Ulf Puder, Rückbau, 2008, Oil on linen, 59 x 79".
Ulf Puder, Schaustellerquartier, 2008, Oil on linen, 23.5 x 31.5".
Ulf Puder, Mobilien, 2008, Oil on linen, 23.5" x 23.5".
Kavi Gupta Gallery
835 West Washington
December 12, 2008-
March 20, 2009
Leipzig-based painter Ulf Puder’s latest series of paintings describes the artist’s unique imaginary world of desolate and haunting environments populated only by abandoned architecture and rendered in his signature muted palette. Tents, mobile homes, churches, train cars and other recreational spaces that should be occupied are left emptied and silent. Bungalows float on makeshift platforms within flooded streets; other structures seem to be in the midst of a storm. Natural disasters come to mind — places that have recently seen the unthinkable and have been left uninhabitable.
Verwerfung (Rejection, 2008) depicts what reads as a church flanked by an elevated roadway that has been split in half — a locomotive wagon is seen above looming over the edge. The imagery spells out a horrifying scenario, though the artist paints the seen teetering from abstraction to representation. The space is beautiful, the sky is blue without evidence of what has occurred or perhaps in this case what is about to occur. When one encounters another image in the exhibition titled Hub the structures collapse even further re-emphasizing the ongoing decay and fragility of these enigmatic places.
Ulf Puder has described his imaginary architectural worlds and uninhabited landscapes in a typical matte palette with almost smoky colour tones. More recently, these have been supplemented by luminescent and more intense shades. His paintings are despondent and yet are full of yearning; they create the feeling that arises when you visit a ghost town. The surreal and often sombre underlying mood in the paintings of this representative of the New Leipzig School interacts with the utopian and almost paradisiacal aspects of his present work.
Ulf Puder was born in Leipzig in 1958 where he currently lives and works. Puder belongs to the first tier of famous graduates from the Leipziger Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (Academy of Visual Arts) and along with his peer, Neo Rauch, he was on the forefront of painters creating a new vocabulary that combined the neo-realism prevalent in the former Eastern Germany with a surrealistic bent. Ulf Puder has had solo exhibitions at Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Dogenhaus Galerie Leipzig, and Torch Gallery, Amsterdam. He has also been included in group exhibitions including Future Tense at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Archipeinture at Le Plateau, Paris and at the Camden Art Centre, London; The Painter of Modern Life, Museum de Paviljoens, Almere, NL; Kunsthaus Dresden; Museo Municipal de Malaga; and New German Painting at the Prague Biennale 2.
Ulf Puder, Verwerfung, 2008, Oil on linen, 67" x 90.5".