Exhibition Perspective Realism at the DHBW Heilbronn
Text by Jana Elsner (DHBW Heilbronn)
Brightly colored, oversized helium balloons push themselves out of the picture frame. A man floats carelessly through shimmering red-blue air. Playgrounds become fantasy worlds; Landscapes shine in completely new colors. The works of the artist couple Sandra Kolondam/Klaus Soppe have moved into the DHBW Heilbronn with 108 pictures. Yesterday the largest exhibition to date at the DHBW Heilbronn, the exhibition 'Perspective Realism', opened with a vernissage.
'Heilbronn will become a city of art and culture,' said Rector Prof. Dr. Nicole Graf. 'Being a guest student is not that easy in the dual study system. But anyone can come in and admire the new works of art. This is our invitation to the public,' said Graf at the beginning of the 15th exhibition, which the DHBW Heilbronn has hosted since 2011. Art historian and author Dr. Bettina Krogemann, who has accompanied Soppe and Kolondam's work for many years, is always enthusiastic about the many varieties of realism that both artists experiment with. On the one hand there are images that could easily be confused with photos, while on other representations the foliage of the trees is reduced to the lights and colors in the leaves.
When women and men stroll through the new exhibition, they will come home with very different experiences. Our eyes perceive the environment via two receptors: rods and cones. The rods are responsible for the light/dark contrasts and the cones are responsible for color perception. 'While men are anatomically better at absorbing contrasts, women are much better at distinguishing between colors. This is where night blindness comes from in many women,' says Klaus Soppe, who, in addition to his full-time life as a painter, also works as a lecturer at the Montessori technical college for design. Soppe and Kolondam both work with warm/cold and complementary contrasts and test the spatial effect of their colors. 'Research in the classic sense' is how Soppe describes his understanding of art. Dark colors push themselves to the foreground, light ones remain in the back. Blue lines on a yellow background cause flickering. The surface dissolves and slowly becomes three-dimensional the further away you go. These 3D effects often have very different effects on men and women. The anatomical difference is also sometimes noticeable among the artists when they look at each other's pictures.
But Soppe and Kolondam not only work next to each other in the same studio on Lake Starnberg, they also live together. 'A life as a painter means a life for painting and the constant engagement with it - as a pair of painters it is easier because one understands the other,' says Soppe. Only a door separates the studio and living room, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to leave painting out. Do they influence each other's painting? 'We both love the same colors, genre and painters, but have different techniques. However, parallels have already been found by others. "It looks like we've merged a bit," says Kolondam.
In addition to the snapshots of everyday life and the surroundings, there are also works that deal directly with the lives of the two artists. The picture 'Operation Hurricane' shows Soppe's mother at 21, pregnant with her first child. In the midst of a hail of bombs over the silhouette of Duisburg, she stands calmly, shining in a cone of light. The war rages around her while she carries new life within her. The picture was taken when Soppe's daughter turned 21, the same age as his mother at the time.
The work 'The Journey of Change' harmoniously combines three elements: the strictly graphic representation of a narrow spiral staircase, plants that twine over the entire surface and around the staircase and shadowy people falling through the room. Kolondam painted the picture when she decided to take the plunge and work full-time as an artist. 'Life as an artist means happiness and freedom, but also doubt and restriction,' she summarizes.
After training as a poster painter and calligrapher, Soppe studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in Robin Page's master class. Kolondam was a master student with Rosa Loy in Bad Reichenhall and with Markus Lüpertz. Both have often exhibited internationally, in Vienna and Rome, in Berlin, New York City and Beijing. The exhibition in Heilbronn is its largest to date. '220 running meters', says Kolondam happily. 'It's wonderful when the stacks of canvas are packed up and come out of the studio onto the walls. This is where they start to live.'
Photos: (C) by the artists and courtesy of the DHBW Heilbronn.
Text courtesy of the author at DHBW Heilbronn.
Duration until July 19, 2019 – free entry.