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Straight from Berlin: Paintings and works on paper by Uwe Kowski and Jörg Herold opens at Ruiz-Healy Art
Uwe Kowski, Schlaf, 2013. Oil on canvas, 140 x 180 cm | 55.12 x 70.87 in. Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin. Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Ruiz-Healy Art, in collaboration with Galerie EIGEN + ART, Leipzig / Berlin, presents Straight from Berlin: Paintings and Works on Paper by Uwe Kowski and Jörg Herold. The exhibition opened on March 27. Uwe Kowski and Jörg Herold are acclaimed as members of the New Leipzig School, a group of artists identified with Neo Rauch who were born in then-East Germany and trained at the traditionally-inclined Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst Leipzig (Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts). Recognized and championed by galerist Gerd Harry Lybke of Galerie EIGEN + ART, Kowski and Herold have achieved international recognition for their use of highly-tuned skills to express questions of value and direction in a time of indecision, loss, and anomie. This collaborative exhibition at Ruiz-Healy Art offers American viewers a rare opportunity to see their newest work: Straight from Berlin.

Uwe Kowski was born in 1963, and apprenticed as a sign painter before taking up studies in painting at the Leipzig Academy. Using elements of figuration, text, and references to landscape, Kowski’s paintings often appear to have been created spontaneously, but are highly-constructed formal works that exist on the boundaries of traditions of realism and abstraction. However, says the artist: “I don’t see myself as an abstract painter because any painter is basically abstract if they are any good.”

In his catalogue essay for Kowski’s 2008 exhibition, "Uwe Kowski. Gemälde und Aquarelle von 2000 - 2008,” Küster identifies a host of historic echoes in Kowski’s painting, ranging from the reflection of light in the water-lily ponds of Claude Monet, to the sure-handed intensity of Willem de Kooning. Of great importance throughout Kowski’s history, from his early works in the 1990s to today, is his attention to the eternal difficulty of depicting the three-dimensional world in two-dimensions--a question so time-worn, remarks Küster--as to seem banal. But in Kowski’s works the conundrum is re-enlivened. The dream of painting is like the ocean: an immense volume, entered through a surface.

Born in 1965 in Leipzig, Jörg Herold, like Kowski, also began his training outside the fine arts, learning stucco work before attending the Leipzig Academy of Visual Art--where he met Uwe Kowski--and the Weissensee Art Academy, in Berlin. Herold, whose works embrace painting, collage, performance, and film, came to international renown through his participation at the Venice and Sydney biennales and documenta X. Calling himself a “documentary archaeologist,” Herold takes trips to lands both literal and imaginary to recapture lost histories, recounting stories that range from Joseph Beuys mythic crash and salvation in the Crimea during WW II, to confrontations with the birth of racist theory in artifacts found in the Republic of Georgia.

In his new pieces presented in Straight from Berlin, Herold uses found photographic images of idyllic rural scenes which are digitally printed, then washed with stain, water colors, and Chinese ink. Like the effects of the onslaught of experience on harbored definitions, his painterly overlays cast a quivering filter over a past that refuses to settle into resolution.

Works by Uwe Kowski and Jörg Herold are held in many international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Deutsche Bank Collection, Berlin. For the Bundestag in Berlin, Herold created the art on the construction project "Lichtspur über der Datumsgrenze" which was inaugurated in 2003. The catalogues for Kowski’s 2005 exhibition, “Weiss,” and "Uwe Kowski. Gemälde und Aquarelle von 2000 - 2008,” with the seminal essay by Ulf Küster, will be presented during a book signing attended by Uwe Kowski and Galerie EIGEN + ART director Nina von Lichtenstern during the March 27, 2014 opening at Ruiz-Healy Art. To request more information and high-resolution images of the exhibition please contact the gallery at 210-804-2219.

Founded in 2004, and located in the historic Olmos Park District of San Antonio, Ruiz-Healy Art specializes in contemporary and modern art with an emphasis on Latin American artists and artists living in, or with a connection to, Texas.

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