Kristina Sedlarevic — Press release for the exhibition „Burn On“
Galerie Siedlarek, Frankfurt am Main, 2023
Galerie Siedlarek is pleased to announce “Burn On,” a solo exhibition by Frankfurt-based artist Jennifer Bannert. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
The upcoming exhibition spotlights a selection of paintings and photographs, including pieces created between 2019 and 2022, as well as new works made during the artist‘s recent three-month residency in Los Angeles, California.
Bannert’s work is characterized by abstract depictions of natural phenomena that expand the potential of representing light beyond its conventional territories. The works on view illustrate how the artist dovetails vibrant colors, reflective aluminum surfaces, and natural light in order to emphasize fleeing atmospheric situations. Her exploration of the sensory effects of light informs both the UV-printed photographs and paintings made on metal surfaces, replete with light, often left clear of paint at the brightest spots, as well as canvases with opaque moonlit representations of the star-filled sky.
Drawing inspiration from the artists of 19th-century Romanticism and the legacy of American post-war abstraction, Bannert seeks to formulate a more contemporary treatment of nature. Rather than adhering to the fixed traditions of composing landscapes for the pleasure of the viewer, Bannert deploys abstract visuality to obscure clarity of vision. As a result, her works elude clear comprehension of depth, beginnings, or ends, as a way to eschew the subjection of the image to the spectator. What adds to this experience is the lack of one clear viewpoint from which her work can be observed. In this sense, the ethereal effects of the shimmering light only reveal themselves with each shift of the spectator’s point of view, further contributing to the inability to fully grasp the image.
By weaving the effects of entropy, tension and uncertainty, and drawing the viewer in a play of perceptions, the artist implies that nature is not an opposite sphere, but a place both heavily impacted by and pressingly relevant for human existence. Influenced by her considerations of the effects of climate change, Bannert explores what constitutes the concept of the sublime today. The term was historically associated with the experience of astonishment over nature’s beauty and its overwhelming potentials, grasped from a safe distance. Bannert‘s works dissove all distance, evoking simultaneously a sense of awe and a sense of losing control. In this way, the artist renders landscape a contemporary artistic concern par excellence.
Borrowing a term from the field of psychology that refers to the uninterrupted continuation of everyday life despite the evidence of burnout, the exhibition title encapsulates reflections on the relationship between men and nature that underlie Bannert’s practice and urges the viewers to assess their role in evolving natural processes.