Tatjana Gerhard
Swiss, born 1974
Selected exhibitions
Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.,
Galerie Zink
Deweer Gallery at ARCOmadrid 2017,
Deweer Gallery
Biennial of Painting: Yoknapatawpha,
Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens

Tatjana Gerhard’s realist oil paintings feature a peculiar species of troll- or ghost-like figures set against somber, dark-hued landscapes, forming a dreamlike world with melancholic undertones. Leaving her works untitled, Gerhard gives no clues about her mysterious figures, who seem to oscillate between grotesque, horrific, playful, and comic. What does one make of two pairs of small, bare legs sticking out of a simple wooden box and stretching out over an indecipherable yellow form (Untitled, 2009), for instance? The simple scenes unfold intuitively and spontaneously in Gerhard’s mind, and she paints them quickly in the manner of the Surrealists’ Automatism in order to capture the essentials of her inspiration; she later finesses the canvas with additional thin layers of paint until it evolves into the final image.