Yevgeniya Baras – Carolin Eidner – Adelhyd van Bender
Yevgeniya Baras, Carolin Eidner, and Adelhyd van Bender
June 25 – July 24, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, June 25, 6-8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is pleased to present an exhibition of three artists: Yevgeniya Baras, Carolin Eidner and Adelhyd van Bender. Though working in markedly different media, these artists show a similar commitment to their own personal search, transforming interior exploration into external abstraction. In the process, they create their own distinct symbologies, each combining recognizable elements with a strangeness that leaves the viewer grasping for clues.
The installations and sculptures of Carolin Eidner embody the freely associative structure of thought. As the artist follows her intuitive thread, she lets her materials – found objects, wood, fabric, vegetables, ceramic glass, bamboo, fire – come together with a lightness that mirrors her process. Neither fixed nor solid, objects lean, lie or float, combined with ethereal drawing and painting, merging with the exhibition space rather than occupying it. Eidner’s enticingly rambling, yet conceptual work evades ideology and narrative, embracing the ambivalent.
Carolin Eidner (b. 1984, Berlin, Germany) studied at the Alanus University for Arts and Social Sciences, Bonn (2007-09); the University of Applied Arts Vienna (2009-10); and the Düsseldorf Art Academy (2010-14), where she was a “Meisterschülerin” of Rosemarie Trockel. Her work has been shown at the Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Natalia Hug, Cologne; Manifesta, Belgium; Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf; Therme Gallery, Tokyo; and Interstate Projects, New York, to name a few. Eidner won the 2014 Audi Art Award, and was shortlisted for the 2014 and 2015 Peter-Mertes stipend. The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Yevgeniya Baras’s work can be seen as a combination of geology and physiology. Rough and mountainous textures are covered with thick and scarred skins of paint, evoking bodies marked by life. The artist constructs her canvasses through carving, embroidering, and collaging, intentionally creating a challenging surface on which to paint. As her works are built over a prolonged period of time, each one forms an extremely local history, a visual testament to its own creation. Abstract symbols hover right at the edge of the recognizable, hinting towards collective archetypes.
Yevgeniya Baras (b. 1981, Syzran, Russia) received her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, and is one of the co-founders of Regina Rex Gallery, NY. Her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries, including Steven Harvey, Kinz + Tillou, and Asya Geisberg, all in New York; Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem; Adds Donna, Chicago; and Susanne Hilberry, Detroit. She was named a 2014 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation's Emerging Artist Prize, and received the 2015 Artadia Grant. Baras lives and works in Brooklyn and is currently teaching at CUNY.
When Adelhyd van Bender died, in 2014, his Berlin apartment was overflowing with binders full of papers, the walls covered in esoteric drawings. Throughout much of his life, van Bender obsessively assembled – or channeled – a complex system of cryptic iconography. In vivid pink, orange, green and red, the artist drew, collaged, and hand-colored thousands of densely type-written and Xeroxed pages, using symbols and shapes suggesting a mix of scientific diagrams and government documents. The result is a universe that seems simultaneously complete and unfinished, as enigmatic as it is unique.
Adelhyd van Bender (1950-2014) was born Harald Bender, in the city of Bruchsal, Germany. After studying at the Berlin University of Arts for two years in the 70’s, and a journey to England, he took the name Adelhyd van Bender and immersed himself in an intense artistic practice of drawing, painting and object-creation. In 1999, after his apartment threatened to collapse under the weight of his work, the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg acquired a large part of his oeuvre. Through an obsessive process of drawing, photocopying and reworking, he continued his practice until his death.
Van Bender's work was recently exhibited at Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne, who also featured him at the 2015 Independent, New York. Tina Kukielski wrote an extensive article on the artist in the April issue of Mousse Magazine.