Art Plural Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Portuguese Berlin-based artist Adriana Molder running from June, 11 to July 10, 2014 at Third Floor - Art Plural Gallery. The exhibition unveils two new series The Light in the Heart and Mystery.
Born in 1975 in Lisbon, Adriana Molder has developed a unique body of work consisting of black and white portraits using India ink on tracing paper. Inspired by iconic figures mostly taken from films, Adriana Molder continues to incorporate in her work various references from literature to existing histories, old masters paintings and random images found in magazines. Cinematographic repertoire always plays an important role in her work as the depicted characters seem to unfold a narrative and express themselves beyond their static portrayal position. Indeed, Adriana Molder’s inverted artistic codes interrogate the viewer: a black textural background and a white flat foreground, animated portraits, renew the field of drawing and lay an uncanny depth in each artwork.
Usually organized by series, Molder’s portraits demand full attention and time from the viewer. Transformed into detectives, spectators are led to discover the different layers of ink in which the faces seem to be immersed and learn about the characters contained inside each face. Finally in a direct confrontation, the viewer can recognize oneself in each portrait as if a mirror was placed in front of him. Adriana Molder questions the concept of recognition: from when can you pretend to know someone? “I have always liked to see shrines of images in films, either heteroclite as in the 400 Blows, or intensely obsessive, like the ones found by the police in the rooms of psycho killers” the artist says. Indeed her portraits have a certain intensity and obsessive allure.
In this exhibition, two new series are featured. The Light in the Heart (2014) is composed of six paintings, representing an important evolution in Adriana Molder’s aesthetics as she has long been focusing on drawings. Furthermore, these latest works open to colours whereas the artist has always been using
black, white and touches of red. In The Light in the Heart, black and white foregrounds make a strong contrast with neon colours and vivid red. These portraits’ starting point is the last sentence of Virginia Woolf’s short story The Haunted House. As in Woolf’s text, lost love and death form one of the major themes of Adriana Molder’s series. The Light in the Heart explores “traces of different characters” that the artist came across, as well as their lively presence and the persistence of their love and lust for life.
Mystery (2014), the second series, comprises of six small-scale India ink drawings on watercolour paper in black and white tones with notes of red, in continuation with the artist’s traditional aesthetics. They are portraits of women, “either in a position of watching something or being themselves the target of some kind of witnessing”. For these drawings, the artist was inspired by 1940’s suspense movies and by collages she did with photographs found in a collection of French film magazines from the 1930’s. Indeed, photography is highly linked to Molder’s artistic language. Offering a personified snapshot of a moment or a reality, the artist leads the viewer to the understanding of the complexity of human nature.
“We are delighted to welcome Adriana Molder’s solo exhibition at Third Floor, Art Plural Gallery. Her mysterious artworks have always fascinated me and triggered reveries. She has an amazing technique that has made her work very unique in today’s contemporary art scene. This exhibition is also in dialogue with our newest publication - Art Plural, Voices of Contemporary Art, featuring Adriana Molder.” –Frédéric de Senarclens, founder and director of Art Plural Gallery.
Adriana Molder is recognized for her India ink drawing on tracing paper. The conceptual focal point of her work is the significance of the face as a symbol in contemporary imagery. She has produced several series of portraits inspired by iconographic figures in popular culture and American cinema. Molder’s choice of subject matter creates an instant familiarity between the viewer and her work causing it to be both relevant and accessible. The use of delicate tracing paper and black and white tones give Molder’s works a photographic feel highly complementary to her use of cinematic references. Executed on tracing paper without any preparatory sketching Molder’s larger than life portraits illustrate her mastery of ink and intimate knowledge of the base material which does not forgive even the smallest error. Her works being featured in Phaydon’s Vitamin D2 New Perspectives in Drawing from 2013 and having won the Herbert Zapp Prize in Berlin in 2007, Adriana has successfully carved a niche for herself with her unique style and focus on contemporary culture.
Born in 1975 in Lisbon, Adriana Molder obtained a degree in stage design in 1997 and a degree in Fine Arts in 2002 in Lisbon. She has completed residencies with the Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin) and with the Budapest Caleria (Budapest). In 2007 she won the prestigious Herbert Zapp Prize in Berlin. Her solo exhibitions have been shown at MACE (Contemporary Art Museum of Elvas, Portugal), in Casa das Histórias with a original project with Paula Rego (Cascais), Vieira da Silva Foundation (Lisbon) and the Künstlehaus Bethanien (Berlin). Her work is included in diferent collections, private and public such as Banco Espirito Santo, Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild, C.A.V., Caixa Geral de Depósitos, António Cachola Collection, Berardo Collection, Union Fenosa and Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Today Adriana Molder lives and works in Berlin.