STEFAN à WENGEN Print


"BUNGALOW", 2004.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 78 x 68,5 cms.


"MANGROVE", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 180 x 260 cms.


"NOCTURNE II VERSION", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 68 x 90,5 cms.


"BAUMHAUS VI", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 250 x 180 cms.

"Secretos".
Solo show at Madrid Fúcares Gallery.
From March 25 to April 30, 2004.

- 1 -

My work basically has to do with attraction and repulsion.
The paintings are originated as photographs from magazines and newspapers, so they are not direct representations of nature, they are grasped through other media.
Most important about my paintings is colour, because colour deals with a certain atmosphere, attitude and association with collective images and memories. Transmuting the photographic image into the mode of painting with an artificial colour scale alters its time scale, atmosphere, and original dimensions. This creates distance and intentions which were not present in the photographs. My paintings are not about natural colour, they are about cultural interpretation and behaviour.
I usually draw an image before I know the exact colour that the paintings will have.

Secretos

To title the exhibition with secretos -secrets- is a bit ironycal and at the same time serious, because on one hand todays painting cannot keep this promise, on the other hand it is all about painting and its content.
The etymological latin verb secernere (secerno, secrevi, secretus) means to isolate, to exclude, to separate. It also means secret, loneliness and solitary.
The etymology of the german word geheim refers to the home (Heim) in the sense of keeping or hiding something at home. To this extent the german adjective is in current use to express secrecy and confidence.

There is the wooden house that looks like a film set. What makes it so familiar is the fact, that films become part of the collective memory as well. It is obvously empty and desolated and seems to keep the secrets of its former inhabitants, as we actually know from movies.

The landscape for example refers to the idea of being separeted from civilization, the experience of loneliness and at the same time being in a doomed situation as well. Nature can be beautiful as we know, but it can be cruel and can become a locus of horror.

The even more isolated situation is showed in the treehouse-images. They are built to enduring in the wilderness without beeing discovered they are built with materials of the near surrounding which is condemned to become part of nature again sooner or later.
The children-treehouse rather refers to childhood-memories beeing separeted in an own world perhaps full of secrets.

- 2 -

The Nocturne-painting shows a ship in a slant. It is a romantic symbol of failed hope. It looks like a dead body, pitiless abandoned to the elements of nature.

I am very attracted by portrait-photographs. What interests me most about these is the fact that they have to do with death, because they prove the existence, a lived life and an individual biography.
To paint photographed portraits means for me to slow down these contents. In a way Photography is a fast medium compared to the contemplation of painting.

There is the portrait painting of Lord Dowding who was a convinced spiritualist. As a marshal of the Royal Air Force in the Second World War he was searching for trans-contacts to killed pilots.
A pencildrawing shows a person who is missed for several years. Disappearing is mysterious and the drawing deals with the idea of viewing a document of somebody's image as a left-over presence of a former existence.
As a german gipsy, Buchela was a fortune-teller, who was able to read from the eyes of people. Lots of politicians and representatives took her advice. To paint a portrait of her concerns the fear of finding out about the future, to influence the way things go.
There is also a drawing with two eyes in the shape of tondos that Buchela certainly could have read. On the other hand, these eyes watch back as if looking through a keyhole as well.
The third portait shows Sir John Carrew Eccles, holder of the nobelprize in medicine in 1963. At the world-congress of philosophy in Düsseldorf in the year of 1978, he proclaimed his theories that consciousness works independendly from the physical body. It is actually a theory about reincarnation.
All the painted portraits are talking about supernatural curiosities. In a way they try to approach the sectrets of life, death and existence that we do not understand in a present of desecularization. They have to do with trying to find answers in mystic believes or abilities.
These three portraits were conceived as the only physical human presence.

The writer Elias Canetti once said, that a life-story is as secret as life itself and lives that were explained are not lived lives anymore.
Or to understand it in a different way, as once Derain said to the young painter Balthus: "The only reason we are painting today, is to rediscover lost secrets".


"BAUMHAUS VII", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 180 x 138 cms.


Untitled, 2002.
Lápiz sobre papel. 30,2 x 22 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Lápiz sobre papel montado en papel. 30,4 x 22 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Lápiz sobre papel montado en papel. 29,6 x 21 cms.


"BUCHELA", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 78 x 56 cms.


"LORD DOWDING", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 78 x 56 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 180 x 138 cms.


Untitled, 2004.
Lápiz sobre papel montado en papel. 29,8 x 20,5 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Lápiz sobre papel. 29,8 x 21 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Lápiz sobre papel montado en papel. 29,4 x 21 cms.


Untitled, 2003.
Lápiz y tinta sobre papel. 14,4 x 10 cms.


"SIR JOHN CAREW ECCLES", 2003.
Acrílico sobre lienzo. 78 x 56 cms.