exhibitions 2021 | Orion Shima and Martin Stommel

Orion Shima and Martin Stommel

“Moonlight at Noon”

exhibition:April 28th  – July 3rd  2021

Midissage June 18th 4 – 6pm

The exhibition is supported by Stiftung Kunstfonds and the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Orion Shima and Martin Stommel “Moonlight at Noon” exhibition catalogue 21 x 21 cm 56 pages, hardcover janinebeangallery, Berlin 2021

press release Orion Shima & Martin Stommel

The janinebeangallery presents in its exhibition „Moonlight at Noon“ paintings and works on paper of the Albanian artist Orion Shima and the German artist Martin Stommel, living and working in Bonn. Both have been producing their artworks for several decades and are exhibiting internationally.
The basis for the exhibition „Moonlight at Noon“ featuring artworks by Orion Shima and Martin Stommel was established in 2019, when we came into contact via the internet with the Albanian gallerist Lauresha Basha of Gallery 70 in Tirana, Albania. We liked each other from the outset and furthermore discovered common grounds regarding the alignment of our galleries, spawning the idea for a more extensive exchange. In June of that year we relayed an invitation from Lauresha Basha to Martin Stommel for a solo exhibition at Gallery 70 in Tirana.
For this exhibition Martin Stommel travelled in October 2019 to Tirana and was not only delighted by the candour and cordiality of his hostess but also by the kindness of the general public. Among other artists he was introduced to Orion Shima, who is also engaged as a professor at the University of Arts in the Albanian capital and who expressed his immediate trust by spontaneously letting Stommel give a lecture to his curious students.
Apart from our fundamental enthusiasm for the work of Orion Shima we noticed the mutual sympathy of the artists as well as the reciprocal understanding for their artistic works. This very naturally authored the concept of a common exhibition of the two artists in our premises in Berlin.
A common thread of both artists is the genre of figurative painting. Style and content of Stommel and Shima are despite all differences connected by the archetypes underlying the subjects, respectively the pursuit of them.
With the exhibition we want to bring the works of Martin Stommel and Orion Shima—considering their European but highly different cultural backgrounds—into dialogue. The formal distinctions are being clarified by the juxtaposition, while the masterful artworks as a whole of both artists embody an independent, cross-cultural artistic medium, which connects very fundamentally.

Orion Shima’s painting is a matter that has been “seasoned” for a long time. For almost two decades, his painting seemed to address the same concern, which is, in fact, an internal process, with its elements constantly moving and recomposing themselves to reach a kind of filtering or the highest clarity, notably coinciding with his works of the recent years. In his early days as an artist, Shima explored abstract painting and showed an interest in matter painting. These experiences have left their mark on his artwork. Along with his academic formation during the art school years, one can say that they constitute the matter that currently inspires his painting – a figurative painting, essentially uninterested in objective reality. Shima uses figurative representation as an initial impetus or pretext to create some personal marks, through which the artist builds a perceptual, individual world. This is a world of feelings and emotions, deciphered through painted situations and characters. In addition to its strongly manifested style, Orion Shima’s painting also speaks through the selection of themes. Nature, vegetation, man, and animals are the only subjects of his paintings, as if to confirm that painting is an analogy of the living things. His characters are lonely people, lost and distracted whose portraits we rarely distinguish. They speak through silhouettes and quick but accurate spots, always playing the role of the painter’s own alter ego. The characters in Orion Shima’s paintings are not only references from romantic art painting in general, but also contemporary romantic characters thrown in an alien and rejected world, finding refuge and solace in the shadows of a dense vegetation, positioning themselves at the edges of the world.

Martin Stommel‘s art is a statement on the turmoil of the world; a method, an attempt to find a way from the inferno to paradise. His lighting controls, the visionary compositions full of suspense and drama, their extensive diagonals and gestures, the elongated bodies of the protagonists in his paintings all lead from banality to the essential question. In his paintings the world and the ever-changing luck burst and fate roars in the eternal chant of the mystery of the universe. Herein the artists follows the fevers of Tintoretto (1518 – 1594) or Max Beckmann (1884 – 1950). The art-historical education of Martin Stommel, the brilliant artistic studies with the famous Russian dissident Boris Birger, who came as an immigrant to Bonn, the academic studies in Munich and Berlin directed him to a remarkable philosophic transfer of real visual experiences into epiphanic viewing experiences, inspiring new visual solutions. His dynamic of the pictorial scripture, his freedom of choice of colour, his visionary reinterpretation in the formal solutions are rare qualities in the international art scene.


– Adam & Eve –
An edition of “Adam” and “Eve” etchings for the exhibition “Moonlight at Noon”
On the occasion of the exhibition “Moonlight at Noon”, Martin Stommel and Orion Shima created an edition of eight etchings.
The prints have an edition of 25 copies each and are presented in two different handmade boxes, each containing four different etchings.