soloshow @Unit 1 Gallery | London

solo residency exhibition after working 3 months above the gallery space


Observing, looking at, seeing others, dissecting the details of human sociology through our habits and our ‘costumes’ is the basis of the work painter Katharina Arndt has been exploring during her 3 month solo residency at Unit 1 Gallery|Workshop. Setting up a new work environment, in a new city is always challenging but in Katharina’s case it has allowed her to add a whole new population of ‘people’ and objects to her vocabulary of personalities. During her time here Katharina has pushed herself and experimented with subject and scale as well as new layering, these new works have multiple figures and a presence beyond the singular person or object – a wider atmosphere and mood to reflect the whole scene of youth and fashion. Katherina’s well practiced and understood naive style allows a playful approachability as well as the gift of humour. The works do poke fun at us, exaggerated gestures and body shapes amusingly reduced to single lines – pointy funny breasts, ‘roundy’ wiggly bottoms, arms up, attitude ‘on’ – the performance act of the of the players at the nightclub cantered on the DJ god unfolding in the darkness. Playing with scale and magnification Katharina steps us into the scene and it’s as though we enter the dance! Our peripheral vision echoed in the enlarging of the characters in the field of view. The cool smokers watching the DJ directing the sounds with flicks of yellow (paint) light smattering across the darkness. Further works in the exhibition you will find are individual ‘portraits’ of the characters of the nightclub stage – the singer and the dancer and the ubiquitous smoker all in the dark but highlighted by the glow. The brave choice to make black paintings of night life is an instinctive and celebratory capture of a mood, a feeling – we have all been there. At the centre of Katharina’s practice lies her exploration of the superficiality of ‘always on the phone’ age. On her canvases, cartooned, laid-back figures manically scroll screens of smartphones, endlessly taking selfies, dancing in the darkness of bunker-like Berlin night venues shone upon by neon light. Her expression is reinforced by the artificial materials employed: lacquer paper and shiny acrylic paint and lacquer markers. On the glossy textures of her dark canvases, eerily free, oddly lazy figures undergo the metamorphosis into post-ugly bodies of consumption, producing a childish and gothic effect at the same time. These are Berliner Kinder – partying together, yet insulated from each other, merging into the whirl of artificial, mechanic, conformist dancing reality, descending into the abyss between the otherworldly and the everyday of the digital age. We are voyeur and seeing through Katharina’s lens that accentuates the absurdity and the madness of our constant display of ourselves to each other all the time in public and digitally and now in these rewarding and accomplished paintings.
by Stacie McCormick, Director and Founder


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4 min, auf deutsch | in german


image courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | P.Tucker


Alle ausgestellten Werke vereint in einem PDF. | All exhibited artworks combined in one document. download PDF




Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop
Unit 1, 1 Bard Road
London W10 6TP
+44 (0)75 4831 5800 | info@unit1gallery-workshop.com


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