Galerie Marian Goodman is very pleased to announce our first exhibition of works by Sabine Moritz. Eighteen paintings and around sixty works on paper made over the last ten years will be shown here for the first time.
Moritz began this extraordinary body of work shortly after the attacks of 9/11, when she spent three days in Novia Scotia after her flight to New York was diverted.
From this foreign, isolated location she watched the immediate aftermath of the attacks and began to contemplate the changing nature of borders, conflict and the technology of war.
With the exception of Gelbes Kleid I and II (both inspired by a Robert Capa photograph from the 1940s) all the paintings in the exhibition are based on press clippings collected over the last ten years. Using these documentary images as a starting point Moritz deconstructs them rendering them devoid of any historical context. Moritz does not seek to directly document war but instead to approach it obliquely by focusing on rare moments of calm and intimacy of every day during conflict.
“Her stated desire is to free the motifs from their immediate history and from the words that accompany them. Moritz’s war paintings are not about specific incidents, specific people, and specific wars; instead they reflect broader historical phenomena, such as our era’s new wars, and by extension, the Cold War.” 1
Moritz creates an atmosphere in which tension is omnipresent without the use of explicit violence and images of carnage.
“Hostilities are suspended in all her war paintings, sometimes (…) for what might only be a brief moment, sometimes (more commonly) for longer. To that end, Moritz paints what is often considered tangential to war but it is in fact integral to it, namely the time before, in between, or after combat actions. But despite the putatively peripherical nature of these moments, they may be ones of great concentration.” 2
Set apart from the immediate reality, Sabine Moritz’s representations of war in an anti-historical and inexplicit manner create moments suspended in time; in Limbo.
In addition to the paintings, sixty drawings in pastel, charcoal and graphite will be shown downstairs. The drawings are regularly dated and could be considered as a visual diary.
Sabine Moritz’s early drawings are autobiographical. The “Lobeda cycle” (1991-1992) is a recollection of places in the city of Lobeda where she had grew up. In the continuity of this work, JENA Düsseldorf (1992-1994) is another series of drawings she created from photographs which represent places she knew before and after moving to the west. Growing up in East and West Germany at the time of the Cold War predisposed Moritz at an early age to an understanding of the complexities of national identities and conflict that are a central interest of her recent work.
Sabine Moritz was born in 1969 in Quedlinburg and grew up in East Germany. Moritz emigrated to Darmstadt, West Germany when she was sixteen. She first studied art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (Offenbach) and then at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She had several solo exhibitions in Germany and the United Kingdom. Sabine Moritz lives and works in Köln.
A catalogue titled Sabine Moritz: Limbo 2013 with an essay by Christine Mehring will be published on the occasion of the exhibition. This is the first monograph dedicated to paintings by Sabine Moritz which includes 64 color illustrations of works made between 2001 and 2013.
The exhibition Sabine Moritz : Limbo 2013 will be on view through May 4, at 79 rue du Temple, Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am to 7pm.
1 Christine Mehring, «Old War, New War, Cold War: The Art of Sabine Moritz» in Limbo 2013, Marian Goodman Gallery, 2013.