STEFAN HOENERLOH Prolonging Pleasure March 17 - April 23, 2011
The starting point of the artist’s work is the discovery of East Berlin at the start of the 80s. The sense of history and uncomprehensible dramas that touch each canvas and every image. Hoenerloh’s paintings remind the audience of an unbearable suffering, of dramatic memories of painful tragedies that occured in both the past and present centuries. They show a town without any human presence, without any animals, any vegetation and without any clouds in the sky.
In some of his most recent paintings Hoenerloh revels in the freedom of playing around with the realism and plausibility of the landscapes. The landscapes appear far more like works of pure fiction. The painting entitled « Sound of Silence » represents a low angled view of narrow buildings composed of sculpted stone, overlapping different architectural styles of building, surpassed by improbable bridges that link the buildings between them. The « Main Course Topramen » painting shows buildings built on mezzanines, upon which the elevated ground floors are open thanks to many supporting arches.
At first glance other paintings seem to faithfully reflect urban sites. Hoenerloh succeeds in producing a sense of reality due to his infallible feel for urban sites and architectural compositions. In fact every painting is at the extreme of its subject, the limit of what seems plausible just as much from an architectural and urbanistic point of view as from a colour and light one.
His subject is not as much architecture as it is the passage of time which materialises in the immobile medium of painting, moderated by decaying architecture. His architectral styles, the density of his urban spaces, the vastness of edifices evoking a fossilised yet powerful civilisation. The eroding composition shows a broken down surface, but present a viable structure. Despite appearances, Hoenerloh does not abandon all hope for a metropolitan revitalisation. His landscapes offer the constant possibility of escape to the imprisoned Kafkaïen.
Stefan Hoenerloh shows a developed civilisation within us that has fallen apart, he makes us aware of the vanity of mankind and the dangers of its powerful appetite, whilst allowing it to be the master of its own destiny.
Born in 1960, Stefan Hoenerloh will have a solo show at Academy of Art in Hamburg in 2008 and will participate in two collective shows, one in Kunsthalle Darmstadt and the other at PM Gallery and House in London.