Every year I try to visit the final exam exhibition of the School for Fine Arts (HfBK) in Dresden. It’s interesting to see how every year students represent their works of art in this stately building. Most of the time there are three or four interesting presentations. You see often works in a painterly style which is recognizable over the years in Germany. It’s a clean style of painting. It’s if the Germans want to continue the abstract paintings of the Americans. It’s namely in line with colour field painting, but softer and more faded and with visible brushstrokes and layering of thin fields of paint. Maybe it is a contra reaction against the strongly engaged art you can see all around on Biennials and art exhibitions. It’s a return to modernist abstract painting.
Sometimes you see artworks that are totally different, as last year in the sculptural work of Marten Schech. He made out of typical German architecture (Fachwerk) autonomous sculptures. At the same time you see abstract sculptures with an international allure and something folkloristic and with a cultural heritage tradition (it’s at the same time nearby and international). I’d like to see in art a combination of the personal and universal. A teacher on my school of Fine Arts said ones to me that I know the handwriting of the art tradition too much, but that I had to tell not only universal story’s, but my own. This advise of my teacher was striking and made my artistic work better in the end. Students have to know the art tradition to relate themselves to it and not copy it, but have to choose also their own handwriting and story.
This year there were interesting paintings who told a story about the framing of windows and paintings and unraveled the relation between them. A painting was traditionally always a selection of a part of reality (a window on the world) and since the existance of modernist art could it be also something not properly recognizable or defined. The options in painting are endless, but with framing there is not much experiment since the shaped canvases of the classical modernist avant-garde painters of America. The framing of Matthias Günther was interesting and intimate. Yes it were paintings, but with deviating forms and formats and made of old wood. Because of the use of half tones, small formats and shakily brushstrokes, it had something nostalgic and personal. The strongly defined framings were in a beautiful contrast with the personal handwriting of the paintings and the selected wood.
Interesting is also the ceramic work of some artist over the years, like the work of Matthias Zschornack and Sebastian Göhler.