BERLIN.- Gallery [DAM]Berlin
presents a solo exhibition of Gerhard Mantz with new virtual landscapes in Black and White.
In the series, the viewer enters the Earth after a major event. Whether it has been an explosion, that has covered the forests under a perfect thin layer of ashes, or a complete freeze of nature due to cold and frost, is not defined. The places that Gerhard Mantz shows in his virtual landscapes are not real places but landscapes of the soul. The strength of the pieces lies in their alienation and their ambivalence. Due to their brightness, they seem fragile and magic. Since the series is only executed in black and white, the light contributes an important part to the composition. It can be promising but equally be the blinding light of an explosion, a harbinger of a desaster.
Gerhard Mantz adds with his completely computer generated works a very contemporary position to the subject of landscape. Reminding at natural landscape views at first glance, his images refer through elements of alienation such as surface structures or irregularities of software to their creation process beyond real situations. They resemble archetypal landscapes that existed or will exist in far temporal distance, leaving the viewer in ambivalence confronted with the absence of any other living being and with the perspective of a lonely and often even threatened human being on nature.
"...An archetype is a stereotype before slipping into the banality of the commonplace. In other words, it is the beauty of the sky before becoming a desktop wallpaper. It is the end of the world before being translated into the last catastrophic blockbuster. It is a classical Venus before inspiring the last eau de toilette advertisement.
This is, in the end, what probably Gerhard Mantz is doing with his landscapes: turning stereotypes into archetypes, bringing them back to their origin and giving them back their original power..." (Excerpt of the catalogue text from Domenico Quaranta)
Gerhard Mantz (born 1950 in Neu-Ulm, Germany, academic education at the Kunstakademie Karlsruhe) lives and works in Berlin. International exhibitions e.g. Prague Biennial 4; P.S.1 MoMA, New York; Kunsthalle Würth; Micro Museum, Brooklyn; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; KMZA Berlin; Württembergischer Kunstverein; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Kunsthalle Rostock; Kunstverein Mannheim; Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; Kunsthalle Darmstadt.
Simultaneously, he participates at the exhibition "Gratwanderung" (ridge walk) at the Neuen Kunstverein Aschaffenburg e. V., s. http://nkvaschaffenburg.de/