Chercher la vérité
Martina Altschäfer, Matthias Beckmann, Peer Boehm, ORLANDO
Drawings and Prints

17 June – 30 July 2022, opening: 16 June, 6-21 p.m.
in August visit possible by appointment

“Drawings are records, notes, like diary entries designed not as perfect observations, but with an eye toward continuing, advancing one’s work, done to train one’s attention and sharpen one’s perception to produce a concept” (Hannes Böhringer).

Guided by an ongoing focus on “attention” and “perception”, Galerie Poll regularly presents positions in drawing and printmaking. The exhibition Chercher la vérité brings together drawings and prints by four artists of the gallery who are continuing and advancing their work – in the sense described by Böhringer – by engaging with the themes of memory, travel, nature, or literature.

Over the last few years, travel has been limited by the pandemic. Martina Altschäfer thus wasted no time in embarking on a journey around the world in eighty drawings. As stops along her way, she chose places where something special occurred, or which are known for outstanding architecture. Working on small-format cardboards in graphite, she has drawn scenes that include the fire in the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, the demolition of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, the test racetrack on the roof of the Fiat factory in the Lingotto district of Turin, and the bridge over the deep gorge of the Andalusian town of Ronda.

In strictly linear drawings, Matthias Beckmann nullifies all of the individual, manuscript-like qualities of his works, playing instead with formal means of design. Shifting perspectives with virtuosity, he jumps back and forth between total views and close-ups and circles his objects in a kind of tracking shot. In 2019 and 2020, Beckmann explored Berlin on foot, looking for motifs to illustrate Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project. Thirty of them are on display in the exhibition.

Peer Boehm’s central theme is remembering – memories from childhood, travel experiences, and political events are all stored in our minds as disordered, often shadowy impressions. It is this collective reservoir of images, anchored so differently in each of us, which Boehm evokes in his works in ink and watercolour. They are based on photographic found objects from albums, magazines, or the internet. Drastically reducing these motifs, he works directly on printed matter such as sea charts, account book pages, or sheets of letterhead. His pictorial language is based on the principle of erasure, which juxtaposes contrasts of light and dark.

ORLANDO takes time during treks and journeys which last for days to observe nature. Finely attuned to her surroundings, she perceives various moods and qualities of light and captures the ever-changing movements of waves and clouds, of light and shadow, on printing plates and paper. Martina Altschäfer and Matthias Beckmann have devoted themselves to drawing. ORLANDO specialises in printmaking techniques in her artistic work, while also drawing her motifs through a seemingly infinite number of short strokes of ink placed side by side. In this exhibition she is showing the linocuts Heavy See I–IV and the dark black mezzotint etching Harz Forest II, as well as the ink drawing Waves V.

Martina Altschäfer, born in Rüsselsheim in 1960, completed her studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf) in 1991 as a master student of Prof. Konrad Klapheck. She has received numerous scholarships and has been awarded several prizes. Her works are held in private and public collections, including the collections of the Deutsche Bank, the Kunstmuseum Albstadt, and the Landesmuseum Mainz. She lives and works as an illustrator and writer in Rüsselsheim.

Matthias Beckmann, born in Arnsberg in 1965, studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy with Prof. Franz Eggenschwiler and at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste) with Prof. Rudolf Schoofs. Since 1995 he has been a member of the artist group Die Weissenhofer. Now based in Berlin, he has focused his work mainly on drawing. Usually he creates individual pieces as parts of a larger series devoted to a place or a complex of themes. He has also illustrated a number of books and has received numerous scholarships and prizes. His works can be found in many German museum collections.

Peer Boehm, born in Cologne in 1968, studied art history, archaeology, and German language and literature at the University of Cologne from 1990 to 1994. In 1997 he co-founded the producer gallery Kunstgewinn and in 1999 the artist group itinerarti in Cologne. In 2006 he founded the artist group Die Kunstkreditkarte – Was Schönes für unterwegs. Peer Boehm’s works are held by international private collections. He lives and works in Cologne.

ORLANDO, born in Quedlinburg in 1984, completed her studies at the Dresden University of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden) in 2013 as a master student of Prof. Peter Bömmels. She has been awarded several fellowships and prizes, including the first prize in the Printmaking Competition of the Leipzig Book Fair 2014. Her works can be found in collections including the Kupferstichkabinetten of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. ORLANDO lives and works in Berlin.