Andreas Silbermann – Tour imaginaire
Paintings and drawings 2020-2021
4 March – 16 April 2022, Opening: 3 March, 6-9 p.m.

With “Tour imaginaire”, Galerie Poll is presenting works by Andreas Silbermann in a solo exhibition for the first time. Created between 2020 and 2022, the oil paintings and pencil drawings depict motifs from a journey taken from northern Germany to southern Italy. What is unusual here is that the artist had no need to travel. Silbermann was borne solely by his power of imagination.

Silbermann’s “Tour imaginaire” began with a desire for a change of scene during the lockdown – the reason why the 58 small-format drawings in the exhibition were not made in the studio, but on Silbermann’s sailing boat anchored off Wilhelmshaven, as the artist was gently rocked by the waves. Later in the studio, some of these drawings – only 14.8 x 21 cm in size – served as studies for oil paintings.

The stations of the fictional journey that Andreas Silbermann has painted are unspectacular; they are “worth seeing” only because of the way he presents them. The motifs are mostly based on the artist’s own photos, supplemented by images researched on the internet: “Kiosk in Bremerhaven”, “Railway Bridge”, “Small Caravan”, or “Small House with a Cat Flap”.The petrol stations (“Small White Petrol Station”), warehouses (“Hall 4”), sheds (“Red Shed”), or containers (“EVERGREEN”) he has drawn or painted are glimpses of sites along the route, lacking any precise location. The artist does not divulge the details of his itinerary. Still, it becomes clear that he has followed the temptations of detours in determining the precise “virtual” route he would take. The trip from Wilhelmshaven to Sicily hardly leads past “Food’n Stop” and “24 Hr Service”, since these places are quite obviously in America. Silbermann loves the furtive changes of perspective that his art of detours makes possible: unlike the Val di Chiana or Apulia, “Helgoland” and “Wangerooge” are further stations that do not lie directly on his path. The same is true of the coal mining areas in Lusatia.

Silbermann invents unique moods both in his drawings, characterised by strong contrasts of light and dark, and in the oil paintings he composes out of a charming play of colours. His “Change of Location” transforms motifs, however banal, into scenes of imagination.

Andreas Silbermann, born 1964 in Wilhelmshaven, studied painting at the Braunschweig University of Art (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig) with Prof. Hermann Albert. He lives and works in Berlin.