Smalltown Art Adventures

Tangermünde town hall, 2013. Acrylic on wood. 55 x 45 cm, Sebastian Harwardt

Tangermünde town hall, 2013. Acrylic on wood. 55 x 45 cm, Sebastian Harwardt

The Weekend escape into scenic small towns is something all big city inhabitants like to do from time to time. Although the question always remains, if one could settle down in such surroundings for a time longer than some days, countrylife, as i will call it here, has a unique fascination. Most probably it also works the other way around: the fascination of the big city on people originating from the country. While one usually just makes a trip, I had an assignment to read some short stories at an exhibition opening this weekend in Tangermünde, once a „Kaiserpfalz“ (a place where the emperors of the old german holy empire would reside whilst travelling through the empire), the small town with about 10.000 inhabitants is now known for its timber-houses and the old city fortifications on the banks of the rivers Elbe and Tanger. Other than Berlin, Tangermünde has not what you would call an „art scene“. Nonetheless, people of all ages are very interested it seems, even more so, as in this case the young artist exhibiting, Sebastian Harwardt, origins from the small town itself. Other than the specialized and conceptional pumped up art crowd you know from your general art opening it was in my eyes very refreshing to have mostly what you might call „amateurs“ walking about from work to work and asking questions about them, showing their affections („that is beautifull“) or their hunger for explanation („is this a collage?“). The approach to artworks is one much more driven by general fascination and what you might call „liking“ this or that (for what reason ever).

The exhibited works were mostly graphic prints by the artist, woodcuts, lithos and so on, alongside some oil paintings, photographys and collages. Some of the works, to mention a line of concept that is present in different series of Sebastian Harwardts work, deal with criticism of consumerism (the series „die super märkte„, „die hallen der welt“ and others). The nearly life sized self portrait „Der Stabhochspringer“ (The pole jumper) focusses on mass media and its tendency for catchy headlines. But enough of the preliminary talk, enjoy some impressions of his works o display at „Galerie Schlossfreiheit“ till the 30th of november:

supermarkets, 2011 by Sebastian Harwardt, wood cut colour print, edition of 4

supermarkets, 2011 by Sebastian Harwardt, wood cut colour print, edition of 4

the fruit bowl, 2013, wood cut colour print, edition of 11, Sebastian Harwardt

the fruit bowl, 2013, wood cut colour print, edition of 11, Sebastian Harwardt

untitled, 2012, acrylic, ducked tape and crayon on mdf, Sebastian Harwardt

untitled, 2012, acrylic, ducked tape and crayon on mdf, Sebastian Harwardt

If you are around, spend a visit at the Galerie and the really beautifull old town of Tangermünde, here is the flyer for the exhibiton:

flyer

Über philippkoch

author and curator, specializing in literature and writing on visual arts
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