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Among German art academies, the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts holds a prominent status among painters. When Germany was divided after World War II, the West German art schools mainly rejected figurative painting after the abuse of art for propaganda reasons in the Third Reich, while East Germany continued to use art for political purposes and the Government ordained a "socialistic realistic" style of painting. The artists of the Leipzig Academy were popular for historical paintings but emancipated little by little from the socialist realistic dogma with the use of an expressionist style, ambiguous iconography and subtle critique for the system that became popular also in the West as the so called "Leipziger Schule".
After the Reunification in 1990, the Leipzig Academy continued teaching traditional painting techniques and attracted young artists from the East and the West. These artists became the first generation to grow up in the reunified Germany.
Martin Kobe and Tobias Lehner both work on highly complex abstract compositions with references to architecture and landscape whereas Matthias Weischer paints imaginary interiors and David Schnell deals with over-civilized landscapes. Franziska Holstein presents a painted "photo-album" while Stephanie Dost explores the borders of the medium by combining her portraits with drawings and photography in exquisite installations. Christoph Ruckhäberle paints ensembles of figures in absurd scenarios and Tilo Baumgaertel contributes to the exhibition a series of large scale, post-surrealist coal drawings.
Christian Ehrentraut, the curator of "Clara Park", directed LIGA, an initiative by a group of eleven artists from the Leipzig Academy that existed from 2002 - 2004. He will be opening a new project space in Berlin in 2005, giving international young artists and curators a forum to present their projects.
Marianne Boesky Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.
Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm.
For further information, please call 212-680-9889 or email info@marianneboesky