Berlin’s promising talent

The eclectic exhibition showcases work by students past and present who have won scholarships or awards during their studies in 2010 and 2011. Displaying a plethora of different techniques and mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, prints, video and conceptual art, this show is a feast for the art lover whose interests span the spectrum of fine arts and design.

Statements and Superheroes 
Whilst the quality of the art is high throughout, the extreme variety may mean that you warm towards certain styles and away from others dependent on preference. I found myself drawn to paintings that displayed great skill, whilst making a political statement or playful commentary, such as Yulia Kazakova’s ‘Vor lauter Baumen’ (2011), and, Büke Schwarz ‘… & …’ (2011/12). The former is a painting of a meadow full of ‘trees’ represented by metal pylons, connected with cables. The work underscores how modern industrial life is altering the environment. Schwarz gives a series of small paintings of well-known couples including Romeo & Juliet; Barbie & Ken; Batman & Robin; and, Adam & Eve. Presented in individual dark frames, depicted only in shades of grey, the artist offers a dark and sometimes humorous twist on traditional representations of the duos.    
Buke Schwarze - '...&...'
Isn’t it Batman & Robin? Or  “…&…” – Buke Schwarz, Photo: Elizabeth Johnson

Light relaxation
The rather more conceptual pieces did not work so well on me. Ilja Kloppenburg’s light exhibition ‘Paradox Initiation’, was an enjoyable interlude however; focusing the eye on a visual display reminiscent of the Northern Lights, whilst allowing the days’ thoughts to slip away. 
Hope for Ai Wei Wei
Whether you are a traditionalist when it comes to art and prefer to see well-honed skills, or you love to indulge your conceptual imagination, there is no doubt that Udk’s students are bold and talented. Hopefully internationally renowned artist, Ai Wei Wei will be soon freed of China’s state restrictions, and be able to take up his offered guest professorship at Udk. It seems that his strong political assertion and creativity would complement the intelligent, critical study of art being cultivated there.  
Haus am Kleistpark Group Exhibition – “Gute Karten” January 26th – March 18th, Tue-Sat: 10am-7pm

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