August 25, 2011

Mata Isaeus-Berlin at Baukunst Gallery, Cologne

Meta Isaeus-Berlin, Moon Dreams, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne 

Swedish artist META ISAEUS-BERLIN paints banal and everyday objects such as: plants, ornaments and landscapes. Her works deal with emotions including loneliness, fear, lust, desire and sensual pleasure. Baukunst, Cologne, presents Meta Isaeus-Berlin's most current oil paintings and pencil drawings which deal with Arcadien landscapes.


Meta Isaeus-Berlin, The Cave, 2011
Oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm, signed, dated and inscribed verso
© & Courtesy Meta Isæus-Berlin - Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany 

Meta Isaeus-Berlin is an attentive observer of her direct surroundings; among others she examines the lives of her adolescent daughters. She is bringing her thoughts and emotions onto the canvas. In her previous compositions she broached the issue of interiors. In her most current colour intensive and figurative pieces - partly melt into abstract landscapes and fauna- she instills those deserted landscapes with an emotional life, which is mostly hidden from other people. The diversity of themes in Meta Isæus-Berlin's pieces, is reflected in her choice of titles. Her previous paintings can be seen as enlivened rooms which transform over the years into enlivened landscapes. In this exhibition the Italian renaissance garden as well as the ideal Arcadien landscapes are sources of inspiration.

Visualizing the soul is one of Meta Isæus-Berlin's favourite subjects. Her compositions seem to be surreal and the borders between reality and dream, between unconsciousness and consciousness become blurry. The beholder will be taken into a world filled with Arcadien myths and with the artists own symbolic language. Fore- and background start to merge (e.g. Mating Call) and through several narrative levels the spatial feelings disappear and a feeling of discomfort is evoked. Through the systematic use of colour and her symbolic language, Meta Isaeus-Berlin achieves atmospheres which include a psychological dimension.

In The Vision Comes in a Dream we see a girl whose inner life is presented on a table with a white table cloth. In the background the mountainous bald landscape recurs on the table - dream and reality are not to be kept apart from one another. For Meta Isæus-Berlin's paintings and installations water is of great importance; it appears in a multilayered and intense blue. The blue water can be metaphorically considered, the soul. The mountains and the sky are blue as well and they can be interpreted as the lostness of the girl in the wide world of emotions. 

Stalagmite and stalagtite appear in expressive colours, and the space in The Cave dissolves (photo). In the middle of the painting water is simultaneously dropping down from the top to the bottom and ascent spectral. The unseizable upward movement gives the painting a dynamic, unreal and dreamy effect. The artist achieves this effect not only through a watery way the colour is applied but also through her detailed way of painting. Undercurrent for example is her first piece where she combines ink and oil paint on the canvas at the same time. Her virtuosic brush handling and many years of experience with oil paint and solvent gives her the skill to create a remarkable atmosphere in her paintings. 


Meta Isæus-Berlin was born 1963 in Stockholm and studied applied arts and design from 1984 to 1986. Afterwards she continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1986 to 1993. Her work was already presented world-wide in international exhibitions – among others at the biennial art festivals in Venice, Istanbul, Johannesburg and Melbourne as well as at museums in Breda (NL), Thessaloniki , Helsinki, Copenhagen, Madrid and Barcelona. Since 2005 the work of the Swedish artist is present at art fairs like Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach and the Armory Show in New York.

Meta Isaeus-Berlin, Moon Dreams, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, 8 September - 10 November 2011 

D - 50668 COLOGNE