Between Contemplation and Motion

The February residency has finished with the exhibition “Between Contemplation and Motion”, which can be seen in the premises of Pedvāle International Artists’ Residency on 24 and 25 February.

The authors of the exhibition “Between Contemplation and Motion” are the participants  of the February residency programme – Melissa Kennelly (USA) and Malte Blockhaus (Germany).

The exhibition features charcoal and pastel drawings by Melissa Kennelly made during the residency. M. Kennelly is a visual artist acclaimed for her large-scale charcoal landscapes. Using a combination of burnt willow sticks, powder, and other charcoal-based media on paper, she works at the intersection of land and water to create immersive experiences of space, serenity, and solitude. From water-rich glacial sea and mountain vistas to moisture-starved panoramas of the American Southwest, her work stirs a primal response as it provides a glimpse into the elemental landscapes of pre- and post-human worlds. She has resided primarily in Taos, New Mexico, since 2004, and her smaller charcoal works are found in galleries and private collections in New Mexico and beyond.

Paintings by Malte Blockhaus, made during the residency, can also be viewed in the exhibition. As Imke Ehlers writes, “thus, what is special about M. Blockhaus’s work is the physical presence of his paintings. His works are determined by emotional gestures and spontaneous creative processes, the detachment of colour from form and line from motif, the violation of the painting ground and the penetration of painting into the third dimension. For M. Blockhaus, the painting support is not a compositional surface but a space for action. The results are paintings with a primal aura, often reminiscent of archaic natural landscapes and forces. The enormous presence of the works arises from the artist’s trial of strength with the material. It is “inspiration and resistance at the same time”, M. Blockhaus himself has formulated. “Out of the essence, but also at the resistance of the material, the picture is formed.” Malte Blockhaus also deals with pictorial signs, he creates ciphers. There is no hidden meaning behind the ciphers, which could also be interpreted diferently, they are the letters of personal alphabets or better scripts, and not symbols. They are not images, but rather metaphors of metaphysical references.”