Subtle Geometry – Katrin Bremermann at Gallery Joe

Michael checks out the small but beautifully curated show of works on paper by German artist Katrin Bremermann, now at Gallery Joe in their new home in Society Hill. – Artblog Editor

An itinerant artist and free spirit

Katrin Bremermann is a 50-ish, relatively unknown German autodidact, who you are going to want to get to know. Last year she was featured in Blouinartinfo International’s Modern Painters Artists to Watch.

Bremermann has lived in Santa Monica, New York, the Virgin Islands, Paris, and most recently Berlin. Not merely an itinerant artist, she has, among other things, worked sail boats and opened a restaurant. Her artwork feels both disciplined and free spirited: it is at once lyrical and whimsical.

No. 16136, Enamel on waxed paper, 15 7/8” x 11 ⅝,” 2016. Courtesy of the Katrin Bremermann and Gallery Joe.

Gallery Joe’s Becky Kerlin found Bremermann through Cologne’s Galerie Martin Kudlek. There are seven perfectly curated, relatively small, rectangular works on paper in the show–and a few more in one of Kerlin’s flatfiles. Each piece features organic, interconnected painted enamel shapes in a single primary color, which are bold and graceful, and the individual pieces are variations of each other–they are siblings. There is something unusual, perhaps unexpected, about the composition of these works, particularly as a result of their unique backgrounds, which I will discuss below, although the color and form of Bremermann’s enamel shapes brings to mind some of the non-geometic work of Ellsworth Kelly, such as his 1958 “Aloes.”

Drawings that are sculptural

Bremermann treats paper as a sculptural element. Her drawings become objects. She actually works both sides of the paper, leaving behind traces, lines, and marks, and she waxes the paper, creating transparency. The backgrounds of the pieces have an etched quality and the subtle, smooth hue and texture of natural concrete or marble floors. The contrast between the background and the applied enamel is stark but harmonious, a reflection of the artist’s interest in opposites. The overall effect achieved I would call stately delight.

No. 16150, Enamel on waxed paper, 15 7/8” x 11 ⅝,” 2016, Courtesy of the Katrin Bremermann and Gallery Joe.

The artist as poet

This is the portrait of herself that Katrin Bremerman published on Galerie Martin Kudlek’s website. A refreshing departure from what we have become accustomed to in artists’ statements, the poem humbly speaks to playfulness, perception, isolation, imagination, and finally expression, all of which we see reflected in her work.

I create permanently
In a visual experiment, a game with myself
A magic moment, drunk on ideas
In order to exist, differently, with others
experiences of meanings and sensations
to embrace my dreams
with excess and in my solitude create with all available means
a visual experience necessary,
finally, to feel alive.

I want to meet this person.

Rachel Sitkin has written in these pages about the new Gallery Joe on Saint James Court, in Society Hill. Her article, “New Space, New Work at Gallery Joe,” which appeared last March, highlights the beauty of the gallery itself, and previews some of Katrin Bremermann’s work. If you’d rather get depressed, the gallery’s wonderful former home in Old City is now a garish soda pop and candy shop called Rocket Fizz.

The Bremermann show will be up at Gallery Joe until November 5th.