Friedemann Heckel
Open Doors


Opening—16 Nov 2023, 6–8 pm

Courtesy of Friedemann Heckel and Sweetwater, Berlin. Photo: Joanna Wilk


Each of the three large sepia-tone watercolors are based on photographs from Heckel’s grandparents’ archive: a 1942 portrait of his grandfather’s military horse, an image of an empty table from their 1949 wedding, and a view through a large window from the interior of their recently-demolished post-war modernist bungalow originally completed in 1961. Two smaller-scale watercolors are based on Heckel’s own photographs of a fish kill in Berlin’s Landwehr Canal in the summer of 2023. Curtains dyed with iron rust hang from the gallery’s ceiling; porcelain casts of the door handle of Heckel’s grandparents’ home are installed on walls and lying on the floor throughout. Open Doors connects a melancholic past with the present, subtly weaving together broad intergenerational perspectives and latent inter-familial intricacies.

Friedemann Heckel (*1986, Hamburg) lives and works in Berlin. Open Doors is his second exhibition at Sweetwater, following More than what I am providing, a two-person exhibition with Luzie Meyer in 2019. Recent solo exhibitions include 2020-2023 and Konversationen at Galerie Thomas Fischer, Berlin, in 2023 and 2021, respectively. Heckel received his Meisterschüler degree from the Universität der Künste, Berlin, in 2012.

Friedemann Heckel, Türgriff, 1961, 2023, Courtesy of Friedemann Heckel and Sweetwater, Berlin. Photo: Joanna Wilk