A N N A   K L I N K H A M M E R   G A L E R I E

Böhlerweg 56
D-40549 Düsseldorf
by invitation and appointment only
7 Sep - 7 Oct 2012

ANNA KLINKHAMMER GALERIE ist umgezogen !!! we moved !!!

Wir zeigen die zweite Soloausstellung des jungen Künstlers Lenz Geerk an neuer Adresse auf der legendären Mutter-Ey-Strasse 5,40213 Düsseldorf @ Galerie Ursula Walbröl.
Lenz Geerk, geboren 1988 in Basel, studiert seit 2008 an der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, zunächst bei Siegfried Anzinger und nun bei Lucy McKenzie.
Schon seine erste Ausstellung mit dem Titel „Frühlings Erwachen“, ein Verweis auf Wedekinds Drama, widmete sich scheinbar banalen, doch im Moment der Einkehr erfassten Situationen.
In den Arbeiten von 2012 geht Geerk deutlicher auf Jugendlichkeit ein und stellt mit naiver Leichtigkeit in den Vordergrund, was seine Generation kennzeichnet: Die Taubheit und Schwermut junger Menschen angesichts einer vor Möglichkeiten überbordernden Welt. Das Internet nimmt viele Erfahrungen vorweg, gibt die Dynamik im Erkunden von Sexualität und Leidenschaft vor und regt gleichzeitig zur Selbstverwirklichung und - Inszenierung an. Was daraus resultiert ist oft Überforderung und Resignation. Auch die klassischste Form der Selbstdarstellung, die Mode, nimmt Geerk auf und greift dazu selbst zu Nadel und Faden. Neben neuen Gemälden werden mehrere Puppen in den Räumen in Stadtmitte präsentiert.

„Lenz Geerk’s work does not evoke the episodes that adults recall 20 or 30 years after their teens - the first kiss, the end of the world arguments, the joy-riding or the heartbreak - but instead revives the more realistic day-to-day feelings of storm and stress; of a self-doubt that feeds into lethargy. In his paintings subjects cast their backs to us, evasively, avoiding the empathy and pity that is evoked in these misty and bleached portraits of teenagers in turmoil. ?Escapism here comes in few forms for the 21st century teen: the fictional lives of those that 'live' in tv series, films, and console games, the activities these subjects are participating in are blurry or simply absent (the tennis court net, the television screen), whilst the roughly brushed outlines suggest their inconfidence, especially, for example, in new bonds between others. The viewer’s inability to focus mimics the way that a teenager, in angst, is saturated with opportunity, but can't 'find themselves'. In this newly globalised world ideas, people, news and images travel between east and west, mainstream and taboo, across the sexes, ethnicities and classes via the internet, but more than ever expressing oneself emotionally is difficult, and forming community no easier. Although teenagers have long been known as lovers of 'the new', the amount of choice on offer via consumerism has left teenagers feeling bewildered by the prospect of creating themselves on the shop-floor.
This same consumer-capitalism places immense pressure on both genders to adopt unachievable ideals of aesthetic perfection (or distortion), in Lenz Geerk's work this is epitomised in the symbol of the doll, or more sinisterly, 'the puppet'. With their unrealistically thin bodies and breakably long legs they represent this same ideal, appearing at once serene and generically expressionless (eyes cast to the ground, modestly), injured but dainty and shy. This archetype has grown disturbingly distant from the reality of the female form, but it is an ideal that is consistently broken and sewn up again, as can be seen on the skin of these dolls. Women's bodies are used as puppets to sell what-you-don't-have: they are used by the industry as trolleys (for clothes), by men (sexually), and dangerously by children as a mirror for their future selves.
The sleeping punk doll breaks away from the others (which are more accurately puppets), in that she, in her sleep, breaks away from the traditionally hard and scary stereotype of punk. Where capitalism may wish to box people in, in order to sell a neatly defined idea, she shows us that we are all underneath both naked and vulnerable.“
Natasha Vavere, London, 2012
Lenz Geerk Biography Page >