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Mark Rothko – What is an image? Life and the Art of Perception – 2018

Mark Rothko – What is an image? Life and the Art of Perception – 2018

From the time we are born till we die, we are all surrounded by images. Our time is the time of images, of moving or fixed ones. From Plato’s doubt about the images we see, the question “What is an Image?” has occupied the minds of philosophers, art historians, etc. till now. Does our mind form the images we see, as Kant believed, or is our mind a blank slate on which the images leave their stamp as Locke thought?

As Harald Klinke writes, “Visual perception involves thinking, and thinking makes use of visual imagery. … Picture-making is […] central to being human. The power of images stems not from the images themselves but from humans, who give them meaning.” (Art Theory and Visual Epistemology, 2014: 5&6)

The works by Petra von Langsdorff, Siegfried Lehman and Sven Hoffmann make us stop and think about their meaning.

Petra von Langsdorff’s works are distinguished by their attention to multifarious techniques and characters to convey a bridge between the Eastern and Western Religions. Her long familiarity with Indian art and mythology has enabled her to make multi-layered paintings.

Siegfried Lehman’s oil and acrylic paintings, 3D-art as well as sculptures of wood and plastic, puts ideas from every day´s reality into geometric-poetic compositions of great clarity, combined with suggestions from the subconscious. Social issues, passed from his fantastic uncanny mind, are channeled into his art-forms and are satirized humorously. The way a perceiver sees his art, depends on his or her context, that is, all the personal repertoire of knowledge he or she has acquired through the years. The perception lies in this encounter between the viewer, as the active perceiver, and the artwork, as the perceived.

Sven Hoffmann is a Berliner photographer whose works are created in a complicated, tedious and risky process. They are welded on solid wood panels, aluminum plates or thick metal blocks, and appear to the viewer as more three-dimensional and assume sculptural shape. “Burn art“ is Sven Hoffmann’s elaborate and continuously developed technology for processing his photographic material. With the help of fire he burns and melts his material carefully and systematically.This creates bubbles, distortions and color fusions that are effectively incorporated by the artist. The resulting photo paper template is again worked on and finally laminated with adhesives on wood or metal.

This exhibition brings mental images and visual thinking together in order to cultivate our moral sensibilities. The exhibition will be shown from 20 April to 24 June 2018 at the Mark Rothko Art Centre Daugavpils, Latvia.