“My teacher once said that I was incapable of painting calmness. With me, everything is in flux…This is partly because the images are produced in the open air, directly on site, because I am exposed to the natural elements, such as heat, cold, wind or rain, and I feel a resistance that I attempt to fight” (Christopher Lehmpfuhl)
Dear Sir/ Madam,
During Berlin Art Week, Galerie Kornfeld will for the first time present works by Berlin artist Christopher Lehmpfuhl, featuring new paintings, created especially for our exhibition. Common to all works is their examination of the city of Berlin in its diverse facets.
Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s expressive paintings chronicle the ecstasy of an immediate experience of reality, the act of seeing, as well as the transformation of the seen within painting. The artist always paints in front of his subject matter: some people might have already seen him go back and forth – highly focussed, with paint-spattered clothes – between canvass, paint bucket and palette, zooming in on his subject, before stepping back to barehandedly apply the paint to the canvas with precise movements. He thus creates three-dimensional colour reliefs with a strong haptic quality.
Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s performative act of painting has its origins in 19th century outdoor painting and Impressionism. It conveys the individual sensibility and the creative powers of an artist, who absorbs the atmosphere with all his senses, and braves the weather in order to transform an overall impression of colours, moments and moods of light, sounds, smells, and feelings into painting. The process of painting is the controlled realization of these sense impressions: “Just as the Golem was created from damp clay and became alive, you bring to life your landscapes and cityscapes, until they reach an intensity that almost surpasses their real-life models”, writes xxx, “they capture the atmospheric essence of the surrounding reality so vividly that the spectator almost has the impression of feeling the wind, smelling the earth, tasting the water and of hearing the sound of the big city. You reveal the dimensions beyond the surface of things.”
Christopher Lehmpfuhl begins his paintings directly on the canvass, without preparatory sketches; the subjects are formed from the colour itself. What at a distance appears as a house, an urban scene or a tree, on closer inspection becomes an abstract colour relief. The small-scale works, in particular, border on abstraction. Here, even more so than in the large-scale paintings, the artist seeks a specific tonal harmony and dissolves the motif into colour and movement. Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s works show their subjects at different times of day and year, in the blazing sun, in unremitting rain, in tempestuous winds or in snow. At the same time, his paintings document the development and transformation of architectural structures and cityscapes, most notably, perhaps, in the series devoted to the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, which have recently been exhibited, with great success, in Berlin and Hamburg.
Christopher Lehmpfuhl’s work directly targets the perception of the viewers, who not only see the subject of a specific painting through the artist’s eyes, but who also, after viewing his images, perceive their surroundings with a heightened awareness. This is especially true for the works in our exhibition, given that they show motifs familiar to us all.
Christopher Lehmpfuhl was a master student of Klaus Fußmann at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin (now Universität der Künste/ University of the Arts Berlin). He has received numerous awards, including a scholarship from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, the GASAG Art Award Berlin, as well as commissions to paint the 16 States of the Federal Republic of Germany for the 20th anniversary of Germany’s reunification, and, in 2016, an art edition for the Neue Züricher Zeitung. His works have been shown in museums and galleries for years, and were exhibited most recently at Art Basel, the Museum Villa Rosenberg in Weilburg, the Rudolf Stolz Museum in Sexten (South Tyrol), as well as in the Foyer of the Humboldt Forum Berlin. In 2012, his retrospective “Berlin Plein-Air 1995-2012” was inaugurated at the Alte Münze Berlin by the then State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann. Another retrospective, “Schlossplatz im Wandel”, is planned for 2018/19 in Berlin.
On Wednesday 27 September at 6:30 pm, Lisa Zeitz, editor-in-chief of WELTKUNST, will be in conversation with Christopher Lehmpfuhl about his painting.
Should you require further information, or wish to interview the artist, do not hesitate to get in touch.
We are happy to provide printable images on request.
We look forward to your feedback.