The Landscape is the most Important

Diederik Gerlach – paintings, works on paper, collages, video

24 November through 22 December 2013

The landscape is the harmless terrain to be explored by the traveller, the playground for nightmares or the demarcated realm of the dictator. The landscape offers the opportunity to optimally suggest space on a two dimensional surface but also serves as a sovereign stage to display the artist’s thoughts.

In the exhibition The Landscape is the most Important Diederik Gerlach (1956) investigates several forms of the landscape principle. In his characteristic palette of mixed colours he combines and superimposes fragments of landscapes, that seem to come forth from memory, but in fact do exist. In the series East (Ost) he combines townscapes from the former German Democratic Republic in Cinema (Kino) portraits of moviestars are paired with images of holiday resorts.

The space within the paintings is frequently ambiguous, the image broken off at the edges or vertically divided into two parts, resembling an opened book. Right in the middle of an image, Diederik Gerlach often places an ornamental or emblem like shape, like the lantern, sundial or stylized plant in the East paintings. A foreign body such as this sets the painting in motion, it charges up the seemingly familiar representation reminding of old picture postcards and gives it a new and broader meaning.
Besides the paintings on panel Diederik Gerlach shows 21 collages of Berlin, in which its history towers like a grim mountainscape over the city. On the basis of these collages a video was made titled Piz Berlin that is available on DVD in a small edition at the gallery.