Gallery exhibition - 2024
Nadja Kirschgarten
After Glow
  • Dates
    9 January 2024 - 2 March 2024
  • Opening reception
    Monday, 8 January 2024, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Artists
Press Release
After Glow

In After Glow, Nadja Kirschgarten exhibits brand new paintings produced during and after a long residency in Cairo, Egypt. Infused with an energy of longing born in this constantly shifting city, the canvases are inhabited by blown-up specters – the memories of tender silhouettes met on the bridges, or behind the dunes.
The desert constantly seeps into Cairo. The spring visits of the khamseen - the wind coming from the Sahara - leave the city with a persistent layer of dust. It infiltrates everything, sparing only the expensive imported cars under their tailored dresses of striped linen. The muted tones of dust are the uniting element of the chaotic metropolis, a dirty afterglow of its confrontation with the desert.

To fight this dusty entropy, millions of people repeat sweeping gestures across the city. The ubiquitous street sweeper, the taxi driver caressing the hood of his car, the coffee shop boy throwing water on the sidewalk, or the stray cat licking his fur on a bed of dry leaves. In the middle of it, Nadja and I shared a studio, painting side by side. With our wet brushes, we belonged a bit to this community, stroking the canvas, trying to keep the colors alive.

Escaping the contagious insanity this metropolis of absurdity through art, we worked a lot. I had never really painted before, so I asked Nadja for help. « How do you do it? What's the trick? » Painting, she told me, was just like playing sudoku – the toughest grid ever. To paint was to solve a shape-shifting puzzle: you had to take risks – try again, fail better, and destroy the solution if it looked too easy. The paintings of Nadja Kirschgarten are beautifully simple solutions to impossibly hard problems.

Jonas Hauert, January 2024

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Nadja Kirschgarten - Spiel der Formen und Figuren

by Simon Baur, Basler Zeitung*

Niedlich wirkende Anime-Figuren treffen auf scharfe Geometrie in Kirschgartens neusten Werken. Die Kunstwerke sind derzeit im Kleinbasel zu betrachten.

Nadja Kirschgarten (*1979) bezieht ihre Figuren aus Anime und Computerspielen und setzt diese in eine Geometrie. Was auf den ersten Blick niedlich ausschaut, erweist sich bald als trügerisch. Die Figuren werden von allerlei unheimlichen Gefährten, scharfen Konturen und spitzen Flächen begleitet. Man kennt dies von Franz Marcs Gemälde «Tierschicksale» im Kunstmuseum Basel, wo die Tiere nicht wehrlos im Sperrfeuer stehen, sondern aktive Teile der Bildgeometrie sind. In den fast abstrakten Motiven Kirschgartens sind kleinste Partikel erkennbar, Erinnerungsfetzen, die einen Orientierung und Lesehilfe ermöglichen. Die Kombination unterschiedlicher Bildsprachen im selben Motiv ist zwar nicht neu, erweist sich aber gerade in der Malerei seit langem als produktive Strategie, um eine Simultaneität unterschiedlichster Aussagen zu erreichen.

*read original Basler Zeitung article, 13 February 2024

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