“I Went To The Woods Because I Wished To Live”

Caution traveler! The road to Jarmuschek + Partner’s doors is not for the faint of heart! You’ll have to join the myriad Berliner’s congested in the BVG and travel northwest towards one of our busiest train stations: Hauptbahnhof! Dart through the bustling crowds and their rollaway suitcases and find yourself outside, only to be bombarded by an armada of taxis. Pay attention to the construction near Invalidenstraße, ease through the clutter of venders, and stop yourself before you near the beckoning entrance of Hamburger Bahnhof. Now it’s time to walk down century old cobblestone until you’ve finally reached the gates……….erm…. doors to the gallery. Upon entering take a deep breathe because you’ve finally escaped the crowded streets of Berlin and are now surrounded by woodland paintings of Oliver Gröne. This is your escape, you’ve made it, but what exactly is this Narnia you’ve stumbled upon?

A Traditionalist In A Contemporary Forest


Gröne makes no attempt at trying to fit in with contemporary art trends. While many artists are turning to newer media and ditching the traditions of the past, Gröne carries the torch of time-honored landscape painting into the 21st century. Not only is he keeping this classic methodology alive, he’s also intertwining these works with other important artistic techniques from times past such as abstraction and German expressionism. This becomes apparent with this work when you see it in person: from afar you see a colorful painting of a forest, up closer you see how expressive his lines are, and when your face is about to touch the work it’s as if you’re staring head to head with a Pollock.

oliver-grone-2Is it smoke from a factory or clouds forming rain? Photo: Chris Phillips.

Ironically Gröne is not a recluse fiendishly attacking canvases with oil paint in a cabin out in the Bavarian woods – he is based here in Berlin. The city dweller inside of him becomes apparent when you can see in some works the shadow of a building, or what seems to be smoke bellowing from a factory. He’s aware about how man has had an impact on nature, and rather than give us an idyllic picture of a deserted Mother Earth, he reminds us of our influence on our planet.

oliver-grone-1The colorful woodland paintings by Gröne. Photo: Chris Phillips.


What’s remarkable, however, about the paintings here at Jarmuschek + Partner’s exhibition space is how the work seems to interact with one another. Although each can be purchased on their own, it seems that they behave much like those silly magnets with words people put on their fridge – that they are there for the viewer to organize, to create their own conversation as they see fit. Frankly, although I can imagine one of these works looking quite nice in my bedroom, because they communicate so well in a gallery with one another I find them united in one room to be the best place for them to be hung.

  • Jarmuschek + Partner – Solo Exhibition of Oliver Gröne "Ikonen" – January 26th, 2013 – March 9th, 2013, Opening Hours [Price Range of works]
Article by James Shaeffer