Dieter Mammel | ÜberLeben (SurVive)
Opening: 01.05.2015, 6 p.m. – 9 p. m.
Introduction: Helene Bosecker
Exhibition: 01.05.2015 – 11.06.2015.
The colour worlds of a self-confident yellow and a deep, meditative purple face each other in the exhibition ÜberLeben of the artist Dieter Mammel. The apparent separation in colour dissolves when you take a closer look and offers an opportunity to gain insight into Mammel’s work flow. The Blueberry-cycle predates the yellow-series, but there isn’t a clear relay of the first and the other colour world: In a temporary entanglement, Mammel develops both spectra, whereby a tight network of influences is woven around the paintings.
The dark purple gives a calm, contemplative effect to the motifs, but the depictive power is not lost. The flowing use of colour in relation to the perspective perception attracts the viewers’ attention and lets the eyes float in a lake or glow with fire. Longing for elementary unity, the walker strides through the circling water as if he could transgress the borders of the lake in calm certainty to infinity. In this illustration, human freedom seems to become possible in a subtle presence. At the same moment of another life this autonomy and fulfilment are still be fought for. In this exhibition, the fence operates as a strong symbol for defined and forced borders to be surmounted: Cached in the instant of the struggle with the cold steel the human desire claims the meshes and thereby extends his own capabilities. The way to the destination is hard and takes its toll rather from the innocents and ignoramuses instead of the manipulators and perpetrators. Thereby the presentation of a sleeping child changes into fear of cruelty, in front of which everybody keeps standing with closed eyes. A laugh, a yell bring to mind the human emotional abilities and communicate hope for freedom and happiness at the same time, as the strong hand overcame the boundary and the loud cries reached faraway ears.
Furthermore, the intensity of the figures and their complex worlds of affections are nourished by a formal contrast: In the clearest and most pointed way the bodies find their contour in front of their glowing background, but the suspected clarity blends with the sea of individual interpretations. The identification with place and state of mind makes the viewer realise his own world of ideas, creating the high potential of recognition. Lost in colour and motif, the initially perceived difference of the series becomes unnecessary and the circle of the working process is closed by the shimmering of what seems to be black on rich yellow into purple.
The relations between the groups of works are additionally defined by their origin: The drawing stands at the beginning of Mammel’s artistic work and provides a decisive indication of his monochrome view of colour. In the moment of creation, the graphical character of the line is suspended by the wet canvas, whereby the drawing’s intention is preserved although a painterly result arises. The colour works fluently through the canvas and finds its way through the structures, leaves its marks and blurs clarity. In approach to these works the contours defining figures and forms, disappear in the sea and fire of free movement and end up in an abstraction, from which a play in perception arises: at a distance the paintings reveal figuration, which dissolves into indeterminacy at close hand. By the step back that follows, new views are generated and so circular waves quietly burn on the surface of the lake and the powerful fire is turning to ice. Mammel’s works come to life through their intimate motifs, which are guided by memory as a strong partner at their side without drowning in a loss-making nostalgia. As anchor and tower they outlast former topical and formal concepts in synthesis and symbiosis – securing by their survival (ÜberLeben) the life of innovatio.
Translation: Diane Williams