Gallery owners Carolin Leistenschneider and Philipp Haverkampf could not have chosen a better time for their latest exhibition. Nadine Schemmann’s textile works literally lift the dull Berlin gray – so rich are the greens that shine into the first room, so penetrating are the reds that jump off the wall. The works seem to exist in their own time and place, a world where there is no darkness. Schemmann, who made a name for herself as an illustrator and now works as an artist, views her paintings as an expression of encounters. Words, glances and touches are translated into colors by dumping ink, diluted oil paint and bleach onto linen and letting them slowly develop a life of their own.
Just as people find one other before parting ways, so the colors follow their own paths. They overlap – penetrating deep into the fibers before fading away, with every interaction leaving its trace. Interpersonal relationships are also reflected in how the fabrics are hung: some are mounted on frames so the surface is stretched and all the colors are visible, others are left loosely attached to the wall or floating sculpturally, their folds leaving the patterns concealed. Sometimes the edges of the fabric are neatly sewn, sometimes the loose threads hang down on the floor. While Schemmann’s technique places her in the tradition of color field painting, her art is decidedly personal. As a synesthete, she assigns certain colors to situations, people and things. What may seem abstract to gallery visitors is for Schemmann an archive of memories – a visual color diary which everyone can read.
Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Jens Ziehe, Courtesy Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin