Andrea Damp | Menagerie

Andrea Damp


Extended until June 24th





The Berlin-based painter’s work focuses on the theme of landscape, which has played a central role for her from the very beginning of her artistic career. The artist, who was born on the island of Rügen, takes up the dense and multifaceted nature and history of her homeland, whose atmosphere she condenses into panoramas of enormous narrative power in her canvases.

In her works, the tradition of romantic landscape painting of the 19th century is just as palpable as the painterly achievements of abstraction since 1945 and of Informel. Colour, structure, brightness and consistency are the most important parameters for Andrea Damp to elaborate her paintings, which are developed beyond any figurativeness for long stretches of their creation. Through sometimes minimal figurative elements—which are only inserted into the compositions at a late stage—the entire pictorial space begins to oscillate between abstraction and narration; light and darkness separate, horizons form, depth in space and associations with plants, forests, clouds become possible.

In her latest series of works, reflecting on Baroque painting, Andrea Damp aims at the portrait. In contrast to her mostly large-format and colourful landscapes, the likeness in these canvases literally forms out of the darkness of the background. These portraits are always in dialogue with an animal whose meaning, unlike in the tradition of Goya for example, is not immediately decipherable. Like a menagerie, these works pervade the exhibition, interrupting the canon of the landscape and countering the painterly universes with an immediacy that can be read as the antithesis of their vastness and openness.

T he first sculptures in Andrea Damp’s oeuvre were created at the end of last year, preceded by a long period of development. Together with the specialists of Berlin Glas e.V., a group of non-representational works was created. In their reduction to the basic form of the sphere, these works have both formal points of reference in the artist’s work as well as narrative ones. The piling up of these simple forms and their precisely coordinated colours opens up a wide spectrum of associative stimuli and possibilities for interpretation—a procedure that Andrea Damp has already brought to perfection in her paintings. Also, the glass ball is an integral part of the artist’s memory, as an indispensable tool in the fishing business, in which her family is now engaged in the eighth generation.

text by Ronald Puff