"You can gaze out there for hours – but the sea never looks back!"
Nothing less than the sublimity of nature is the theme addressed by Jochen Hein, who was born in Husum in 1960. "Man´s wish to converse with something nobler than himself initiates my paintings and is the driving force of my work," says Hein, describing his paintings of local landscapes. These studies of nature are not anachronistic but timeless. Their precision and brilliance bring to mind the German romantics, their atmospheric density evokes the essence of a moment. Some of his paintings are scarcely larger than an exercise book, others cover a whole wall in the museum. Whatever their size, Hein´s paintings reveal the power, vastness and mysteriousness of nature, which men can touch and shape, but which copes perfectly without them.
Jochen Hein´s paintings reveal a depth and variety in detail and structure in a quality superior to any technical reproduction. Hein´s motifs are collective archetypes – like trees, grass or the sea - which he paints, using an elaborate technique, applying delicate layers of paint to solid, well-nigh sculptured canvases. "The tension between the spatial effect of the paintings from a distance and their plain material texture from up close reflects the tension between expectation and reality."
Hein´s paintings are sparkling art works with a huge picturesque appeal as well as windows onto an apparently familiar yet barely fathomable nature.
Dr. Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum and former Director of the Galerie der Gegenwart (Gallery of Contemporary Art) at the Hamburg Kunsthalle