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6 December - 15 February 2009
 
     
 
Heike Kathi Barath
nimm doch
 
     
  Heike Kati Barath paints super-sized pictures. The very opulence of these outsized images frequently coincides with subjects of a disarming naivety and lightness. Blond girls, defiant, strong, and, at the same time, vulnerable, stare the viewer down, as do grim-faced, pubescent spaghetti-eaters or surreal-looking yetis. The imagery of Barath's works is reminiscent equally of Astrid Lindgren's children's world of "Bullerbu" or the self-satisfied smugness of German Philistines, or, in fact, B-grade horror movies. Accordingly, too, the colour palettes of her pictures seem to range from sky-blue, infantile Laura Ashley aesthetics to the very blackest of abysmal depths. At the same time, the perfection and ease of her painting technique is counter-balanced by the disproportionate inadequacies of the subjects she depicts. In this way, viewers are drawn between grotesquely threatening exaggerations, on the one hand, and the suggestion of a cuddly aesthetic very nearly drifting off towards the realm of kitsch, on the other. Dread and laughter clash head-on in an unbraked directness of force that makes coming down with a decision on either side impossible. One may catch oneself out still wearing a bemused smile, while, at the same time, recalling media reports and images of abused children with sickening obtrusiveness. It is not just in this regard alone that Barath's pictures display their unique revealing power.
The exhibition has been organised in cooperation with the Columbus Art Foundation, Leipzig/Ravensburg.
 
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