Die Zeit Ist Jung / Time is Young

Diederik Gerlach – paintings

1 May – 5 June 2011

Diederik Gerlach (1956) shows twenty five small paintings on panel, devided in five themes: Humor, Einsam (lonely), Stimmung (atmosphere), Quelle (source) and Waldkammer (Forest room). The exhibition’s title itself, Die Zeit Ist Jung (Time is Young), lightly hints at the song Die Welt War Jung (When the World was Young) that was once sung by Marlene Dietrich.

In his paintings, Diederik Gerlach also frequently refers to the past, not only drawing from his archive of pictures from old travel magazines and advertising brochures, but also quoting from art history, in particular from German Romanticism. After a careful process of formation and deformation these images become transformed. The result is often an alpine world containing hidden layers and quotes. The space within the painting 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. 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. Diederik Gerlach considers his work to be autobiographical in essence. However, his paintings are not reconstructions of his memories, but are sooner sublimations of the past. He creates, as it were, a set of completely new memories that might be autobiographical.

As a supplement for his own paintings Diederik Gerlach invites eleven artists to show one work that relates in one way or another to Romanticism: Martin Assig, Andrea Baumgartl, Frank Van den Broeck, Seekee Chung, Robine Clignett, Marcel van Eeden, Tobias Gerber, Dieter Mammel, Erik Pape, Hélène Penninga en Ronald Versloot will fill one wall in the exhibition with a romantic work.