Andreas Hahn: Künstler / Artist

la vida es bella


Andreas Hahn

Thoughts and Considerations

A biographical description of my path

Are galleries and museums a thing of the past for displaying artistic creations? Is their scope too small, their space too limiting, too narrow through this ‘seeing and being seen’ in the context of a gallery – a kind of aesthetic consumption –only a posthumous nostalgia of a past era?

An art object certainly can break out of this barren prison and enter into an expanded relationship to human beings and environment. The artist, as protagonist, can descend from his lonely, self-made throne to sacrifice and graciously share the works created in isolation, with other human beings and in a relationship to nature.

These sentences come from a diary entry written on the Canary Island, La Palma in 2008.

My artistic quest began in a contemporary and classical way with a gallery owner in 1994. Numerous exhibitions in galleries and various interior venues took place – accompanied by stimulating but mostly one-sided encounters.

This path ended in an inner dead end. I felt something new was needed. The single-minded, self-absorbed exploration in my search for the perfection of colour and composition embracing all kinds of subject matter pushed the question of the significance and purpose of art today into the background.

The change began in 1995 when works intended for an interior needed to be reworked for an exterior setting. Two considerations and requirements were at the forefront: first, that art objects should be common property worthy of communal discourse and do not exclusively belong to organized and scheduled venues.  Second, that the question of the significance and purpose of art is a public one that the individual alone cannot possibly spread and deepen by him- or herself.

Thus the exhibitions began in urban spaces. From then on, pedestrian zones, parks and public squares served to integrate the artworks into everyday life. The hoped-for discourse, however, could only develop superficially. Simple emotional reactions such as sympathy and antipathy towards the artwork, through the constantly changing flow of people in a hurry prevented a deeper conversation from taking place. 

Further steps took place on the Canary Island of La Palma between the years 2000 and 2008. At that time, the traditional rectangular form of pictures and objects became for me representations of conformism, of habitual ways of thinking and doing things. Sculptured irregular three-dimensional pictures and the choice of various materials were chosen to escape out this prison. The need to put the chosen art object and nature into a relationship with each other came from the urge to step out of the confines of gallery spaces in order to find and create new, unknown spaces and situations.

A heightened awareness arose mainly through the constant movement of placing the same artwork into different natural situations thereby renewing the relationship between them, a process that replaced the rectangular static wall spaces of studio rooms. The medium of photography became the means of capturing and recording these moments.

Beauty as well as vulnerability became increasingly apparent and conveyed the impression of how everything that exists in its own respective state is profoundly artistic in a deeper sense. 

An opportunity for deepening this development arose in Medellin, Colombia, from 2016 to 2019. There, the art object – in this case, classic paintings – were used for this expanded purpose. It was intended to serve as a catalyst for deepening both personal exchange and insights into questions of our time.

In contrast to previous city exhibitions, places and people were now sought and found where a longer duration for these encounters, for the expansion and deepening of the above-mentioned questions, became possible and could take place. Here too, the medium of photography was used as a means of capturing snapshots of these encounters.

This new alliance of art object, human being in movement in conversation – and the photographs taken – became an expression of beauty and vulnerability.

These deepened and conscious encounters and movements were experienced as healing. Consequently, the art objects had to escape from their conformist niches and place themselves in the context of infinitely greater world-artworks, whose outer expressions are revealed in the diversity of environments and individual human beings.

waking up

suns me
my wounded heart

in the breeze
of becoming 

guiding me
to my home 

his wand'ring step
goes on
– I –

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