Ati Maier

23.11. – 15.12.2018

Jochen Hempel Gallery, Berlin, is proud to present “The Encounter,” a new multimedia exhibition of works by the artist Ati Maier. As has been her custom for over two decades now, the show features paintings by the artist on paper, still photographs, and a live-action video. Each element coheres around Maier’s inimitable penchant for creating imaginary worlds.

The paintings, for instance, have a distinct design sensibility, particularly in their use of shapes which prompt known imagery from the farthest corners of the cosmos. The artist’s rugged line-work is often suggestive of the lunar landscape as we know it from pictures of the various moon landings of the 1960s and ’70s. Her swirling primary colors and clashing hard-edge angles are reminiscent of recent telescope photographs of galaxies being born of dark matter and gaseous constellations. Reminiscent; but not exact, as Maier’s work is the product of a meditative action painting technique, not that of an illustrative practice. If the works capture the essential building blocks of the universe it is because Maier mimics the spontaneity and passion that lives in all things rather than current scientific images. For her the very fact that we each have a brain means we can travel across the cosmos.

One particular new painting from this show—that of an orb-shaped tapestry of interwoven colours set against a solid backdrop of warm orange titled “Bloodmoon 2018”—captures the sentiment perfectly in that nothing in the known natural universe looks quite like this (save for art). In that way, Maier has not so much captured a planet as her planet, and her planet modulates, undulates, and pressurizes with the tension of shape and color which define its limited parameters. They must somehow work together, click into place, so as to fit into the space they are given in Maier’s world.

In the works of the great mystics—the kabbalists and alchemists of the Middle Ages—the tree, or “Tree of Life,” is emblematic of psycho-magic (as filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky calls it). It represents all those unconscious voices in one’s family and culture which call to us in dreams and contemplation to transform them from their current state into a golden state of