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Galerie Christian Lethert opens its first solo exhibition of works by Henrik Eiben
Installation view.

COLOGNE.- Henrik Eiben’s (*1975) first solo exhibition at Galerie Christian Lethert opened parallel to the presentation of his work at this year’s New Positions at Art Cologne (Hall 11.2, Stand E 3).

At Art Cologne he exhibits his new glass works as well as watercolours while the exhibition at the gallery presents new works which move between abstract painting and sculptural object, thus giving a deeper insight into Eiben’s form vocabulary. His reduced form vocabulary evokes associations with minimal art but, instead of following strict definitions and categories, Eiben is more interested in different media states and the transitions that exist between them. By extending and questioning the form vocabulary of minimal art with nonchalance he creates subtle and multi-faced works which radiate a great sense of lightness.

The large-sized works Dropit (Armchair) (2016) and Dropit (Changing Places) (2016) consist both of two differently colored and textured monochrome surfaces and create the impression of a plain image surface. The contrasting combination of color and material is even more reinforced by a felt band placed between the contiguous edge of the canvases with leather lugs on the right and the left side. Eiben demonstrates his sensitivity for color, shapes, and materials also with the 4-part-work Giggle 3 (2016): fluorescent Plexiglas mixed with cashmere and framed with wenge or whitewood. These works not only give evidence of Eiben’s virtuosity with materials but also question the medium of painting and how he takes it to its limits.

One is tempted to reorganize the single geometric pieces of the work Little Dakar (2016) so that they turn into a rectangle. Perhaps the viewer feels reminded of the Chinese game tangram but in filling the blank space on the wall, one would miss the view on the differently colored edges that are to be discovered.

While Little Dakar (2016) and Tambourine (2015) can be described as wall based relief works, Eiben enters with his work Lamar 4 (2016) the space of sculpture. The three geometric objects protruding into the room seem to hover weightlessly on the wall and are created for the first time out of corian, which captivates the viewer through its intensity of color. A fascinating shadow play results from the colors and the three-dimensional elements.

On the occasion of the exhibition Running on Sunshine the gallery’s catalogue appears with the same title. The catalogue provides an overview of new works, an insight into the artist’s studio and, for the very first time, a few micro poems written by the artist himself: „we tried/ I didn’t know/ but I did know I had to try“.

Henrik Eiben, born in Tokyo studied at the Academy of Visual Arts and Design, Enschede (1997 until 2002), the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (2001) as well as at the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe under Silvia Bchli (2002 until 2004).

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