paintings 2015 – 2016

Five senses, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 290 x 190 cm
donuts and a yogi, 2016, acrylics on canvas, 210 x 200 cm
spiral and two circles, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
a whirl and a wind, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
redgreen_veil
redgreen_veil, 200 x 300 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

multiple hearts, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm
I am one and I want to be many, 200 x 300 cm, acrylic and chalk on canvas, 2016

 

Rajasthan file 1, 210 x 200 cm, oil on canvas 2016
These paintings are reflections of my recent research into body, mind, spirit and sacred traditions.
Ranging from prints of my own body to chaos-driven expressions, they also include images that I find in Indian and other traditional imagery of divinity. I do not wish to install hierarchies and favour one approach over the other. On the contrary, the aspects filter into one another, freeing me to form a new tradition of the „free fall“, parallel to abstract expressionism but less dogmatic. At the centre, one could detect a „truth of the present moment“ idea, that if one is totally present and free of conventional thinking, colour and shape will manifest themselves immediately due to an immediate necessity. This requires a frequent process of tying the work back to the body be it through hands and feet that touch the canvas, printing the body as a whole, or through knowledge and experience. Titled “In Pursuit of Chaos and Light”, these paintings are a continuation of the „Body, Gender, Fluidity“ series of earlier years.
bones of a woman, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 160 cm
blcak sun, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
bowing to each other, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 200 cm

 

chinnamasta
Chinnamasta, 220 x 200 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2015
8-Breasted-Jesus_w
Eight breasted Jesus, 210 x 155 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016
Kali-w
A blue Goddess in the night, 210 x 175 cm, acrylic on canvas, 2016

 

2015 Mural in Western Sahara

MARIEM HASSAN 1958 – 2015
A tribute to the women of Western Sahara
Boujdour, Sahara refugee camps, Tindouf, Algeria 2015

 

MH_withpeople_web
Outside wall of Saharui Women’s Union
MH_rightside_web
Right side (with the artist present)
MH_rightwithIsmail_web
Left side, with Ismail Banan, artist and calligrapher

 

 

„Mariem Hassan 1958-2015“ is a mural, placed on the outside wall of the Union National de Mujeres Saharauis(the national women’s association of Western Sahara), which was planned and executed by myself, Bettina Semmer in November 2015 in Boujdour/refugee camps during the 9th edition of ARTifariti.

Divided in two by the entrance, the wall has a portrait of MH singing to the left of the gate,  and five figures that portray her dancing during a concert on the right.

This division marks a duality of beauty: the beauty of outer shape and colour (the singer in a blue melfa, with pretty face and traditional head jewelry), and the beauty of movement or action, as seen in the dancing multitude of figures in black, on the right. One could also project a duality of Apollinian and Dionysian attitude into the two sides of the mural: wild dance, with hardly discernable features, on the right, and calm composed expression with Mother-Mary-like body language on the left.

This is not some kind of personality cult, nor the simple portraiture of MH, even though she is probably one of the finest examples in world music  of a combination of tradition, political resistance and a unique voice, deserving far wider recognition than she already has. To paint  her in the year when her life ended – prematurely caused by a terminal illness, that finally prompted her to return to her people in the refugee camps – would be reason  enough. But there is more to it: I used the figurative representation of MH, together with words (This exile is too much – Morocco out – freee Sahara now!) and concrete shapes (the two big, intersectioned circles on the left as well as many smaller spheres on the right) to make up a postmodern, readable narrative in many facets.

The stylistic eclecticism gives room for imagination, for making connections and for free play of creative readingwhich is one of the most rewarding things in art/life. Last but not least, the mural serves as a huge opportunity to have one’s portrait taken there, should one agree with the words, thereby sending out a message to the world.

Colour has always been a great attractor, associated with experiences out of the normal everyday life (church windows, medieval art and it’s rare and costly pigments), with exultation, joy and lust for life. Specific colours have been said to have powers over the mind-body-unit, as in colour psychoogy and therapy.

The intersections of the larger circles on the left are inspired by Barbara Steppe, who in turn takes her inspiration from Otto Neurath, the inventor of graphics for statistics. They can be read as depictions of states of mind, of a country’s socio-economic order (or disorder), as arbitrary as the world’s division of riches, or merely as formal play. They are based on Mandalas with their power to focus the mind.

The priority was to make something understandable, readable, a common narrative combined with decorative elements, and also a tribute to the strength and beauty of Saharaui women. It would not occur to me to alienate the ladies who run the place, (Fatma, Hassina) so a meeting over the drafts preceeded the actual painting process. Occasionally, children from the nearby school and neighbourhood would assist, even in my absence adorning the wall with handprints and marking the faces with pink dots, making this piece complete. This fits in with my general approach of taking participation seriously, and incorporating into my work what I find in a place, and in its people.

