The Leipzig Residency is--as we would say in Jamaica--‘irie’ (great!): Leipzig Residency, Part 4

By Alicia Brown (MFA 2014)

It has been 34 days since we entered the gates of the Spinnerei, and every day from that moment has been a pinch-me experience. Waking up in the mornings to the sound of Neo Rauch working in his studio (located above the large studio space I share with Krista Smith) is definitely my alarm clock to start the day.

Talking to students from the international school in Leipzig about my work

Krista Smith talking to students from the international school about her work
Working in the large studio is rewarding, but at times we just want to step outside and unwind, clear our heads and look at art. One of the benefits of being in a residency at the Spinnerei is the fact that it is home to a large artist community. Nestled within this large factory complex are approximately 14 galleries and about a hundred studio spaces that are mostly occupied by artists. 

Gallery Visits in the Spinnerei

On June 23, all the galleries opened their doors for a tradition of Summer Exhibitions. The Spinnerie was abuzz with both local and foreign visitors, including us from the Academy and Anna Roland (director of LIA residency), who came from Berlin for the event.

On view at the Werkschau Gallery is the first exhibition in Germany of paintings by British artist Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002). Robert is a postwar British artist; his paintings are sociological inquiries in the lives of what he has called "invisible people"--vagrants, addicts, the elderly and those with disabilities. It was great to have the opportunity to see his works in person. As I found out later after the opening from one of the assistants involved in getting the show to Germany, this was the first time Robert’s work have been shown outside of London.

The Painter with Mary in Newspaper Magi-fool’s hats, 1981

Studio Visits...
In addition to our studio visits inside and outside the Spinnerai, we were surprised by a visit from the mayor of Leipzig, who seemed very pleased when we mentioned that we were students from New York Academy of Art.

More recently we visited the studio of artist Titus Shade. A former student of Neo Rauch, Titus creates paintings that merge flat geometric architectural shapes with three-dimensional organic forms such as clouds and trees. The juxtaposition with the flatness and illusion of form in his paintings is an interesting shift from the more figurative representation that is present in the works of other artists from the Leipzig school. Titus visited our studios as well.

On our way to Titus Shade’s studio with Tim Buckley,

Krista Smith, and Shangkai Kevin Yu.

Titus Shade in his studio talking to us about his work

Titus Shade and me in my studio

Another artist who came to visit our studio is German artist Sven Braun. Sven is a painter who also has his studio in the Spinnerei.

Krista smith, Sven Braun, Kristina (LIA)

Visit to Museum der Bildenden Kunste Leipzig 

The Museum of Modern Art Leipzig is home to a collection of works by the forefathers of German art and younger artists who continue to work and live in Leipzig. Among the forefathers are Max Klinger, Richard Wagner, Max Beckmann and Werner Tubke to name a few. The modern collection was interestingly represented by a few young artists such as David Schnell and Martin Kobe. This, in my estimation, is quite an accomplishment for these young artists (and others who are not mention here).

I was pleased with the works on view at the museum. One of my favorites was an installation piece by internationally acclaimed artist Rosalie Gascoigne entitled Landscapes of Melancholy. Dedicated to Richard Wagner, Max Klinger and Karl May. The piece is an audiovisual, kinetic light installation; in the centre is a piano that plays the piano sonata no.3. The piano is kept in motion by kinetic actuators that are triggered via contact sensors when visitors walk on the floor that is covered with dark leaves made from spun rayon.

Happy (belated) Fourth of July from all of us in Leipzig!

On May 31, four Academy students arrived in Leipzig, Germany, to start a two-month residency hosted by the Leipzig International Art Programme. Alicia Brown, Tim Buckley, Krista Smith and Shangkai (Kevin) Yu (all members of the class of 2014) will share their experiences here throughout the summer!

1 comment:

  1. We wish you all the best! Thanks again for letting us into your studios at LIA, for showing us your work, and inspiring us to create!

    Steve Lewis and the Leipzig International School's IB Art students from the Class of 2015.