E C K A R T H A H N
October 21 - November 26, 2022
We are pleased to present the exhibition The Blending, by the German artist Eckart Hahn at our gallery in Vienna, whom the well-known art critic Robert Prinz recently described as “a master and a pioneer of a New Magical Realism.”
Hahn’s paintings amaze the viewer from the first moment of viewing with their meticulous, highly precise artistry. His brushstrokes seem to effortlessly take on old master skill and painterly virtue, but the motifs immediately reveal that we are in the here and now. Dreamlike and unreal human-animal figures are up to mischief, salamanders juggle with their own spots, monkey heads form themselves out of finely coiled ropes and at the same time suck them into their greedy mouths like far too long spaghetti.
Eckart Hahn addresses the sensual-haptic capacities of our perception by translating the visual language of virtual, media-based realities into hyperrealistic paintings. In doing so, he questions post-factual uncertainties and makes the surreal and paradoxical tangible. He often draws his themes from current discourses, such as species extinction, consumer society, mysticism, conspiracy, religion, and climate change. Hahn’s images play with the surface with a wink, but provide deep insight.
Again and again, the artist walks in two seemingly different worlds: a real one, in which one think they can recognize the figures and objects, and a transcendental one, which raises questions of truth and authenticity. It remains open where he feels more comfortable and what he recommends as a refuge: the crystal-clear realism we see on the surface, or the mystical, absurd, humorous fantasies that open up behind it.
The only thing that is certain is that Hahn’s images can be read as a swan song to a technoid future. Sometimes they promise devilishly beautiful nightmarish scenarios, as in the depiction of a glowing chair in front of which only a pair of shoes remains, while pants, shirt, and body have crumbled to ashes. Sometimes they point to hopeful science-fiction visions in which nature and wildlife take command, a bit like the cunning primates in the enduring Hollywood classic Planet of the Apes, which sees the salvation of the world only in the most brutally possible romanticization of a merciless “back to the roots.”
Eckart Hahn was born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1971. He studied photography, art history, and graphics in Stuttgart and Tübingen before turning exclusively to painting in 1998. His work has been shown in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including in New York, Berlin, Munich, Milan, Madrid and Paris. The Blending is Eckart Hahn’s first solo exhibition at Crone Vienna and in Austria.
Works on View →