Thursday, September 3, 2015

In Residence: Elke Daemmrich winner of the Prix Moulin á Nef

Elke Daemmrich winner of the Prix Moulin á Nef was in residence at Mt. San Angelo during July and August, 2015. German by birth, Elke has lived in southwest France since 1993 settling in a medieval village near Toulouse.

At home in France and in her second studio in Dresden, Elke produces large oil paintings and copper engravings; while in Amherst, she used more transportable watercolor and colored pencils on cotton paper. Though the medium was different and the size reduced, Elke was still able to recreate the rich colors and ornate compositions that are her hallmark. Her complex, layered paeans to nature seem to vibrate with energy. 

She was captivated by the unfamiliar flora and fauna she saw while in Virginia and first in Los Angeles, where she took part in a group exhibition, painting a magnificent Osage orange and a large cicada that appeared in her studio one day. These are incredibly detailed almost scientific renderings; set within Elke’s phantasmagoric tableaux, they assume an almost mythic quality.

She states : "All that I do in my art, I do directly; that is, I do not use projection. I do not prepare drawings on paper, nor on plate, nor on canvas in advance. My creation is always a direct communication with an object that captures my attention and which becomes the subject and direction of my work. That communication can happen in my garden: for example, an insect like a praying mantis will arouse my curiosity. Or, in my VCCA studio, in a dialogue between the corn crib and the artist. Or, while traveling in California and seeing a colorful homeless woman, or a campaign for people of color, etc."

Fred Noiret, director of Eqart Gallery in Mariac writes: "If in Elke Daemmrich's paintings, color bursts so vividly that it drowns our senses and saturates our vision, it is however cleverly ordered through a rigorous and rich composing. Such care given to the construction becomes even more obvious when the artist tackles etching.The energy, which we can feel is substantial in this artist and which gushes forth with such strength in her beautiful paintings, never weakens during this true exercise in patience, which is etching. In her paintings as well as in her etchings, through themes as varied as bullfighting, botany or the current hot topics, Elke brings together strength and sensuality with a talent which endorses an experience for all the senses."

Elke has exhibited widely throughout Europe in 85 solo exhibitions, including ones at
  the Goya Museum in Castres, the Museum Junge Kunst in Frankfurt Oder, Germany, the Cuixart Fondation in Barcelona, or in the Museum Otto Schäfer, Schweinfurt, Germany. Elke has shown her work in more than 100 group exhibitions world-wide. She has received numerous awards including a grant from the Kulturfonds Foundation Berlin in 1993, an Individual Support Grant from the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc. New York in 2014, the "Prix Moulin á Nef" from VCCA 2014 and "Aquisitions 2015" Fondation Colas Boulogne Billancourt/Paris, France. www.elkedaemmrich.com

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