Haley Mellin
Biodiversity and Betadiversity

Opening – 24 APR 2024, 6-9 pm
Panel talk – Friday, 26 APR, 4 pm

Haley Mellin, Painting outdoors, Cloud Forest, Northern Highlands, Image courtesy DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM and the artist

DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM are pleased to present our first solo show by artist and dedicated conservationist Haley Mellin (born in Northern California, works in New York). The exhibition, entitled “Biodiversity and Betadiversity,” opens during the festivities of Gallery Weekend Berlin, Friday, April 26, 2024, and is on view through June 29, 2024. The exhibition is open for previews on Wednesday through Friday, April 24–26, from 11 AM to 6 PM.

In “Biodiversity and Betadiversity,” Mellin’s paintings and drawings underscore her lifelong commitment to environmental justice and the conservation and sustainable evolution of diverse ecosystems. In the body of work to be presented at DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, she focuses on a series of observational paintings and drawings of landscapes, both gestural and detailed, of the ecosystems she works to protect. Primarily working on location for inspiration, Mellin uses gouache and charcoal mediums for their non-toxic properties.

Haley Mellin, Northern Highlands, Gouache and ink on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, 45 x 62 centimeters, Image courtesy of DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM and the artist

Haley Mellin, Detail of Mother_s Milk, Charcoal and Conte on primed canvas backside, 2023, Image courtesy of DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Ofstudio photography and Giovanni_s Room

The resulting images are in conversation with the concepts of “legacy” and “permanence,” depicting conserved ecosystems through the various conceptual frameworks of the gallery/institution. Mellin’s practice intimates that just as one can be moved by a Goya centuries later, future generations will witness and learn from old-growth ecosystems who presence continues forward through conservation declarations and again in paintings and drawings.

Complementing the exhibition Biodiversity and Betadiversity, the gallery will host a panel conversation on Friday, April 26, 2024, at 4 PM, offering a diverse understanding of current thoughts on climate, balance, the natural world, and environmental narratives and histories. Participating invited panelists include Lisa Botti, assistant curator to Klaus Biesenbach at Neue Nationalgalerie, recent co-curator of Isa Genzken 75/75, and co-curator on upcoming exhibitions of works by Andy Warhol and Nan Goldin; Enuma Okoro, writer, curator, and Financial Times columnist, whose recent exhibition The Flesh of the Earth was on view at Hauser & Wirth, New York; Andreas Greiner, gallery artist and professor of media art at Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel, whose recent solo show at the gallery, Game of Life, focused on AI, hybrid-techno sculpture, and speculative Exodus strategies for planetary life; and Haley Mellin, exhibiting artist, land activist, and founder of Art for Acres. 

The panel is moderated by Klaus Biesenbach, German-American curator and museum director. Since January 2022, Biesenbach has been director of the Neue Nationalgalerie with Berggruen Museum and Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection as well as the berlin modern, currently under construction in Berlin.