Toni Mauersberg
Entre Nous

Gallery Openings—15 Sep 2023, 6 to 9 PM

Toni Mauersberg at Galerie Georg Nothelfer

Toni Mauersberg, In Frames, 2021, Oil on wood, 40 x 30 cm each, © VG Bild-Kunst, Courtesy die Künstlerin und Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Photo: Gernot Seeliger

“Their specific doubling—both in adaptation of the historic original and in its combination as a new pair—as an imperative set by the artist offers information about an aspect of the pictorial structure that is of essential interest to Mauersberg: ‘the creation of a new total-image [Gesamt-Bild] as a diptych’ (Mauersberg)—a picture that is at once a single and a double.”

Denise Koller, Art Historian

Every painting is the greatest enemy of another, as is commonly said among painters. But one could just as rightly claim that they need each other—and only the view through the time reveals the bigger picture. In the exhibition Entre Nous Galerie Georg Nothelfer, for the first time, shows works by the Berlin female painter Toni Mauersberg (b. 1989). Her combination of non-figurative paintings with portraits brings both of their “madeness” out of mere colour into view and at the same time expands their interpretative potential: In symbolic and art-historical aspects, this creates new connections between expressions, colours, forms and painting manners. The dialogue between the paintings is intended to open up the viewer’s own ways to decipher seemingly hidden rules within images and examine the readability of abstract painting as a complex pictorial language—whose origins also lie in the search for new forms of spirituality and liberation.

A catalogue entitled Entre Nous will be published by Verlag DCV in conjunction with the exhibition. 

Toni Mauersberg at Galerie Georg Nothelfer

Toni Mauersberg, Fremdes Fühlen, 2020, Oil on wood, 32 x 28 cm each, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Photo: Gernot Seeliger, © VG Bild-Kunst

Archiv SANDER I SCHAAL in community with Eduardo Chillida, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Galli, Gerhard Hoehme, Walter Menne, Robert Motherwell, Max Neumann, Georges Noël, Arnulf Rainer, Richard Serra, Fred Thieler

Gallery Openings—15 Sep 2023, 6 to 9 PM

At the interface between quotation and further development, Finja Sander and Daniel Schaal create an open-ended review with INVENTORY that focuses on the art production of European and North American post-war modernism. In times of ever-increasing political crises, it is a central concern of both artists to approach works and ideas of the equally crisis-ridden postwar era and to make them fruitful for contemporary modes of art production. To this end, Schaal and Sander examined the collection of Galerie Georg Nothelfer and looked for works that convey different ways of dealing artistically with the concept of the state of emergency. Bringing those works into the gallery space, subjecting them to a catchy appraisal, re-contextualizing them and ultimately reactivating them, is thus the central moment of the second collaboration between archiv SANDER | SCHAAL and Galerie Georg Nothelfer.

INVENTORY lives from its distances, gaps and voids. Thus, the works of the artists, all of whom were born before 1950, and the processual, intuitive working method of archiv SANDER | SCHAAL are juxtaposed from a temporal and formal perspective. Their practice is furthermore characterized by contrasts:  Daniel Schaal (*1990, all pron.), for example, approaches the paradoxes and mass aesthetics of our contemporary consumer society with the help of traditional printing processes. Finja Sander (*1996), on the other hand, deals with mechanisms of remembrance and commemoration in constellations of performance and sculpture that develop over long periods of time. While Sander looks at the past from the perspective of the present, receives it and continues to think about it, Schaal uses multimedia techniques to explore current phenomena of our time, researching narratives and the potential of everyday objects that surround the artist and locate his existence.

In individual undertakings, such as for the current exhibition INVENTORY, Sander and Schaal take their different ways of working and thinking as an opportunity to create joint works that connect the individual approaches in perspective and allow them to grow. 

From performative gatherings that are further developed into installation-based structures, they repeatedly test anew the possibility of collaboration between seemingly incompatible forms of work.

The reduction to formal language, the use of one’s own body as a starting point and the play with previously untried materials are strategies that are also characteristic of post-war artistic production.

If we look at the works of Galli, Georges Noël, Arnulf Rainer or Fred Thieler, the relevance of physical effort becomes apparent even in its absence. Expression does not stem from the mind here, but from the totality of the body in intuition and affect. For the exhibition, Sander and Schaal chose positions that show the formal diversity arising from this approach and open up a wide field of tension between figurative and abstract ways of representation.

After an intensive working process lasting several weeks in the gallery space and in public, the newly created works by Sander and Schaal are integrated into the fluid exhibition concept. While the provisionally laid blue PVC tarpaulin initially served as pragmatic protection for the gallery floor, Sander and Schaal now use it as part of their series of works “Staring, into Everything”. This series focuses above all on the subject of looking at something, of immersing oneself in something.

Sander and Schaal stage themselves as anonymous recipients. At the same time, they seem to almost dissolve in the previously made digital reproductions of the historical works and give up their independence.

The reduction to formal language, the use of one’s own body as a starting point and the play with previously untried materials are strategies that are also characteristic of post-war artistic production.

“Staring into Everything”, the result of Sander and Schaal’s artistic stocktaking in the rooms of Galerie Nothelfer, is an echo, a commentary, an extension, but also a preservation and a standstill.

The works created by the two artists during the process will be juxtaposed with works from the Nothelfer Collection. The second opening on 13 October marks the transition between the working phase and the final presentation. 

“The two artists are in the process of entirely reinterpreting and presenting the collaborative process in fine arts. They consciously refrain from striving for symbiosis. Almost like in free improvisation known from Free Jazz, there are in each case two artistic positions that act together, against each other, side by side in an open process. This presupposes mutual trust, a withdrawal of one’s own ego, sensitive exploration and sensing of the other.”

Gunda Krüdener-Ackermann