Heike Gallmeier – Vertigo: Blurring the Lines between The Real and The Obscure

This summer NN Contemporary Art is opening its doors to an exhibition of new work by Berlin-based artist Heike Gallmeier entitled Vertigo. In anticipation of the upcoming show, Gallmeier took a ten day journey from Berlin to Northampton using a transport van as a small mobile studio. Heike Gallmeier travelled, worked and lived in the van, avoiding main roads and collecting discarded objects and materials on the way. She then installed the mobile studio cube at NN Contemporary Art, creating a site-specific installation constructed from found objects and treasures from her journey taking the back streets and country lanes through Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK.

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Alongside the mobile studio cube and an installation of the collected objects, the artist shows complex staged photographs. For her photographs Heike Gallmeier creates sculptural constellations based on art-historical imagery. Her works reconstruct pictorial spaces from old paintings into spatial and abstract compositional structures.  Gallmeier’s pictorial exploration leads her from the two-dimensional painting, to the three-dimensional sculptural installation and from there back to the two-dimensional picture for her works that take photographic form as their final appearance; the picture-based sculpture repeats a painting and the photographed sculpture repeats the repetition.

Within Gallmeier’s work the alternation between two and three dimensions blurs the lines between actual space and obscure space, between pictographic representation and sculptural representation and between the architectural and the proven. Gallmeier’s installations are part set design, part photography, part sculpture, and part painting in a very intriguing way. The found elements are parallel to the found art-historical images whose pictorial spaces they reconstruct. The show focuses around the unfinished, a done yet undone painterly sculpture. Perhaps it was about finding a new way of painting with sculpture.

Born in Berlin in 1972, Heike Gallmeier studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Mainz and finished her studies in the master class of the sculpture department at the Art Academy Berlin-Weissensee. She has exhibited internationally and received awards and stipends of Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, Senate of Berlin, Goethe Institut and Deutsches Studienzentrum in Venice.

Vertigo runs until 4th October at NN Contemporary.

Ikran Abdille