October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
A solo exhibition ‘Full wall empty 27” by German artist Werner Degreif is being held at ‘The Gallery, Amdavad ni gufa’ , Ahmedabad from 15th to 20th October. This exhibition is the fourth of a series of exhibition being held by Zone of Contemporary art, ZOCA.
Werner Degreif has multiple talents as a musician, graphic artist and sculptor and currently stays in Mannheim, Germany. Having spent seven weeks as an artist in residence in Ahmedabad, India, Werner Degreif took 2 weeks imbibing the culture of the place before embarking on his artwork.
In his own words “ My father was an architect and maybe, I might have imbibed some of the sense of architecture from him” and so it seems as we look at how spaces depicting the character of Ahmedabad come alive within the close confines of the gallery. He specialized in site specific work which imparts a certain amount of fluidity and poignancy to the work. The challenge of the space in the gallery was its length but the artist managed to find a creative solution to the linear space by arranging his work in a perspective form overlapping each other, unifying the work without creating division; keeping us unaware of the transition of frames and helping us experience an unified whole.
“It seems the lines of your artwork done in Germany is more orderly, neat and emphasis seems to be on architectural elements rather than people… How has India influenced your artwork?” we asked to which he replied ”In Germany, it was difficult to draw people because of their reluctance to be portrayed and it was a pleasant surprise to find people in Ahmedabad greeting me with openness and joy while being portrayed.” And the same sense of calmness and joy pervades in the work too..
The inspiration for most of the artwork seemed to be from the city slums. More exposure to the city with its complexities encompassing the tradition and the modern, the poor and the rich, the indoor and the outdoor, the private and the public spaces could have broadened the canvas of the artwork. However, the raw energy of the lines and the focus on the portrayal of common people from city slums going about their day to day lives by itself bring forth an element of extraordinary to the daily everyday sights of the city!
– Gayatri Menon
(Photo Courtesy – Vipul Prajapati)