Setareh Gallery is inaugurating its third art space with the exhibition Vivian Greven Natascha Schmitten. Ghost. Beneath a wisp of playful ease and sensual grace, Ghost divulges an enigmatic simultaneity of materiality and immateriality, opacity and transparency, reality and artifice.
Vivian Greven (b. 1985) immerses the pure human countenance – in the form of a portrait, nude, or eerie textile figure – in a painting style employing Old-Masterly hues and pictorial spaces. The porous surfaces of her canvasses coalesce with the figures’ oil-painted skins, creating a subtle materiality. For her work, the artist also draws on art-historical masterpieces, which – as in the case of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa– she translates from marble sculpture into painting, emphasizing only the aspect that for her is fundamental: Teresa’s ecstatic swoon at the overwhelming sight of the angel.
Natascha Schmitten (b. 1986) drapes her fragmentary pictorial spaces in a mysterious triad of transparent and opaque paints, indeterminable light sources and abstract forms on nylon.
The surface appears matte and at the same time smooth as porcelain – like a delicate, finepored, vibrant, breathing skin which, stretched on the frame, becomes a skeleton of painting.
The point of departure is painterly objectivity, which Schmitten translates into spheres of light and dissolves – partially mirrored – in abstract formal elements, thus silently releasing them into a state beyond recognition.