The Mannheim artist Dietmar Brixy will once again open the doors of the Altes Pumpwerk in Mannheim-Neckarau for this year's exhibition "HAPPY? From 25 September to 18 October, Brixy invites you to take a tour of his Gesamtkunstwerk, where he will also present his latest series of works, HAPPY. Of course with due distance and under consideration of general hygiene measures. The exhibition will be supplemented with animal sculptures and objects by guest artist Matthias Garff in cooperation with Galerie Tammen, Berlin.
The year 2020 is marked by uncertainty, especially in the art scene. The Corona crisis is dominating life and brought everything to a standstill at a stroke. For a long time it was not clear whether there could even be an exhibition at the Altes Pumpwerk this year. It is therefore all the more pleasing that public events are once again possible, subject to conditions and consideration for all participants. However, the pandemic shows us how fleeting our accustomed life can be. "Despite all adversities, one should consciously live happy moments", says Brixy. He expresses this in his new series of works HAPPY. It is about the question:
Are we allowed to be happy at all during this time?
"Yes," says Brixy resolutely, because it is precisely in difficult situations that we have to search all the more for our happiness. Art means happiness and for this very reason, as an antipole, it should give people happy moments. The title HAPPY is a conscious play with expectations: Brixy is not about a concrete representation of happiness. The viewer is rather challenged to recognise happiness for himself, as a subjective perception of shapes and colours.
The HAPPY series of works is characterised by deep blue shades as well as light pastel shades. They have a calming effect and open the view into the distance. A colourful canopy unfolds above them, like a rainbow from which melting fig leaves sprout. "The fig leaf has been a leitmotif in Dietmar Brixy's pictorial world for decades, but this old symbol of paradise has never been seen in such an alienating way. It almost melts into tears and may bring a melancholy aspect to the Blue Hours of Dietmar Brixy, which makes him a little thoughtful", writes Dr. Dietmar Schuth, director of the Museum für die Farbe Blau in Schwetzingen, about Brixy's latest installation "Message in a box" (which is composed of different wooden modules). The pictures are not always characterised by happy moments and some of them sometimes seem gloomy. And yet, fragments of individual moments of happiness keep flashing up. Life is marked by contrasts - happiness is never permanent.
Message in a box, 2020, Öl auf Holz, 120 x 160 x 22 cm
Brixy exhibition in Mannheim also shows animal sculptures and objects by guest artist Matthias Garff
This year, the presentation of his own paintings will be supplemented by animal sculptures and objects by the artist Matthias Garff. Using found objects and everyday objects, he creates animal figures that take up environmentally critical facets in form and material. For despite their outward cheerfulness, they indirectly tell of survival in an environment shaped by humans. Born in Solothurn (CH) in 1986, the artist attended the Dresden University of Fine Arts and now lives in Leipzig. His works have already been presented in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad.
Garff presents sculptures of chaffinches, robins, hummingbirds and insect boxes, among others, and thus provides a humorous to surreal view of the complex interaction between man and nature. He is concerned with artistic ambivalences. "He is a sculptor, not a caricaturist. He works primarily in the material, in the form and not in the broad field of world-wearied environmental criticism," says Christoph Tannert, director of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.
Large insect box II, 2020, mixed media, 160 x 200 cm
Nature as a connection between the two artists
The invisible connection between the two artists lies in nature, which they weave into their works in different ways, creating moments of cheerfulness but also stimulating a critical view of current issues. With "HAPPY?" Brixy wants to take visitors into foreign worlds and awaken distant longings. With his pictures he creates his own artistic moments of happiness. Even if the search is never complete, one should live happy moments consciously.
"You can be happy about happiness! When I paint I have my greatest happiness, and this is also reflected in my paintings", says artist Brixy.
Old pumping station Mannheim-Neckarau
Special Guest: Galerie Tammen, Berlin | Matthias Garff Objects - Sculptures
Opening hours during the exhibition
Friday 14-19 h | Saturday and Sunday 11-16 h (and by appointment)
In view of the measures taken to contain the Corona pandemic, we will refrain from an opening and closing ceremony.
The valid protective requirements as well as the known rules of hygiene and conduct apply.
Sufficient parking spaces are available in the car park of the administrative building of the GKM Mannheim.