Icart - École des Metiers de la Culture et du Marché de l'Art

1998, BFA Parsons School of Design, New York, USA


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