Anke Röhrscheid

Phenomena in Space

 Curated by Dr. Ingrid Pfeiffer 


22 April – 29 May 2016 


"To create a world of its own with its own beings" desires Anke Röhrscheid, graduate of the Städelsches Art Institute, Frankfurt, who is presented for the first time at DNA Gallery in a comprehensive manner. Through her in part large-scale watercolours, a morphology of ambiguous things or beings is born – at times there can be solitary forms, but also often structures entwined in each other, that on one hand are readable as an abstract ornamental mass, but can also awaken associations of botanical forms. "In the world of the Surrealists, the borders between human, animal and plant are abolished”, writes Ingrid Pfeiffer, Curator of the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. “We as viewers witness exactly this kind of border-blurring in the face of the elusive states that take place in Anke Röhrscheid’s images. Here insect strikes skin, something grows or opens, wraps, entangles, contorted juts screw themselves into each other and interrelations trigger connotations in us over and over again… The whole spectrum of nature, not only it’s beauty, but also it’s fear and vulnerability can be found in these works".

The viewer may think of botanical illustrations or of a microscopic slide, here already around a multiple, magnified universe. But how has this universe come into being? The visible structures are not, as one might initially consider, composed due to a pictorial reason. They come into being both in a divine manner and slow process, as the artist extracts and peels back existing paint layers. "Anke Röhrscheid has walked the length of the cosmos," wrote Jean-Christophe Ammann.

Ursula Panhans-Bühler describes the large-format, red works, "The dark, coloured, glowing universes in emotional upheaval may be reminiscent of the ‘Hell’ panels in the triptych of doomsday in our Christian tradition of imagery, only that in this case the ‘hellfire’ does not represent condemnation but more the resistance to respectable administrative orderliness of a heaven that is hostile towards the sexual drive. We are talking here of stormy bac-chanals, completely without iconographic traits."

Somewhat different to the larger works, are the small, black primed sheets. Here, Anke Röhrscheid’s figurations work like small luminous points in the dark of the night, whose light flashes, however only fleetingly, to then immediately vanish back into an intangible space. These images provoke a general suggestion - it appears as if they were once firmly holding onto something, which has existed only in this constellation and only for a moment long. Thus implied is time relation, which this started to illustrate, and which now becomes explicitly depicted in her works.

Anke Röhrscheid’s animated film, Apperception, is presented together with her pictorial works and introduces us to a world of constant metamorphoses. Whether what we see is microscopically small or moves within the vastness of the space, remains as ambivalent as the nature of the emerging blackness of the background, like birds or airplanes in a cluster flying towards us, which generates the feeling of a vague menace.


Ludwig Seyfarth