empathy

Darkened Romance

Cycling along the bourgeosie-style buildings on my journey to the Claas Gutsche‘s exhibition at Wagner + Partner gallery, I immediately got a strong sense of the beautiful yet mysterious relics of Berlin’s past. Stepping into the whitewashed gallery, I was immediately overwhelmed with the intrusive and intimidating dark images; they looked so stark, as though they were holding haunted memories.

As I shuffled closer, I realized that the painting was created though linography – where the artist makes a stamp and then prints it, like children do. But there was nothing child-like about this print. The canvas was dominated by darkness, but to my surprise, the intricate white lines did not not depict anything depressing as the tone and color suggested, and instead the most serene of images; a romantic family home surrounded by trees. But the way in which it was created made the painting seem dark and as though the house held dramatic memories in such a romantic environment – I suppose that the exhibition title, “drama & romantic,” is quite accurate indeed.

Does the Show Go On?

This strange and confusing mix was apparent in all the pieces – and I kept having to ask myself, “does this make me feel uplifted or depressed?” I was never sure. In the center of the gallery was a jet black teared curtain. It looked like it belonged at a theatre, it looked like it was only a matter of time before it would open, it looked like it was going to show the world a magnificent play. But then I realized that the curtains were never meant to open, they were destined to stay closed and hide whatever was behind forever. It seemed to be the antithesis to the saying, “the show must go on!’

But just before I left, I saw something that made me smile – a silhouette of a flower. But I couldn’t decide whether some of the shapes depicted ugly thorns or beautiful pixies, and then I realized that you can always make magic out of misery, and that is a very beautiful thing indeed.

  • Wagner and Partner Gallery Claas Gutsche “Drama & Romantik” May 18th – July 14th 2012, Tues – Sat: 12-6pm and by appointment. (Price Range: Not for Sale)

Leanne McClean is a guest writer from Urban Optimist.