I hope to contribute to a free Sahara where people can live in dignity, without being oppressed by a hostile regime, and where the Saharaui’s talent for a good life, as we as particpants know it, can blossom in a peaceful surrounding, in independance.

 

shows and interventions 1985 – 2016

Koether, Semmer, Tockel, 1985, La Maquina Espanola, Sevilla
“Koether, Semmer, Trockel”, 1985, La Maquina Espanola, Sevilla
DSC01903
HeldInnen des Hedonismus/If it’s not baroque don’t fix it, Broken Graffiti No2 – curated by Petra Stegmann, with Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle
HeldInnen des Hedonismus, Broken Graffiti no2, als Teil von Faszination und Fassade, Künstlerische Einmischung in Potsdam
HeldInnen des Hedonismus, Broken Graffiti no2, apart of “Faszination und Fassade”, Künstlerische Einmischung in Potsdam
pleasureplants
Pleasure Plants – names in German and Latin (Pleasure Ground project by Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle)
Das Gute Leben – Potsdam 2015, curated by Petra Stegmann, with Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle
2014datgalerie
Die Mitte ist der Rand, DAT Galerie Berlin, 2014
2014stunninglefthook_semmer
A stunning left hook, 2014, at SEMMER BERLIN
2013Ende
ENDE, Kunstverein Schwerin, 2012
Ausstellung Semmer-Berlin-2013
Prinzip Collage, SEMMER BERLIN 2012-13
Willkür mit Kontrast, 2010 at Transient, Berlin, curated with Robert Mueller-Moa
Willkür mit Kontrast, 2010, Transient, Berlin, curated with Robert Mueller-Moa
2010sahara
Where are the disappeared Saharauis? 2010 in Tifariti
2011DerZeugeCrone
Galerie Crone, Jubiläumsausstellung, 2009
2007ClubvonBerlin1
“Still”, installation of portraits with historical portrait, Club von Berlin, 2008
2008ErdbebenGallery33
Family EarthQuake, 2008 at Gallery 33, with Maria Linares, Ina Bruchlos, Ana Maria Millan and Andres Sandoval
2001installationview20
“Painting Factory”, Assisted Painting SEries and workshops, 2001 Spacex Gallery, Exeter

2014 /15: décollage paintings

heilige_mutter_weg_da2015
Heilige Mutter weg-da, 210 x 155 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
Erde im Chaos, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 160cm
Defining good and bad, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 105 cm
Travelling, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 150cm,
Traveling, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 150cm
king king country, 2014, oil on canvas, 95 x 95 cm
vicious_cycle
Vicious Cycle, 155 x 210 cm, oil on canvas, 2016
hystericalhousewife
hystericalhousewife, 150 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015
from-moskow-with-hysteria
From Moscow with Hysteria, 2015, oil on canvas, 155 x 100 cm
JibbyBeans
Jibby Bean, 2014, Oil on canvas, 210 x 150 cm

 

The cynicism of freedom, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 210 cm
The cynicism of freedom, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 210 cm
Caught red handed, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155 cm
Caught red handed, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155 cm
2014Stunninglefthook_200x175cm
A Stunning Left Hook, 2014, oil on canvas, 200x175cm
2014moderneMelancholias
Modern Melancholia, 2014, oil on canvas, 75x60cm
Drehung in China, 2014, oil on canvas, 90 x 70cm
Drehung in China, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155cm
Schluss_mit_Mobben
Schluss mit Mobben und Dissen, 2014, Oil on canvas, 200x155cm

 

2010-14 Body, Gender, Fluidity

2010keuschheit
Chastity belt, or what you resist will persist, 2010, mixed media on canvas, 190 x 210cm
Handing the keys of yourself to a Black Hole, 2009, acrylics on canvas, 120x130cm
Handing the keys of yourself to a Black Hole, 2009, acrylics on canvas, 120x130cm
13. Geburtstag, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80cm
Girls at the age of 13, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm (see also the Schlachtensee series)
monkey, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x95cm
monkey girl, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x95cm
Painting surgery, 2000, oil on canvas, 90x105 cm.
Painting surgery, 2000, oil on canvas, 90×105 cm.
another male, 2014, oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm
another typical male, 2014, oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm
a twist in nothing, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x80cm
a twist in nothing, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x80cm
a blackness inside, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 155 x 190 cm
a blackness inside, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 155 x 190 cm
origin of the world 2, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 100 cm
origin of the world, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 100 cm
down the waterfall in bondage, 2014, oil on canvas, 200 x 155 cm
witch’s probe, 2014, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm
legging up, 2013, oil on canvas, 200 x 160 cm
Inside the mother and child womb, 2000, oil on canvas, 160 x 120 cm
Another world, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Another world, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Kreuzabnahme, 2007, oil and acrylic on canvas, 220 x 190 cm
Deposition, 2007, oil
2008Sanhugoenelrefectorio
Body brain, after Zurbarán, 2008, Watercolour on paper, 120×150 cm
large "abstract", 220x190cm, acrylic on canvas, 2010
large “abstract”, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 220 x190cm

