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Mounted under acrylic glass - Lumasec
33.1 x 40.9" (External dimensions)
Mounted under acrylic glass - Lumasec
43.3 x 60.6" (External dimensions)
IntroductionABOUT THE WORK
Cuba - Expired
Can one make joie de vivre visible in a room devoid of people? Werner Pawlok can. In Havana’s decaying houses, the photographer captures the Caribbean city’s morbid charm as well as a sense of the Havanans’ vitality.
Former glory and traces of the decline are side by side in Werner Pawlok’s Havana photos. Palatial residences from the old sugar aristocracy seem to entrust him, revealing their weathered countenances. The beauty of the Cuban capital and the history of Havana have bittersweet aftertastes. It is a lost world, left to decay. Pawlok brings the viewer under the spell of the old city, in which former luxury is felt merely as a relic of the past.
Werner Pawlok’s giant pictures of young women are transfers of large-format Polaroids onto handmade paper or canvas. To process the positive, the artist uses his talents as a painter. This technique, which so perfectly combines both artistic disciplines, is of Pawlok’s own invention and brought him international renown. The Photography Paintings are from the early 1990s.
Their subtle aura and classical composition quote great works from art history, but through their contemporary colour and styling, the pictures remain contemporary witnesses to the here and now. There are only two cameras in the world capable of producing Polaroids in the 50 x 60 cm format; the film is practically non-existent. However, that did not stop Werner Pawlok from using this unique equipment for his work.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A self-taught photographer from Stuttgart, Germany, Werner Pawlok first picked up a camera when he was sixteen in order to take pictures of his idol, Jimi Hendrix, onstage in 1969. Since then, he has been looking through a lens into the depths of rooms and souls. Even if the people in front of the camera would prefer otherwise, Pawlok captures their very essence in his one-of-a-kind photographs.
Pawlok’s work enjoys wide recognition around the world, with numerous international awards, solo exhibitions, and group exhibitions with great artists such as Warhol, Richter, Mapplethorpe, and Polke. Pawlok’s career began in 1977, when he opened his first studio in Esslingen, Germany. Sever years later, he moved to Stuttgart. In 1988, he went to New York for a year. In addition to his haunting black and white Polaroid portraits of authors, his signature style is most recognisable in his “Photography Paintings” or in his celebrity and fashion photographs.
Werner Pawlok is self-taught. That does not just mean that he learned all his techniques by himself, but also that he is the kind of artist who will not be stopped because he cannot do something or because something does not appear to be possible. He managed to get ahold of one of two specialised large-format Polaroid cameras in existence. He takes this same approach to his subjects: unafraid and open to all possible outcomes.
In the Polaroid transfers, Pawlok combines painting and photography. He developed a process of transferring the large-format Polaroid negatives onto hand-made paper and then finishing them by painting on them. Pawlok’s style is variety. He meets every new challenge with curiosity and openness.Bio
1953 Born in Stuttgart, Germany 1977-78 Lecturer at Academy of Arts, Stuttgart, Berlin 1980 Founder of the first gallery for photography in south Germany 1988-89 First Studio in New York, USA Lives and works in Stuttgart, GermanyExhibitions
2012 ARTFLOW, Kunsthalle Messmer, Riegel am Kaiserstuhl, Germany 2010 Moving cities, G3 Gallery, Hamburg, Germany 2009 Face the time, Galerie Andreas Baumgartl, Munich, Germany 2009 Werkschau / Retrospektive, Galerie Andreas Baumgartl, Munich, Germany 2008 Cuba – expired, Gallery Breuer+Kansky, Munich, Germany 2007 Views - faces of literature, Porsche, Stuttgart, Germany 2005 Private Views, Bankhaus Ellwanger & Geiger, Stuttgart, Germany 1996 Transfers, Gallery Raab Boukamel, London, UK 1996 Transfers, Contemporary Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland 1993 Stars & Paints, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland 1992 Transfers, Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland 1991 Photography Paintings, Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Germany
2011 Episode 1, Caratart Kunstverein, Weil am Rhein, Germany 2011 Light my fire, Nimbus Group Mock-up, Stuttgart, Germany 2011 Psychadelic Record Sleeves, Duncan Smith Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany 2010 Dezemberschau, Galerie AK 1 Stuttgart, Germany 2009 Australia's Bushfire Exhibition, McCulloch Gallery, Melbourne, Australien 2008 The big picture I + II, Oliver Gordon Gallery, Toronto, Kanada 2006 Accrochage, Gallery Andreas Baumgartl, Munich, Germany 2003 Photography in Advertising, Design Center, Malmö, Schweden 2000 Images Beyond the naked eye, Museo, Den Haag, Niederlande 1998 Augenlust with Mapplethorpe, Picasso, Warhol, Cocteau, Kunsthaus Hannover, Germany 1993 Milk Glas, Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Design, Chicago, USA 1993 Columbus / Artists United for Nature, Sony Headquater, Tokyo, Japan 1991 Coulour (with Penn, Mapplethorpe, Wegman), Hamilton´s Gallery, London, UK