The melodic and rhythmic scores that are Hanns Schimansky’s drawings are not abstractions, nor are they the manifestation, “captured” by the eye, of the existence that surrounds us, but rather seismic expressions of being. A breathing, fragile, trembling and eternal “Dasein,” that freed itself by escaping laws, speaks through Schimansky’s hand, as does jazz in its extreme form, free improvisation, a music composed in the moment.
The Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger is pleased to present an exhibition of Hanns Schimansky’s recent works. L’Espace de la ligne is the German artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery since 2008. Drawings in pen and India Ink, drawings in graphite pencil on prepared paper, foldings, pastels, and chalk– these are scriptural drawings, imaginary writing, landscape variations and adventures, all emblematic of the “composer” Schimansky revealing the scores of a life captured in the instant, each vibrating with the intensity of the moment. In their spatiality and the incessant play of tension of the line, color and surface of the paper, these works awaken the spectator to a sensory experience provoked by the subtle nuances of their folds.
Immediacy as a way of life, is what Hanns tells us. I try to capture and prolong the elusive intensity of the instant in my drawings, in a, shall we say, diffused equivalence. The drawings are created in a single breath. The moment counts, with its aberrations and its errors. Tomorrow, the constellation will be different.
Within the boundaries of the white page, frequently prepared and most often folded vertically and horizontally beforehand, the first gesture of the drawing consists in choosing the medium that will enter into dialogue with the surface: acrylic paint or India Ink applied with a brush or a metallic nib, graphite, or pastel… The gaze is thus sharpened in an incisive manner, on the lookout for the stroke, the line that deploys the infinite topography of its movements and the perpetual changes of its appearance: airy, emphatic, rolled, twisted, loose, tight, accented, pointed, interrupted, continuous… Other memories, respirations, constellations reveal themselves, can be made out from the other side of the paper, itself drawn, painted or worked on as well. Schimansky acts like a poet, each of his drawings a haiku born from a long process of observation and awareness of the world, and of an interior need for silence. Its exploratory line functions as a rhizome clearing a path on the paper through the earth, evoking both physical and psychological landscapes. Just like Asian calligraphies embodying primordial breath, they seem inhabited by subtle air movements, perceptible odes of the pneuma, in the noble Greek sense of the word. Just as with musical scores, they solicit both the eye and the ear.
Hanns Schimansky was born in 1949 in East Germany. He lives and works in Berlin. He started out as an agronomic engineer, working on a cooperative farm, which led him to experiment with his first landscape drawings. He then decided to dedicate himself exclusively to art, and more specifically to drawing beginning in 1979. His work has been exhibited in Europe, particularly at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands, at the Neuchâtel Musée d’art et d’histoire, in Switzerland, at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and at the Martin-Gropious-Bau and Akademie der Künste in Berlin, in Germany. His works appear in numerous public collections such as the National Museum in Oslo, the Berlinische Galerie, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and the Morgan Library & Museum Collection in New York.
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