Rosier Gallery is pleased to present the over 40 works in Gerhard Mantz’s Forest and Swamp from November 13, 2014 – February 17, 2015. This exhibit marks the first time Rosier Gallery has shown Gerhard Mantz’s digital art.
Gerhard Mantz’s painterly work arises not from a specific location or the artist’s memory but rather from his imagination. These verdant landscapes, which are devoid of human or animal life, are constructed based upon specific archetypes to evoke feelings and moods. These archetypes include Paradise, a metaphor for life’s ultimate, Cave, evoking the birthing experience, and End of the World, where space ends and time stands still. While at first glance these images may appear photographic, with careful viewing the works are revealed as a virtual reality.
Gerhard Mantz’s work is digital art imagined within the artist’s mind and realized via computer programs. Fine artists have increasingly embraced computer technology to realize their artistic visions. Examples include David Hockney’s use of the Brushes app and a stylist to create his iPad drawings and Ruud van Empel working within Photoshop to digitally integrate images of models, clothing and the surrounding natural details to realize his final works. In Gerhard Mantz’s case, he employs Photoshop and Vue, a 3D program to create realistic and fantastic landscapes, waterscapes and citiscapes. Mantz builds upon his initial archetype framework conception using these computer programs to realize his vision by constructing step-by-step the simulated light, atmosphere, water, terrain and flora that evoke a rich emotional response rather that depict a specific place.
Gerhard Mantz’s Forest and Swamp works have roots within the Romantic tradition of Caspar David Friedrich, Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. While these 19th century artists typically work from a specific geographic location and then might modify that reality to better convey the emotion they strove to create, Mantz abandons geographic location entirely and works exclusively from his imagination thus creating a more personalized, interior body of work. By exploring and embracing today’s technology, the artist brings the Romantic tradition into contemporary times.
Gerhard Mantz’s work has been widely exhibited, particularly in Europe, with over 70 solo shows and over 90 group exhibitions. Eleven books of the artist’s work have been published including most recently, in 2013, a limited edition by Kommunale Galerie in Berlin, “BIOTOPE”. Gerhard Mantz has earned seven scholarships including twice being awarded both the Scholarship of the Senat, Berlin and the Scholarship Cité des Arts, Paris. The artist originally trained as a sculptor after studying at the Academy of Arts in Karlsruhe from 1970 – 1975. Gerhard Mantz was born in Neu Ulm, Germany in 1950 and currently lives and works in Berlin.