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Corinna Spencer

Tilo Baumgartel at the Wilkinson Gallery

3 Sept-4 Oct 2009
Wilkinson Gallery

        Dur Sterm, 2008

    Painting in a formal figurative style, Baumgärtel depicts stylized scenes that seek no distinction between both painterly urban, and pastoral realism, and the encroaching fantastical elements. The subject suggests narrative and characterization, without the artist ever feeling it necessary to constrict the viewer’s attention to one story. With Baumgärtel, the viewer acts as the narrator, the painter merely offering a collection of visual motifs for the imagination to contextualize. *Wilkinson Gallery*

        Langdun, 2008

        NYX, 2009

            Snapshot 2009-09-08 15-12-49

      It maybe tempting to read the subject scenes as being allegoric, especially when reminded of Germany’s literary history of fairy tales. Yet this is not the artist’s intention. The anthropomorphized animals, a recurring motif, are used not in this vein, but rather as a tool to seek some kind of cultural universality to the scenes. A simple example explanation being that animals can be depicted unclothed (to leave humans unclothed would lead the viewer along an unwanted and specific lineage of the figurative nude). The eschewing of clothing avoids any localizing of culture or chronology, further demonstrating the artist’s attempts as pictorial universality.*Wilkinson Gallery*

          NYX, 2009

    It seems to me that Wilkinson missed a trick here, I understand the journey that the Artist takes to make the paintings (drawing in prepperation for the painting being key), that every step of this process is integral to creating some, frankly rather spookily beautiful large and small scale paintings. However I dont think it would obscure the importance of this process if the viewer were to experience the paintings together in one powerful display of snapshots from the uneasy relationships offered up by the Artist.

    Splitting the paintings and peppering them with the large scale drawings some how distracted me totally from the paintings, I could have been over whelmed by the paintings but I wasnt, I could have been sucked into that almost fairy tale world of the slightly strange, but instead the flow of the exhibit was cut up. Should work have been split into painting and drawing? Who am I to say…but i dont think the journey and process would have been lost on the viewer if they had been. Of course there’s every chance that I was being picky, I like the Wilkinson space, its a space that can adapt for pretty much anything so……

          Calle, 2008

    I still recommend the show. I said in an earlier blog that Wilkinson wont disappoint (as a space it doesnt) Followers of this blog will have gathered by now that I rarely blog about an exhibit that I wouldnt recommend (life’s to damn short!).

    7 Responses

    1. itsjustme

      These pics are great! Thanks for showing them.

    2. corinna

      Hi iJM, thank you for popping by.x

    3. CAP

      Apparently his previous shows mixed the drawings in like that – it’s the artist’s preference. Although I agree with you I’d rather have had them separated.

      It’s a strange style, not quite story-book, and kind of striving for more painterly elements. The landscapes are definitely stronger than the figures, to me. The anthropomorphised animals are maybe one idea too many, or maybe I just haven’t seen the right ones yet.

      But it’s a shame the guy is cast in the shadow of Neo Rauch so much. People now are just looking at him from that perspective and missing a very different temperament.

    4. corinna

      Hi there, thanks for visiting and commenting.

      I really wasnt a fan of the drawing mixed in. It felt rather condescending, I think anyone interested enough to go to the show would understand the importance of the drawing to the Artist without the mix up-mess up! I think someone on a blog i read recently (may be one you visit) commented on how ropey the drawings were and in retrospect I have to agree in part, but if the artist is so overshadowed by a mentor…then that wont help matters.

      I did Kinda like the anthropomorphised animals , they interested me more than the humans.

      Thanks again for the comment. I hope you come back.

    5. CAP

      I think you’re referring to my comments on London Painting, where I also put in a link on the thread to here.

    6. CAP

      It doesn’t seem to be showing up in the above comment, but there is a link on London Painting to http://londonpainting.blogspot.com

    7. corinna

      Hi Cap,

      Yep that was the one, I like that blog. Just havnt found the courage to comment just yet. After this show I thought about the drawings and wondered how I would feel about them of i had seen them elsewhere. The environment can effect the work, pulling it up or down.

      Thanks again