Anna Bittersohl "Save me from drowning"

October 4 - October 24 2014

Anna Bittersohl's studio visit is the first opportunity for St.Petersburg public to see her paintings from her workshop in Nuremberg.

The artist mostly works in series and the paintings, that were taken from a number of those, do not form a single narrative. Also you should not try to find one integral concept behind them. These paintings simply outline the topics the artist is interested in, namely the possibility for figurative art to exist in the framework of contemporary art.

Anna Bittersohl paints large-scale landscapes that may either be some wondrous jungle or the garden of Eden. She paints portraits of women, men and children. A fleeting glance will give you a feeling that these are indeed quite traditional and are to be expected from a recent Art's Academy student.

However, a deeper study shows you that the idealistic overgrown greens are spotted by pieces of aircrafts. A child's portrait gives you a vague hint of a dictator's profile image. The halo of a saint starts to look more and more like an astronaut’s helmet.

The painterly practice of the artist turns out to be some kind of game – thick layers of oil paint are merely a facade for a series of symbols and images from mass media and art history alike. Rembrandtesque portraits refer you to characters from horror movies. Victorian miniatures turn out to be portraits of your contemporaries. Twisted faces from Francis Bacon's paintings almost become a single abstract composition. The artist believes that Painting in nowadays is a huge forbidden adventure playground, you just have to figure out to deal with the freedom to play in it. However infantile this playground rhetoric might seem at first, it conceals a serious painterly study of the autonomy of contemporary practices in art, the viewer's perception of a ceaseless torrent of visual information as well as the relationship between the heavenly and the mundane.