DARE TO BE ROMANTIC

the romantic issue - turned away portraits

From Caspar David Friedrich´s "Wanderer above the sea of fog" to Gerhard Richter`s "Betty"  there’s an enigmatic and arresting quality to the painted portrait whose subject turns away from the viewer. This series of Evalie Wagner paintings are no exception. The circular portals draw us in to a painted world, a world where the subject is further away still, engaged on the other side, a realm we will never see. This visual and emotional obstacle can leave us feeling alienated and distanced from the subject. Or, conversely, attract us to further investigate and imagine what we can’t quite see. Evalie Wagner’s series of turned away portraits depict four young women and a lone man staring off into a vast and undefined space. Their distant, unseen gaze is in sharp contrast to the two-dimensional closeness of the patterns of their clothing. David Hockney often quoted the mystical poet George Herbert on pondering the portrayal of water or glass: “A man may look on glass, on it may stay his eye or if he pleases through it pass, and there the heaven espy”. In a similar way Wagner’s paintings let us choose which realm our eyes perceive.
Grant Creegan (MoMa UK)

„Von Caspar David Friedrichs „Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer“ bis zu Gerhard Richters „Betty“ gibt es eine mystische und fesselnde Tradition gemalter Portraits, die sich vom Betrachter abwenden. Die Serie von Evalie Wagner ist davon keine Ausnahme. Die kreisförmigen Tableaus ziehen uns in eine gemalte Welt, deren Subjekte wir nicht im Stande sind näherzukommen. Fragend und distanziert, auf die eigene Vorstellung zurückgeworfen, bleibt der Betrachter zurück. Vier Frauen und ein einsamer Mann starren auf den Bildern in die undefinierte Weite. Der in die Ferne schweifende Blick steht im deutlichen Gegensatz zur Nähe der flächig gehaltenen Muster ihrer Kleidung. Bei Gedanken zur Betrachtung von Wasser und Glas zitiert David Hockney den Dichter George Herbert; „A man may look on glass, on it may stay his eye or if he pleases through it pass, and there the heaven espy.“. In ähnlicher Weise lassen uns diese Wagners Gemälde die Wahl, welchen Raum wir wahrnehmen.
Grant Creegan (MoMa UK)


In the romantic era, a lot of painters used the turned away portraits. this is kind of a reminiscence to romanticism and sort of a new one. the templates are a mixture people and clothes i found on online shops. nostalgical and very modern feelings are coming together. a zoomed view, like under a loupe or in a field glass.....starring into the vast. what lies behind or in front...

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//01 BLOOM II / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2015
//02 INTO GREEN / Oil, Paper on Cnavas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2013
//03 BLOOM I / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2015
//04 INTO COLD / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2014*
//05 INTO COLD II / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2014*
//06 FOLKGLORY / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2012*
//07 THE VAST / Oil, Paper on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm /2013*
//08 THE LIGHT BLUE SKY / Oil, Paper on  Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 cm / 2016
*in a private collection





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