Brigitte Waldach, Berlin
26.04.2024 - 22.06.2024

April 27 - June 22, 2024

Brigitte Waldach (* 1966 in Berlin) works in large-format drawings and expansive installations. In her work, she combines historical and contemporary elements to question social conventions and fundamental values. She has gained national and international recognition in recent years with her large-format, often red-figure drawings and installations, which address controversial social and political issues such as religion and terrorism. For her latest drawings, Waldach has explored the flags of the European member states. The stripes, which are unusually colorful for her, translate the concept of Europe into a formally reduced form and at the same time form a possible design for an overarching European flag.

"It is thanks to Brigitte Waldach's artistic sovereignty that she finds images for the complexity of our appropriation of the world between devotion and penetration, reconciling the analog with the digital, the fleeting with the permanent, dissolution and solidification."
Roland Nachtigäller (former director of the Museum Marta Herford)

Waldach's coding of flags of European member states opens up an ambivalent cosmos of familiar signs and ambiguous reflections. Her graphic analysis of the political present is highly precise and at the same time leaves room for interpretation. In her current series "European-Landscape", Waldach thematizes and reinterprets a new branding for a Europe of "diversity and unity", which was originally developed by architect Rem Kohlhaas on the basis of a barcode. Waldach uses this to create the idea of a flexible system of the EU, which is translated into the dynamic format of the drawing. In "European Target" (2024), her modelable system consisting of the colors of the flags of the EU member states is arranged as a kind of target. Like the annual bark of a tree, the growth of new EU states is visualized here. The national colors are supplemented in places by quotes from Nobel Prize winners and their discoveries with the intellectual potential of the respective nations, which in turn seem to overcome the national borders as a kind of vegetative system. This creates a symbolism for Europe that could be reminiscent of a utopian landscape. In "European Brexit" (2024), the focus is again on possible threats to the proclaimed unity of Europe. The vertical areas of color are clearly worn, appear dented and dented. A circle with the national colors of Ukraine - as an unofficial candidate for admission - is about to enter the picture as a circular element on the side, while on the left the Shakespeare quote "to be or not to be" thematizes the exit of Great Britain. Finally, the triptych "Conflicts" (2022/23) emphatically addresses the real threat to the ideal of political unity. Nuclear arsenals of various countries are depicted using nuclear clouds of different sizes. Although the accumulation of clouds appears visually harmless, the triptych addresses an almost invisible but undeniable threat. With "Silence" (2021), another world power is introduced into the context of the exhibition using the motif of the church. Here, too, Waldach addresses the ambivalence between cohesion and decay as well as between redemption and suffering. Finally, the question of a possible happy ending is posed in red lettering in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture: Is the concept of peaceful unity just an illusion after all?

Collections (selection)
Brigitte Waldach's works can be found in numerous public collections, including Albertina (Vienna), Altana Kulturstiftung, Aros - Kunstmuseum (Aarhus, Denmark), Berlinische Galerie, Internationales Haus der Fotografie, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (Gundlach Foundation), Kunsthalle Emden, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, KUNSTWERK (Klein Collection, Everdingen), Landesregierung Schleswig Holstein (Kiel), Museum Marta Herford,, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Nationalbank Essen, NBK - Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Artothek), Rogaland Museum, Stavanger, Wemhöner Collection, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Kupferstichkabinett), Stiftung Moritzburg (Landesmuseum Sachsen-Anhalt), Sprengel Museum (Hannover) as well as national and international private collections.