It takes a few minutes for me to easily distinguish between the artists’ works, as both use bright colors in various 2-d techniques.
Weserhalle is a one-room gallery with essentially three walls. The wall facing the street supports a big Matisse-like cut-out work of fabric. Its rich composition fills the frame and playfully depicts two hybrids, one human figure with antlers lying down, and one figure – animal body, human head, and flowers sprouting from the scalp – looking over the lying figure like any loyal dog would.
The artist, a young Chinese woman by the name of Ruohan Wang, informs me the work is titled “Me-dog” and says her work often features her personal fascinations and experiences.
For example, the human heads in “Me-dog”, though barely recognizable, are self-portraits. T-shirts displayed on the window sill show a ping-pong game where the ball is another self-portrait and the players are headless. A painting on the left side wall is of a crime scene with more headless figures and a living room plant.
One half of ZEBU was Wang’s classmate at the UdK, where they graduated two years ago. ZEBU, I learn, comes from Berlin. Their work in the exhibition is very precisely executed. The shapes – silhouettes in mostly primary colors and black and white – bring to mind things but are hardly figurative. The gallery owner describes the works as tribal. A description I find fitting, for as far as it pinpoints an appearance halfway between narration, abstraction, and decoration. The works’ permanent state of in-betweenness offers a long-lasting viewer experience as the paintings shift from landscape to wall object to something else again.
Palettes opened Friday, October 26th, and is on show until Friday, November 9th at Weserhalle.
Address: Weserstraße 56, Neukölln, Berlin
Open Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 3PM, 4 – 6PM