Doggerfisher Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 3 Feb 2007


Friedrich - Marcus Amm, Helene Appel, Eva Berendes, Ellen Gronemeyer, Alex Heim, Karin Ruggaber and Nicole Wermers

The seven artists in this upcoming exhibition ‘Friedrich’ are united geographically, all originally from Hamburg and now based in London. In bringing them together, London-based Bruce Haines, curator at Camden Arts Centre and co-director of Ancient & Modern wishes to draw attention to the shared sensibilities brought about by their collective upbringing. Along with this the artists are friends, which ought inevitably to lead to the bouncing around of ideas between them. These close affiliations are also of interest to the curator, the intimacy of their group acting like a maquette for the ‘insider’ art world itself.

Looking for shared ideologies amongst them should make compelling and in-depth viewing given the diversity of their practices, ranging from photography, film and installation to painting. For example, Ellen Gronemeyer makes small paintings on paper with a distinctly German Expressionist feel, angular, distorted figures in Hansel and Gretel-style narrative landscapes, whereas Alex Heim creates rough, textured installations which seem to reference a more destructive, urban landscape - pieces of broken tunnel displayed alongside smashed up wing mirrors. Eva Benderes’ installations are more delicate and sensitive, geometric constructions made from coloured paper and wood as in ‘Jasmine and Trellis’ in stark contrast to Alex Heim’s black and white, semi abstract architectural photographs, which seem to bear reference to the German artist Gunther Forg. In a culture where national identity is increasingly muddied it will be worth viewing works by artists with a solid awareness of their roots. Described as a ‘conversation’ between the artists by the curator, the artists here should combine their own dialect with enough accessibility to absorb the eavesdropping viewer.

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