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Galerie Pankow shows Brigitte Waldach: History Now | 26.04.-18.06.2023

Editors’ Choice

Galerie Pankow presents the exhibition History Now by the artist Brigitte Waldach from 26 April 2023. Brigitte Waldach virtuously explores the possibilities of contemporary drawing practice in her diverse artistic work. For her large-scale drawing complexes, which she also develops in relation to literary texts or musical phenomena, she uses graphite, pigment pencil, gouache, handwritten lines of text, threads of rubber to draw – on the page, on the wall, in space.

Fig.above: History Now_ Jesus (Christentum), 2016, Gouache, Graphit, Pigmentstift auf Bütten, 190 x 140 cm

She identifies drawing as a medium for discursive reflection and for the development of mental spaces. In her works, she not only refers to historical or current political phenomena, but also gives them a space in the connection between sign and text, between line and sound, in which individual cognition and sensual experience condense into powerful images and thus make complex contexts tangible.

At the centre of her exhibition “History now” at the kommunale Galerie Pankow is the eponymous series of eight large-format drawings dedicated to the representation of digital mediation and use of knowledge using Wikipedia as an example. As one of the largest internet portals worldwide, it shapes our awareness of history. The internet platform makes knowledge accessible, offers us an enormous amount of information, which manifests itself in a highly dynamic process as modern encyclopaedic historiography.

Brigitte Waldach asks with her “History Now” sequence: What is relevant as an entry at all, what is argued about most on Wikipedia? Which entries are overwritten most often? It is not surprising that especially topics like religion and anti-Semitism cause controversial discussions; for example, the articles on Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler are among the most frequently overwritten. In her eight drawings, Brigitte Waldach picks out selected persons or figures, among them Buddha, Hannah Arendt or the RAF members, and portrays them mimetically and by means of the changing text passages in different shades of grey, which reflect the text changes on Wikipedia and insofar also the period of time when the picture was created. The condensed levels of writing enter into dialogue with the graphic representation and structure the pictorial space as an equal motif to figuration. In this way, images emerge of the complexity of our appropriation of the world, reconciling the analogue with the digital, the ephemeral with the permanent, dissolution and solidification.

DEEDS NEWS - Courtesy of Galerie Pankov- History Now_ Hannah Arendt (Philosophie), 2016 Gouache, Graphit, Pigmentstift auf Bütten 190 x 140 cm
History Now_ Hannah Arendt (Philosophie), 2016 Gouache, Graphit, Pigmentstift auf Bütten 190 x 140 cm

Waldach’s works have been shown in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. In this solo exhibition during the Gallery Weekend in Berlin, current works such as “Conflict” (2022), “Plasma” (2021) and drawings on Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2019) or John Cage (2021) will be on view alongside “History Now” (2016).

Brigitte Waldach (born 1966 in Berlin) first studied art education, art studies and German language and literature before turning to the liberal arts. She completed her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2000 as a master student of Georg Baselitz. From drawing, Waldach has developed a practice that is as poetic as it is expansive. In text clouds, spatial drawings and sound installations, she explores current themes and places them in intellectual-historical and literary contexts. Again and again, she deals intensively with German history.

Solo exhibitions (selection): Museum Marta, Herford (“Schimmer und Glanz”, 2020), Felix Nussbaum Haus, Osnabrück (“Existenz”, 2018), at Kunsthallen Brandts, Odensen/DK (“Ideology”, 2016), at Stavanger Kunstmuseum, Norway (“Fall”, 2011), at Kunsthalle Emden (“Zeichnungen und Installationen”, 2010).

Group exhibitions (selection): “Mythos Wald”, Kunsthalle Emden (2022), Oscar Niemeyer Museum for the Curitiba Biennale 2019, at the German Bundestag (2019), at the Neue Sächsische Galerie, Chemnitz (2017), at the PIN exhibition of the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2015), at the Altana Kulturstiftung, Bad Homburg (2014), at the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2013). In 2013, she was also present in the Marta exhibition “Farbe bekennen – Was Kunst macht” with the multimedia installation “Gewalt”.

Waldach’s drawings are in many private and public collections, including Albertina (Vienna), Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Kunsthalle Emden, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum Stavanger, ARoS Kunstmuseum (Aarhus) and Sprengel Museum, Hanover.


Galerie Pankow
Breite Str. 8
13187 Berlin


Opening: Tuesday, 25 April 2023, 7.00 p.m.
Welcome: Annette Tietz, Director of Galerie Pankow
Introduction: Matthias Flügge, art historian
Duration: Wednesday, 26 April – Sunday, 18 June 2023
Tue – Fri 12 – 8 pm
Sat, Sun 2 – 8 pm

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