In Autumn Fire, the titular painting of this exhibition, Johannes Heisig and his wife Barbara look serious and a bit skeptical as they participate in the annual custom of their village at the beginning of autumn. The work not only heralds the end of our spectacular anniversary year but also seizes thematically upon an important aspect highly relevant to the exhibition: the examination of the transience of things, and the scrutinisation of one's own mortality, are central thematic facets of Johannes Heisig's artistic expression. Still lifes such as Memento Mori or Fish Dish testify to a profound and perceptive engagement with existential issues. Large canvases shift the perspective, anomalous image cropping reshapes the seen. Perhaps the intention is to assist us in giving the miniscule, the unnoted, the apparently useless, and the supposedly unprepossessing more space and attention. That the assistance rendered is both useful and enriching is proven by what is now Heisig's fourth solo exhibition at DIE GALERIE. In addition to his pensive still lifes, there are also numerous landscapes of Brandenburg and the South of France, sophisticated self-portraits, and snapshots of current events – a sublime selection of work bearing undeniable witness to the ingenious spirit and skillful artistry of one of the great talents of our time.
Saturday, January 18, 2020, 11:00 AM, please rsvp!
Artist talk between Dr. Eduard Beaucamp and Johannes Heisig.
Cavaliere is one of the series of equine sculptures that Marino Marini executed in the 1930s and 1940s which use a reductive simplicity of form to celebrate the ancient and sacred relation ship between man and horse in the attempt to convey this mystic union as a single, tangible and very material presence. Owing much to the elegant and simple forms of ancient Etruscan sculpture as well as to the modern Etruscan influenced sculpture of Arturo Martini, many of these 1940s works, including Cavaliere, deliberately contrast the earthy materiality of the united man/horse figure with a deep sense of spirituality. This sacred marriage between man and nature was one that Marini believed was under thr eat from the modern world.
'The whole history of humanity and nature lies in the figure of the horse and rider in every period,' Marini wrote. 'Since my childhood, I have observed these beings, man and horse, and they were for me a question mark. In the be ginning there was a 'harmony' between them, but in the end, in contrast to this unity, the violent world of the machine arrives, a world which captures it in a dramatic, though no less lively and vitalizing way' (quoted in Marino Marini, Pistoia, 1979, pp. 29 30.)
Recalling the simple archaic beauty of Etruscan art, Cavaliere uses a simple elegance of form to articulate this theme of Man and Nature and to invoke a sense of the mystery and primal energy of the ancients. Marini once observed that the most powerful source for his horse and rider image was that of the crowds of people fleeing Milan on horseback before the advancement of the Allied armies at the end of the Second World War. Evidently, the timeless image of the horse and rider impressed itself on Marini as a dramatic and poignant contrast to the collective anonymity and impersonality of a modern mechanized army on the march. In addition, the fact that in their panic and despair, people resorted to this more ancient but more personal, practical and animistic form of transport would also have impressed an artist who considered Etruscan and Egyptian art superior to the more derivative arts of Ancient Rome, the Renaissance and even classical Greece.
Marino Marini´s Cavaliere will be one of the highlights of our upcoming exhibition Benvenuta Italia! (January 23 - March 21, 2020). Don´t miss the chance to admire this amazing sculpture with your own eyes and come visit us in DIE GALERIE!