Roberts Projects

Eberhard Havekost: Take Care

26 Feb - 02 Apr 2011

Oil on Linen
Opening February 26, 2011 6pm-8pm

Roberts & Tilton is pleased to announce, Take Care, an exhibition of new paintings by Berlin based artist, Eberhard Havekost. Works included in Take Care, Havekost’s second show at Roberts & Tilton, will travel from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden, Germany. These recent paintings investigate the relationship between painted images and photographic sources, from which Havekost typically derives his motifs. Havekost’s photographic references drain the image of its recognizability and as Barry Schwabsky notes in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen’s catalogue, Ausstellung:

It is liable to distort or decontextualize and thereby alienate things from their images, and this tendency of the photograph to alienate its referent is clearly something that greatly interests the artist. For this reason one would be tempted to describe many of his more recent abstract. But on further consideration, it would be better to resist that temptation; it would be better to say that they are like abstractions, or that they resemble abstractions, than that they are abstractions. If anything, it would be preferable to say that they are representations of something that refuses to be identified.

But what about the paintings—and there are many of these as well—in which the motif is quite legible? [...] One has no trouble naming the motifs of these paintings. But still, in these cases, there is a certain invitation to project, as in the quasi-abstractions, and also a similar evocation of the futility of doing so. In the depictions of figures, this can at least in part be accounted for by the fact that in every case, the face is obscured.

Gamboni has pointed out that ambiguit¬ies which invite the viewer’s imaginative projection are favored by the Romantics [...] Havekost is no Romantic. The “abstinence from imagination”(1) evidenced by his reliance on photographic sources allies him with the Realist tradition from Courbet onward. In this Realism lies Havekost’s contemporaneity. Today, the imagination is no longer opposed to matter, but assumed to be one of its manifestations. Our propensity to project meaning into meaningless images no longer appears to be liberating but compulsive.

That’s why the beauty of Havekost’s paintings is melancholy. [...] Eberhard Havekost’s works conjure a similar relationship in how they apply simplification by subtraction to the subjects they portray.

(1)Gamboni, p. 61, borrows this phrase from Werner Hoffmann, “Die Geburt der Moderne aus dem Geist der Religion,” in: Lutherund die Folgen fur die Kunst (Munich 1983), p. 59

Eberhard Havekost’s paintings have been the subject of solo exhibitions at Schirn Kunsthalle, (Frankfurt), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo), Museu Serralves, Porto (Portugal), Museum Frieder Burda (Baden), National Art Museum (Beijing), Zabludowic Collection (London), Rubell Family Collection (Miami), Galerie Gebr. Lehmann (Dresden and Berlin), White Cube (London), and Anton Kern Gallery (New York). Havekost’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Tate Modern (London), Neue Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Kunstfonds des Freistaates Sachsen (Dresden) and the Städel Museum (Frankfurt).

Tags: Eberhard Havekost