Klaus Hartmann

lives and works in Berlin. His early paintings, depicting the everyday leisure activities of the Germans, established his reputation. In them he focused on portraying allotment gardens, amusement parks with big wheels, circus wagons pulled by horses, show booths and Chinese eateries that seek to appear exotic.

The exhibition Landschaften (landscapes) at Galerie Andreas Schmidt presents selected landscape paintings and drawings by Klaus Hartmann which haven't been shown together before. Various possibilities and themes about the representation of space and expanse, nature and culturally constructed area are being playfully investigated in this exhibition. On view are scenes of Ukalawa, a village located in the southern highlands of Tanzania, surrounded by corn fields and tea plantations and a light flooded palm grove. Palm trees appear in infinitely expansive landscapes on seemingly minimalistic drawings, like backlit silhouettes. Some of Hartmann's pictures can be seen as transitional images and symbolic interfaces between present and past. One can, similarly, interpret the contrast between an African village and a mega city. After Hartmann's stay in Shanghai, a number of city paintings were made. Included in the exhibition is the large scale painting Grosse Stadt (large city) which was inspired by a model of the city of Shanghai.

 

German art historian and author Dietmar Elger describes Hartmann´s early works: "The style of Hartmann´s painting and the objects he paints do not come to any kind of accord that could help the viewer to comprehend his picture world completely. But this is exactly what makes up their aesthetic and narrative appeal. These unfinished motifs-in-progress leave the viewer constantly in a state of ignorance: not one of the paintings offers him a one-dimensional, trustworthy interpretation. Hartmann is a naturalist who does not seek truth in this world, but creates in his pictures a reality that can boast a genuine painterly presence."

Over many years, Klaus Hartmann travelled widely in Tanzania. Since 2006 he created, parallel to his other works, a group of paintings entitled Jua Toka and The Source of Shades - The Tanzania Paintings.

Klaus Hartmann's paintings have been exhibited in solo shows since 1998 at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Jürgen Becker Galerie Hamburg, Galerie Nosbaum Reding Luxembourg and Nicole Klagsbrun New York. He participated in group exhibitions at Frankfurter Kunstverein, Museum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Kunsthalle Exnergasse Wien, Alliance Française and Nafasi Art Space in Tanzania, among other and at art fairs including Art Cologne, FIAC Paris, Armory Show New York, Artforum Berlin and Art Bruxelles.

Hartmann's work is included in the Deka Bank Art Collection Frankfurt, Ophiuchus Collection London, Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Collection Falckenberg, Sammlung Oppenheim Köln, Kunstmusem Bremerhaven, Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst Cottbus, Collection Barthi Kher in India and Sammlung für zeitgenössische Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, among others.

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