At the beginning of the year 2020, we will be showing new paintings by the Berlin-based painter Franziska Klotz in dialogue with sculptures by the New York-based artist Patricia Ayres.‍

Franziska Klotz paints landscapes, figures or structures that she observes in real life. The scrutiny of reality and existential questions of being are just as critical to her as the means of painting per se: Composition, colour, form and individual expression. Patricia Ayres makes sculptures out of fabric and other soft materials that evoke deformed archetypes of femininity. The vulnerability of the body becomes apparent, and also the striving of the soul for unconditional freedom.

“The work of Franziska Klotz is currently in a fascinating junction,” says Christoph Tannert, artistic director of Kunsthaus Bethanien. “Things are evolving. There is a noticeable transitional element that sets the tone of the whole exhibition. This shift has both an existential and an artistical aspect.

Many artists passionately cherish the state of incognito, which hints towards dissociation. Franziska Klotz does not. With her new works, she reacts to her life and art with acute awareness. Those who know how to read Klotz’s paintings will perceive a particular, emotional moment in them, which connects the private inner world with the public environment.

From an artistic point of view, Klotz's annual production in 2019 is more concentrated, stylistically more condensed, and more oriented towards the significance of colour as matter. It includes drawings as well as small to mid-format oil on canvas paintings. More than ever before, Franziska Klotz respects the autonomy of artistic values as the essential factors in the transformation of reality.

Paintings of young people in times of crisis thematise mood swings and the challenges of coming of age.

The highlight of the artistic self-interrogation of Klotz is the painting “Moorbrücke”, a symbolic painting constructed upon brown/white/grey/blue panels in which insecurity and instability constitute the horizon of interpretation in the life of every human being. This painting that points both towards the whence and the whither is a meditative bridge from colour to a transcendent reality. Franziska Klotz only primed the canvas partially, and she playfully places codes in the upper part of the painting with charcoal to lead the viewers into the open and ultimately to leave them to their own devices without easy answers…”

Associative candour also characterises the work of Patricia Ayres. Her amorphous, humanoid sculptures are sisters with the Venus of Willendorf and thus with a prehistoric expression of femininity. Simultaneously they are related to the fetish-like dolls of Hans Bellmer. An outer skin of coloured rubber bands, fabric and yarn, held together by hooks, eyelets and carabiners, stretches over a construction of cotton wool, foam rubber and plywood. The small-format works in our exhibition could just as well represent heads as torsos. Associations with skin-coloured underwear of the past come to mind. One could think of corsetry, which shapes the female body according to mostly male ideals, but also of straitjackets, which inhibit the need for movement of the mentally ill through fixation. The vulnerability of the figures is mirrored in the pedestals made of concrete blocks stacked on top of each other, some of which are painted. All the same, the irrepressible power of Patricia Ayres' sculptures is all too evident, their unquenchable urge to break free and to literally tear the bonds and thus liberate not only the body but also the mind.‍

Franziska Klotz was awarded the Max Ernst Scholarship of the City of Brühl and worked for more than six months as a fellow of the German Cultural Academy Tarabya in Istanbul at the invitation of the Goethe Institute in 2015 and 2018. Her works are exhibited worldwide, for example at the 4th International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow 2014, at the 56th October Salon in Belgrade 2016 and the Fanø Art Museum in Denmark 2017. In 2018, her works were exhibited as part of the presentation of fellowship holders of the Tarabya Cultural Academy in Hamburger Bahnhof. In 2019, the Cultural Forum Schorndorf dedicated the exhibition “Ölregen” to her, which was accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Gerald Matt and Karin Schulze.

After completing her fine arts studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with a BFA and an MFA from the Hunter College of the City University of New York, Patricia Ayres graduated from the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture as master student in 2019. The works of the multi-award-winning artist, who came to Berlin for the first time in 2007 on a scholarship, were shown in 2019, among others, in the exhibition "Entering a Song" at Koenig & Clinton in Brooklyn, New York.

Should you require further information, or printable images, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to arrange an interview appointment with Franziska Klotz in Berlin or establish contact with Patricia Ayres in New York.