 

o.T. 2006, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 120cm
o.T. 2006, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 120cm

 

1991-92 Assisted Painting Series

1992as_03
Untitled (B. with Spaghetti) from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as03
Portrait of B., from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
1992as_29
The Rule, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_05
The Rukle, from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_06
The Cube Projection, from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
In the Picture of the Pot , from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_08
Of Course, from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_09_enhanced
Untitled (B. on the beach) from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
1992as_10
Something boiling, from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_13
RED, from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 210 cm
1992as_15_enhanced
Untitled (abstract 1) from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_16_enhanced
Untitled (abstract 2) from the Assisted Painting series), 1991, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_17
Untitled (abstract 3) from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_18
Untitled (abstract 5) from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_19
Perhaps by means of gestures, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_23
Untitled (abstract 7) from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_24
Faces, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 230 x 300 cm
1992as_25
Monkey squared, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 290 cm
1992as_26
Steam comes out, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_27
Red, Yellow and Blue, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm
1992as_28
Transition, from the Assisted Painting series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

Assisted Painting Series, 1992, Green Lake, 210x240cmGreen Lake, from the Assisted Painting Series, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 240cm

1994-2012 Colaborations

Peter Paul Rubens Grundschule, 2010
Peter Paul Rubens Grundschule, 2010
kindermuseum
“Bildwelten”, Colaboration with Shanna, Büshra, Kindermuseum, Berlin 2009
P1030560
Shanna oder Warum haben Männer keine Brüste? 2008, Acrylics on canvas, variaied measurments (multiple canvases)
WWestern Sahara in Klein-Machnow, children from Refugeee camps in Tindouf painted this at a workshop at KultRaum
Girl dreaming of the sea, detail of large colaboration at KultRaum, titled “Wer ist denn hier vom andern Stern?” (who comes from another planet?)
Nein Sagen, 2007, Tafellack und Kreide auf Leinwand, 200 x 300 cm
Nein Sagen, Beteiligung an einem Tafelbild, 2007, Gustav-Heinemann Oberschule, Berlin

2012 – Friedrich II after Menzel

Paradestücke, Schloss Sacrow, 2012, kuratiert von Birgit Möckel, mit Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle
Paradestücke, Schloss Sacrow, 2012, kuratiert von Birgit Möckel, mit Neues Atelierhaus Panzerhalle
Friedrich auf Reisen nach Menzel, 2012, acrylics on canvas, 30x40cm
Friedrich auf Reisen nach Menzel, 2012, acrylics on canvas, 30x40cm
Friedrich II after Menzel, 2012, oil on board, 30x40cm
Friedrich II after Menzel, 2012, oil on board, 30x40cm
Friedrich und die Barberina nach Menzel, 2012, 30x24cm, oil on board
Friedrich und die Barberina nach Menzel, 2012, 30x24cm, oil on board
2012menzelfouque
Friedrich der Große und General La Motte Fouque in Sanssouci nach Menzel, 2012, oil on board, 30x24cm,
2012emmer_menzelkonzert
Das Flötenkonzert nach Menzel, 2012, oil on board, 30x40cm

 

Aufbahrung der Märzgefallenen nach Menzel, 2012, acrylics on canvas, 80x90cm
Aufbahrung der Märzgefallenen nach Menzel, 2012, acrylics on canvas, 80x90cm
Ansprache Friedrichs vor der Schlacht von Leuthen nach Menzel, 2012, oil and acrylics on canvas, 200x300cm

2006-14 Street Workers/Ingres

Turkish Bath meets Kurfürstenstrasse, 2010, oil on canvas, 135x160cm
Turkish Bath meets Kurfürstenstrasse, 2010, oil on canvas, 135 x 160cm
Layers of Ingres, 2010, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
Layers of Ingres, 2010, oil on canvas, 155x200cm
2010_ingres_gestürzt_200x300cm
Ingres gestürzt, 2010, Öl und Acryl auf Leinwand, 200 x 300 cm
2009Ingresmeetsstreetworker_45x60cm
Ingres meets street worker, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Kurfuerstenstrasse_45x60cm
Street Worker by night, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Notsoldnotraped_45x60cm
friendly street worker, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
Smiling, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Streetworker_45x60
Not a street worker, 2000, ink on paper, 45x60cm

 

Mädchenfalle, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Exotics_45x60cm
Walking into Turkish bath, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009IngresmeetsSW_45x60cm
Street Worker in turkish bath, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Kurfuersten_45x60cm
Soft drinks, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
Street Worker, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
Street Worker, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009ZweiGirls_45x60cm
Two girls, 2010, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009wohnen_45x60cm
Möbelhaus, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm
2009Streetworker
Street Walker, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm

2009paradies_45x60cm

Cruising, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm

2009Maedchenfallen_45x60cm
Babystrich, 2009, ink on paper, 45x60cm