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Ernst Kraft - The Labyrinth at Accord Gallery
Ernst Kraft.

LEON, GUANAJUATO, MEXICO.- On the 19th of October the new exhibition of Ernst Kraft will be opened in the Accord Gallery, in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, entitled: “The Labyrinth”. The exhibition of this Dutch artist, who lives and works in Malaga, Spain, combines his recent work on paper and an installation designed specially for the occasion in the green area of the Alzheimer Foundation, a sponsor of the show, together with the University and the Museum of the City, in Leon.

The installation “The Labyrinth”, consists of the actual labyrinth in the adjacent garden, on a 14 x 10 meters surface, four series of prints and a video of 10 minutes with music from Giacinto Scelsi, Schönberg , Yves Bosch and Lázaro Leiva, which will be shown in a continuous loop.

“The labyrinth, as a metaphor of life, and its interconnections of thoughts, memories and emotions, has been the starting point of the project. The brain not only has a visual likeness to the labyrinth, its functioning is comparable. Suffering from the Alzheimer syndrome could be interpreted as desperately losing the way in the path of the past and present. It is not the case that memories, or reasoning or affective emotions get lost, it’s simply hard to find, and to find again, the roads leading to them.

The phenomena of the labyrinth is ancient and always surrounded by metaphors of personal life or life in general, “memento mori”, o the vía crucis... The labyrinth is an organism. The road system is a labyrinth , as is the city, the district, the office, the home, the dormitory, the computer, the brain and within the brain where there are more labyrinths. In the centre of every labyrinth you find the entrance to the next one. Or vice versa: leaving one, you find yourself in the centre of the labyrinth that holds the one you left behind…

Thus, it occurred to me to design for the green area of the Alzheimer Foundation a labyrinth shaped as an abstract styling of the transversal cut of the brain. I wanted to integrate the symbols of infinity, continuality, the cycles of birth and death, the fact that in every organism exists the germ for new organisms, it repeats, it modifies, but still will be part of the same system, like an endless set of Russian dolls. It seems to me that nothing better symbolizes this idea than the planting of a walnut tree in the centre, in the cross of the axes of the labyrinth. And I will wait patiently until my walnut tree will give birth to its fruits, until they will fall on the gravel of the labyrinth, burst open and show their interior, small labyrinth brains, each one of them capable of creating an infinity of other labyrinths.

Imagine you are born as a walnut, and when you say farewell to the shell, that sails away as a miniature yacht, there is nothing else you can do than follow your own trails carved into your being…. there are always two options: zero or one, like a chip. At the crossroad you can’t judge the consequences, you can only judge them if you climb to the top of the tree, but because of the laws of gravity, it is difficult to fall upwards…”

Ernst Kraft has a extensive artistic career, with a long list of exhibitions and projects, at national and international level, in particular in Spain, Germany, the UK and in Holland. At present Kraft is the coordinator of the Drawing Project Din A4 Spain, and an honorary member of the Cultural Association Terra Dell´Arte.

Concurrent with the installation, The Labyrinth, his recent paintings will be on display in the Accord Gallery. The colouration of his work is clearly anchored in the Mediterranean soil, including rarely used pigments like tar, medical iodine, or industrial terrazzo red. He applies them with carriers like acrylics, latex and encaustics. The wax and encaustics, due to their particular way of spreading the pigments over the surface, give rise to an aquarelle like appearance in the work, but also serve as a finish. His work handles the tension - or the drama – provoked by the graphic impact between abstract narrative and the spacious and airy backgrounds. On the canvasses with their layers of diluted paint, the dimension of time is fundamental to show the sequences of movements and their resonance in texture. Yet in his paintings on paper it is the instant movement that governs the work, with neither before nor after, without retouching…

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