“And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains,
and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers,
and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars,
but themselves they consider not.” ―Petrarch
MARC STRAUS is pleased to announce our fourth solo exhibition of new paintings by the Leipzig painter Ulf Puder.
Ulf Puder belonged to the first generation of graduates from the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts and was on the forefront of a new movement known as The Leipzig School, whose visual language is characterized by both a strong narrative quality and a mastery of the brush. Puder’s work has long been influential to a younger generation of painters across Europe.
With turbulent skies and toppling buildings, Puder’s masterful paintings of apocalyptic landscapes depict desolation; in fact, they unabashedly present the beautiful power of Nature. Seeing relations between natural forces and human society, Puder reflects on this very coexistence-man-made structures and natural foliage stand side-by-side come what may.
Yet, there’s a disquieting familiarity to it all. Perhaps we’ve seen such scenes, glancing out the car on a road trip, or could it be our inner anxieties of urban loneliness manifested? Like Caspar David Friedrich, Puder’s paintings are perhaps elegies of the modern society. Puder takes the tradition of 17th century Dutch Golden Age masters such as Nicolaes Molenaer, updated with contemporary colors and abstraction. In his work, there is an indelible light vis-à-vis the human spirit that cannot be extinguished.
Puder (b. 1958, Leipzig) has had numerous international solo shows and is part of major public and private collections, such as The Museum für Moderne Kunst, in Frankfurt, Germany, and Hildebrand Collection in Leipzig. Most significantly, Puder was included in After the Wall, an exhibit shown at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (1999), the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and the Museum Ludwig in Budapest (2000).