Janes Haid-Schmallenberg – What we`ve learned so far

SETAREH X presents Janes Haid-Schmallenberg’s first solo exhibition in Düsseldorf following his graduation from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2013 and his subsequent move to Berlin. In a new series of paintings and sculptures, Haid-Schmallenberg has created fantastical creatures, cats, dogs, birds and human-like figures that find their individual entry into living scenes. The pictorial space of the canvases is reminiscentof stage sets in that it is structured by abstract colour surfaces and interiors such asplants, flower pots or vehicles. The texts used and the artist’s signature are placed on the canvases in such a way that the monochrome colour surfaces become spatial arrangements and associations with comics. Busts of glazed ceramics placed in front of and next to the paintings add a spatial component to the staging on the canvases.The scenes mime gloomy dream worlds. Like actors, the artist positions his figures in different works and makes their personality visible through different actions. One witnesses a conflict, an affected movement that emerges from the interaction of two figures or by a protagonist hiding in the pictorial space, for example behind the props. The figures appear in dynamic positions and complicated rotations, looking asif they were participants in a tragedy where their moment of hubris was frozen. Justas in Greek tragedy, in which the protagonists ignore the instructions given by the gods before they are subjected to hubris, Haid-Schmallenberg’s actors are the tragic heroes who overestimate their own abilities and face the unwanted change offailure. “Tragedy” here refers to someone falling out of a position and becoming “guilty”, subject to a transition of their position. The sight of the gestures illustrates a simultaneity of feelings: good and bad, humor and tragedy, joy and sorrow, arrogance and regret float in space, illustrating a world that is in chaos and outside its orderly center.

Janes Haid-Schmallenberg (born 1988) was a Meisterschüler of Siegfried Anzinger and exhibited in solo exhibitions at Storage Capacité Berlin, Gallery Hoorn & Reniers, The Hague or Galerie Villa Köppe, Berlin and participated in group exhibitions at the Grimmuseum, Berlin, Studio Chrom, Bolzano or in a group exhibition curated by Johann König at the Funkhaus Berlin, 2018. Haid-Schmallenberg’s work is included in the public collection of the Kunsthaus NRW, where he was also shown in a group exhibition in 2012.

Maria Wildeis