Artistellar Gallery is proud to present its debut opening exhibition Azul Celeste, a solo show by German artist Johanna Seidel. On this occasion, Artistellar will open its doors in the new premises on 39 Margaret Street, London. The exhibition will run from 15th of September – 6th of October 2022 .
Consisting of mulberry, olive, and tangerine shades, Azul Celeste showcases paintings, most of which were conceived last year, providing insights into Seidel's quest for a painterly gesture; research that accompanied her over time, especially during and immediately after the pandemic outbreak. The title, meaning Sky Blue in Portuguese, introduces a thoughtful selection of works ranging from tiny to larger size oil on canvas which sheds light on many timeless realities that artist Johanna Seidel deliberately crafts. These circumstances are told by means of a poetic language required to unravel artworks' meaning. The selection of works on display enhances the gallery’s overall program, focuses on elevating female artists, and is keen to bring to the forefront great artists from various art scenes other than the established British art scenario.
I have tried to explore my pictorial world between naïve and realistic representation and, for the first time, allowed more abstract painterly elements to flow in.
With a soft painterly touch, Azul Celeste pays homage to a pluralism of Flemish and classical references alongside contemporary cultural snippets and mythological tributes, eluding the real world and the sense of logic. In tandem with the above, in artworks such as Butterflies, and Sustain yourself with Secrets, a quest for long-lost freedom shines through, accompanied by strong features of conviviality mixed with the surrealism found in Erntedank and Transient. Most of the figures represented function as vessels to express fundamental human energies and narratives. Seidel’s extraordinary female figures are bound by a mutual desire for inner expression. They exude a desire for connection as well as the power and wholeness of constant transformation in life, often happening on the same surface with collated interior and exterior, natural and artificial references, realistic, yet naïf recalls.
From a personal standpoint, Johanna Seidel, born and bred in Germany, imbues her artworks with an intimate response to her lively contemporary surroundings.
Azul Celeste, being the first UK solo show of the artist, is second to the previous group shows around Germany and France and derives from years of practice, graduation at Dresden Academy of Fine Art, and a long to enjoy the overall experience of painting, slightly detaching from its formal and rather structured meaning.
When I think of the ideal feeling one might have when looking at one of my paintings, I think of evening light in blades of grass, and stories told behind slightly ajar doors.
With this in mind, Azul Celeste invites us to reflect on how we perceive the realm we live in. The exhibition challenges, or at least softly irritates, our perception. Is the reality we picture in our mind the only one possible, or is it solely a reflection of our fantasies?