Sarah Kretchmer – Ordinary Magic

We are happy to announce Sarah Kretchmer's upcoming exhibition and her first solo show in Hamburg!

On view from January 23 - February 29, 2020

All artworks >

Born and raised in Chicago, U.S.A., Kretchmer studied art at the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She moved to Germany in 2010 and currently lives in Berlin. 

Kretchmer's paintings depict colourful figures juxtaposed with domestic objects placed against bold, painterly colour fields which overlay and interact with each other in unexpected ways. The line between representational and abstract is blurred; laws of nature and physics are stretched, and absurdity is embraced. This, together with the use of intense lights and darks, conjures up a surreal spatial depth, evoking mystery and whimsy. 

About the show

Kretchmer's paintings are rooted in a love of history, nature, magic and colour. Realistic figures are blended into abstract settings, free from spatial limitations, lending the paintings an atmosphere of uncertainty and possibility. Figures may or may not have complete bodies, and often float in ambiguous space. Abstraction intermingles with representation, and the laws of physics are stretched.

Kretchmer's first years in Europe were formative. Inspired by these early explorations and experiences, impressions were brought to life in Day-Glo colours on canvas – the demigods of parties long past, fairytales that never were, and histories that took place in an alternate dimension.

In noticing the magic quietly embedded within the ordinary, Kretchmer endeavoured to tease it out and highlight it so that others could see the magic lurking in their own lives, just under the surface. This remains the fundamental premise of her work as she continues to explore these themes.

Kretchmer's process is Jungian in nature. She often receives the idea for a painting in a flash of inspiration, and then commits it to paper as a sketch. Through the painting process, necessary symbolic elements often surface, frequently with mystical themes. These are then further explored and expressed in the application of the paint.

In the artist's most recent work, themes of magic are explored literally, with each piece inspired by a different ancient grimoire. They are visual 'spells', comprised of four simple elements: Something mundane, something extraordinary, something in transition, and something that represents a kind of break or change in reality, often represented by a gaping black hole from which the other elements arise. 

Through her work, Kretchmer aims to awaken in others a sense of magic and whimsy, and invites viewers to engage with these alternate worlds, histories, fairytales and spells, and momentarily step outside of the mundane, into the metaphysical. 

Exhibition Opening at 7:00 pm on January 23, 2020
Artist Talk on January 23, 2020 at 8:30 pm
On view from January 23 - February 29, 2020

Artworks >