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August 24–October 22, 2022
The German/Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe’s latest works are on display at the exhibition Wandelstern, which is proudly presented by Galleri Bo Bjerggaard. At Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Tschäpe is now exhibiting in her fifth solo show.
Tschäpe reimagines the traditions of self-portraiture and landscape painting to investigate the unique and common experience of nature. Tschäpe creates a space in each of her works of art for the sensations of nature—the first rays of dawn, the dew in the morning, and approaching storms—to reappear.
As the COVID-19 restrictions were being eased in the city, Tschäpe worked from her studio in Brooklyn, New York, to produce the series of large-scale paintings for Galleri Bo Bjerggaard. Stepping out into the world, Tschäpe would return to paint intuitively from memory, asking herself, “how do you paint that movement or that atmosphere at the end of an afternoon in the summer and the feeling of that?”
Tschäpe’s paintings reference the shapes of mountains, forests, and waves even at their most abstract. However, these works make no mention of any particular locations. They depict a bodily, psychological, and emotional reaction to the natural world. Tschäpe wants the visitor to become a part of this setting, echoing Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Romantic idea that humans do not live above or outside of nature.
The second piece of work on display at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard is a series of self-portraits that Tschäpe has been producing continuously for a number of years. The self-portraits, which are made each day, chart the changing landscape of the soul’s inner throughout time. These images are motivated by how an individual can change as a result of their surroundings. “It’s almost like a combination of the rain outside and how it makes me feel,” Tschäpe explains. “Then I make a portrait of that, of a grey day, or a sunny day, of a happy day or a sad day.”
The exterior body is not depicted in Tschäpe’s self-portraits, in contrast to the “selfie” culture. Tschäpe uses an internal landscape of perceptions and emotions to counteract the skewed representations of the self that are displayed online. Tschäpe draws attention to the poet Fernando Pessoa from Portugal as an inspiration on this investigation of the changing self. In his masterpiece The Book of Disquiet (1982), Pessoa wrote under about 72 aliases, transferring versions of himself to the page with disarming honesty. Tschäpe’s paintings reflect his body and soul in a similar way.
A text by author and critic Alice Godwin appears in the exhibition’s catalog.