Duration: Saturday, 6 July 2013 – Sunday, 6 October 2013
It is done! The first special exhibition of the new Middle-Rhine Museum has opened – a show about the painter Jochen Hein, who was born in Husum in 1960 and now lives in Hamburg. The artist’s major topics are portraits, seascapes and landscapes, all three of them are represented by main works in this exhibition.
“Human Nature” – the title of the exhibition appears almost like a signpost for his series of portraits, which are one of the notable highlights of this show. Emerging from a non-descript darkness, the life-sized portrayed open a dialogue with the viewer. We come into contact with them, but simultaneously we feel caught out and observed by them – an irritating viewing experience. The technically perfect execution of the works is reminiscent of Old Master portrait painting. This impression only increases due to the absence of any attributes or other objects which refer to our present time. The strong contrasts between light and dark reduce the figures to the essence of their individuality: the face and hands. All other body parts are hidden in darkness. In this way, our attention focuses solely on gestures and facial expressions of the portrayed.
“The sea is the last free place on earth” Ernest Hemingway
The element of water is a central theme in Jochen Hein’s painted œuvre. Initially, he was a landscape artist, but by now the sea is an integral part of his work. In 2003, he created his main work “North Sea”, an impressive tripartite painting with a width of over 5 meters. Since then, Hein has captured the sea, especially the surface of the sea, on canvas in many different variations. In contrast to the portraits, the seascapes promote an entirely different viewing experience: The viewer is confronted with deserted sceneries that transcend our conception of distance and expanse. And so our gaze travels from the surface of the sea to the far horizon.
The landscape as a mirror of the soul
Hein’s landscapes often show familiar, park-like scenery. Again, we are alone with ourselves. The painted nature captivates us with its wealth of colours and shapes, but it nevertheless stays alien and unfathomable. Some large-sized works are especially formidable due to their precise rendition and an almost microscopic attention to detail. Only the artificial lighting indicates that we are dealing with a work of art and not nature itself.
The exhibition “Jochen Hein – Human Nature” is a cooperation with the Stadtgalerie Klagenfurth and the Kunsthalle Jesuitenkirche, Aschaffenburg and brings together ca. 70 of the artist’s paintings from all his creative phases.
This exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue.