Artist´s studio

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The art project was realized in a German-French artist’s studio. In two such joint studios, 32 German and French artists in 16 binational “duos” created 16 large-format paintings (“placards”, painted on wooden panels, 3.60 x 2.60 m). These dealt with the theme “La Fraternité/Brüderlichkeit” (Fraternity) against the background of the history of the Natzweiler concentration camp complex and were/are intended for exhibition in public space.

The 16 binational artists and their works:

Ann Loubert, Bernard Latuner, Christiane Bricka, Didier Guth, Elham Etemadi, Eva Schaeuble, Gabi Streile, Germain Roesz, Haleh Zahedi, Harald Gruber, Isolde Wawrin, Jacques Thomann, Jean Baptiste Defrance, Johannes Mundinger, Jost Schneider, Jürgen Zimmermann, Louis Danicher, Luc Demissy, Marie-Jo Daloz, Marie-Pascale Engelmann, Max Wetter, Mike Überall, Mina El Bakali, Pascal H. Poirot, Rainer Braxmaier, Sabine Brand Scheffel, Sylvie Villaume, Veronika Olma, Vincent Krüger, Walter Jung, Werner Schmidt, Wolfgang Ebert.

The Art association PlakatWandKunst has created an own website for the art project. There all artists and their works are presented in two languages (German and French). To the website please follow this link.

During the studios, the artist Sylvie Villaume recorded her thoughts on the collaboration of the binational artist duos and wrote a work that can be purchased through the CERD.

The following first six works were exhibited in Stuttgart in the Haus der Wirtschaft. The following twelve works were exhibited at CERD. After the parallel exhibitions, all works went on tour to the Natzweiler Memorials.

Vincent Krüger – Pascal Poirot

The leader dominate this artistic work. On the one hand, it represents the link between people, just as the Rhine bridge, which connects France and Germany, symbolically stands for it. On the other hand, however, the ladder also stands for the urge to stand up – or to get an overview. This work is the pictorial confrontation between two very different characters, which is reflected in the choice of opposing structures and colors. The artists played with each other, so that an approach, a letting oneself in on other ways of painting and views of the world can be recognized.

Max Wetter – Mina El Bakali

In this work, reddish and yellow colored areas deal with a darker painted “architecture” in an exciting way. This architecture, which tends to take up space, is determined by square structures that merge with leaf- or drop-shaped elements. The structures are based on works by the artist and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Human faces are captured in the colored areas on the left side of the picture – men and women, framed by fine latticework and threatened by disappearance.

This makes another reference point of the picture clear: Dante’s “Inferno”, the mythological description of a journey to hell, the archetype of an existential imprisonment of man. But the inner tension of the painting also contains many positive energies, which arise from the cooperation and exchange between two different artistic personalities.
Isolde Warwin – Marie Pascale Engelmann

“It is what it is…
a boat, a ladder
so it began
the horse, plants, ant and fire bug represent creation and its fullness as hope even in places of horror and remembrance – of incomprehensible suffering”. – so the two artists
The picture creates a counter-world to what happened in the camp and what is exhibited in the memorial today. It is the world of the living, of animals and plants. They express a hope. Ladder and boat are perhaps ways to get there. But these means of “getting out” hang in the air, the way remains uncertain – but the whole atmosphere of the picture says: it exists.
Harald Gruber – Bernard Latuner

A bridge runs horizontally through the picture, separating the warm from the cool colors – sunset and water – and symbolizing the connection and brotherhood of the two nations Germany and France. A smartphone and a tablet are attached to the bridge; they show the named “messages” of the two painters as an offer for communication conveyed by the media. Bernard Latuner brings in German and French coat-of-arms plants with oak and lilies, in addition to a labyrinth with subtle irony. Harald Gruber shows the plan of the world as an ideal garden, based on ideas of the Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten. “Over the course of time, this design work has (virtually) grown together to form a teaching garden concept, which the artist has given the working title MINI MUNDIS. How and whether the communication “runs” will be decided by the viewers.

Veronika Olma – Marie Jo Daloz

In this work, two very different styles face each other and find their place next to each other – a dark “past” and a brighter future – or a bright present and a darker future. The design of the transition zone appears interesting. At first glance, both sides are separated from each other, but approaching the work, one recognizes the collapse of the light colors into the dark and vice versa. In the black field you can see a “double dog”, its archetype comes from a porcelain factory in Nazi Germany, where forced laborers were also employed.

Jürgen Zimmermann – Luc Demissy

To create this picture, the artists concentrated on painting several figures in motion. Luc Demissy painted the figures and Jürgen Zimmermann cut the work over and over again until almost all the painted material had disappeared. This process of painting and grinding was repeated several times until the artists were satisfied with the result. More than half of the work done is no longer recognizable on the work. The painting has largely disappeared, as has the memory of the past. What remains is more important than what was created. The 12 European stars were made of gold leaf to show their value. They symbolize the image of perfection – that which strives within us to merge into one. The stars enclose the image in an eternal circle and thus preserve the memory.

Werner Schmidt – Christiane Bricka

Painting on the same landscape, varying her colors and gestures only slightly, her sensitivity has been adjusted to make sweeping stripes and small gestures as well as strong gestures and fine strokes vibrate. Fraternity = one landscape for two.

Sabine Brand Scheffel – Germain Roesz

The depth and clarity of the colors, with which they both enjoy working, create a spring-like freshness in their duo. They superimpose layers of color (abstraction) and precise gestures (suggestion of forms). Brotherhood = that it may be bright and radiant!
Gabi Streile – Elham Etemadi

Broad, thick strokes by Gabi Streile, airy coloring and white drawing by Elham Etemadi: her two types of painting bubble over with joy and energy. Their common color palette shows their strong will to exchange, with certain limitations. Her gestures celebrate life, making the forms vibrate, which begin to play. Brotherhood = a paradise of shapes and colors
Johannes Mundinger – Ann Loubert

Their realization shows a divided space, structured and dynamic. Even barriers rising from the background do not slow down the guide. Traces, shapes, figures and colors show gaps. Another idea of opening, a feast for the eyes. Brotherhood = transition and translation.
Rainer Braxmaier – Haleh Zahedi

In her painting, the figures seem a bit like birds, and the boat in which they sit navigates and sinks at the same time. Their subtle black humor expresses the tragicomic complexity of existence. Brotherhood = space for the vulnerability of the other.
Jost Schneider – Jacques Thomann

A landscape of vivid interventions, by each one individually, or by both together, expressing both fun and concentration while painting. Fraternity = sharing without discussing it.
Eva Schaeuble – Didier Guth

An abstract artist, a figurative artist. Her realization is determined by fine demarcations, by repainting each figurative element, and by the complementary colors. Figures stand out from her bright colors like necessary shadows.
Fraternity = a successful meeting.
Wolfgang Ebert – Jean Baptiste Defrance

In this duo, the interventions mix, contradict and complement each other until a structure of rounded corners imposes itself and invites to a negotiation table. Colored gray tones are here the material and symbol of exchange. Fraternity = negotiation material.
Walter Jung – Sylvie Villaume

The large form in the center of this picture is light or heavy, depending on the viewer’s perception. Depending on whether it is bone or cloud, it imposes its concentrated energy on us, as bone, or hovers, as cloud, over a colorful checkerboard pattern, resembling a picnic blanket. Here the shapes stand out and form a clear line. Fraternity = redefining intentions.

Mike Überall – Louis Danicher

Her painting shows us a wooded landscape that hides its secrets deep in its pictorial wilderness. Like a hyphen, white underlines the vivid colors in places. Fraternity = union of energy.