Max Gärtner Frankfurter Allee 1810247 BerlinGermany
With his graphically abstract representations of various creatures, the Spanish/German artist, Max Gärtner, explores the tensions and interrelations between reality and the metaphysical, between the natural and supernatural.Having completed his Graphic Arts degree in Barcelona in 2008, Max Gärtner was not only involved in various projects with his artist group Barri Groc, but also made a name for himself as an illustrator and character designer in the animation industry. Furthermore, he has participated in various solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe with his artworks.
Since March 2012 he has been living and working in Berlin, where he has further established himself artistically, shifting into new dimensions - in the context of various worldwide exhibitions in galleries, museums and at art fairs.
“I consider the hand-drawn line to be of extreme importance, it’s the basis for all my work. To draw by hand represents, to certain extent, presenting one’s most inner self — there is no room for deception, the spectator receives an unadulterated insight.”
This artistic statement is reflected in the stunning detail of his portraits, which always stem from the hand-drawn line, despite their exploitation of an array of techniques.
Max Gärtner sees his purpose as an artist is to approach human existence on the metaphysical level.
His latest works, hand-cut paper figures, are inspired by ancient art of civilizations from which a direct link between spiritual belief and creative visual expression existed.
Since time immemorial, art has aided humans as a means of researching the irrational. Shamans were not only the scientists and healers, but also the artists of their societies. It is said they could enter a non-physical information space, inaccessible to others, where they obtained their powers and insights through the connection with spirits. Thus, the first cave paintings known to us contain numerous images of shamanic rituals and apparitions of godlike beings.These spiritual expressions of the shamans, and the art in which these expressions were depicted, formed a bridge for humans between the worldly and the inconceivable unworldly.
In his works, Max Gärtner also deals with areas of consciousness in which rational thinking and thus language as a mediating medium reaches its limits. The German-Spanish artist describes his creative process as the "science of feeling".
“In exploring the existence that stretches beyond organic matter, it is necessary to make the irrational graspable through feelings”.
In the modern world, one that is characterized by rationality and physical manifestations, art is able to render the irrational tangible, in an almost shamanic way.
Searching for creative manifestations that in the modern age establish a visceral connection with spiritual beliefs, Max Gärtner travelled to Bali,Indonesia.
On the so-called "Island of the Gods" Hinduism is the most prevalent religion, but it is uniquely influenced by a past animistic belief of the islanders. This is evidenced by various ancient land and mountain cults, the sense for the supernatural, the worship of natural deities and daily ritualistic sacrifices to gods and spirits.
The conviction that the visible material world is invariably suffused with an invisible, spiritual world, is omnipresent in Bali.As unique as the faith of Balinese society, is its art.
Wood carving is deeply rooted in the Balinese tradition, and the artistic discipline plays a central role in religious rituals.
The convergence of Max Gärtner's characteristic drawing style with traditional Balinese craftsmanship not only represents a fusion of visual expressions from different cultures, but additionally pays homage to the significance of spirituality in art.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS LAND OF GODS / Víctor Lope Gallery. Barcelona. 2016 ORIGINS / WOW Gallery. Heidelberg. 2015 NO LIE IN FIRE / BC Gallery. Berlin. 2014 ANIMAL WATCHING / Platoon Kunsthalle. Berlin. 2013 ANIMAL WATCHING in coll. with Pictoplasma and Bold / Bold Room. Berlin. 2013 ANIMALIA II / Bold Room. Berlin. 2012 ANIMALIA / La Plataforma Gallery. Barcelona. 2012
COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS, ART FAIRS
SCOPE MIAMI BEACH / Víctor Lope Gallery. Miami Beach. 2017SWAB CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR / Víctor Lope Gallery. Barcelona. 2017POP UP GALLERY / Villa Del Arte Galleries. New York City. 2017ART BODENSEE / Neue Kunst Gallery. Dornbirn. Austria. 2017AFFORDABLE ART FAIR / Villa Del Arte Galleries. New York City. 2017ART ON PAPER ART FAIR / Villa Del Arte Galleries. New York City. 2017DRAWING SCULPTURES / A two artist exhibition in collaboration with David Moreno / Neue Kunst Gallery. Karlsruhe. 2017ART BREDA ART FAIR / Van Dun Gallery. Breda. 2017WIKAM ART FAIR / Neue Kunst Gallery. Vienna. 2017ART KARLSRUHE / Neue Kunst Gallery. Karlsruhe. 2017FOUR PLAY / 30Works Gallery. Cologne. 2017ART.FAIR / Víctor Lope Gallery. Cologne. 2016SWAB CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR / Víctor Lope Gallery. Barcelona. 2016ART & ANTIQUE ART FAIR / Alp Galleries. Wiesbaden. 2016 CODE INCONNU / Víctor Lope Gallery. Barcelona. 2016ALP GALLERIES / Slava Seidel & Max Gärtner. Frankfurt am Main. 2015ART.FAIR / Víctor Lope Gallery. Cologne. 2015VERNISSAGE KÜNSTLERMESSE ART FAIR / WOW Gallery. Schloss Schwetzingen. 2015MARCO / Museum of Contemporary Arts Monterrey. Mexico. 2014MILLERNTOR GALLERY. Hamburg. 2014THE PICTOPLASMA PORTRAIT GALLERY GROUP SHOW / Kaufhaus Jandorf. Berlin. 2014WILLI BENDER / Wow Gallery. Berlin. 2014ART.FAIR / Julia Raab Gallery. Cologne. 2013FLY AUCTIONS. Hamburg. 2013NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS / Julia Raab Gallery. Berlin. 2013THE CONCEPT OF NATURE / Julia Raab Gallery. Berlin. 2013VICTOR LOPE GALLERY / Barcelona. 2013INSIDERS / N2 GALLERY. Barcelona. 2012DEL MURAL‘ART / at the metro of Barcelona. 2012COLECTIVA / Ignacio de Lassaletta Gallery. Barcelona. 2011PICTOPLASMA‘S MISSING LINK / Gaite Lyrique Theater. Paris. 2011Participation in the project SentArte, an initiative of SWAB which later exhibited works created during the art fair. Barcelona. 2011NON TOXIC FESTIVAL .Badalona. 2010LA BADALONA UNDERGROUND / El Refugi. Badalona. 2009THE GILGAMESH PROJECT / Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB). Barcelona. 2008THE GILGAMESH PROJECT / CaixaForum Museum. Barcelona. 2008
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