HAPPENINGText: Jorg Heikhaus

Bagpipes for a welcome: when entering the opening of Katharina Gschwendtner current exhibition in Hamburg, visitors were greeted by live-music and a massively huge eye, cut, pasted and painted onto the window of Gallery Feinkunst Krueger.

Labelled “Das erste Mal“(The First Time), Artist Gschwendtner presents her first behind glass paintings, giving her almost narrative Illustrations a new level of storytelling through this technique. The meaning of the title is twofold: not only focuses it on the artists first time using the style of painting behind acrylic glass panes, but also on the new dimension her stories are reaching – painting-technique as a means of redefining the content.

Objects and people sprawl from Gschwendtners brush over the surface; highly illustrative and figurative depictions of people, animals and familiar objects, layered over each other and connected through weird shapes and forms. Traditional references to church paintings are blended with pop at and nouvelle vague, before getting lost in chaos and disorder. And every piece shown in the gallery is so detailed you can find new versions of the tales told by the artist every time you go back to look at them.

Katharina Gschwendtner is well known beyond Hamburg for her work and has been contributing to many important nationwide magazines for years. Since summer this year, she draws illustrations for a regular column in one of germanys most influential weekly newspapers, Die Zeit. She is a busy illustrator for advertising, too, but her main focus is the complete freedom she has in her art projects.

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