Achim Bertenburg

24.03.2023 –

Eröffnung: 24.3. | 19:00

In 1897, the Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrées undertook an expedition to the North Pole in a gas balloon. The group of three perished on their journey. It was not until 33 years later that their frozen corpses were discovered, with photographic negatives documenting their journey in the perpetual ice. The setting of this sad story is barren and always the same. It is all too easy to get lost in it. If everything is the same, you soon begin to doubt your perception: is there really something there, or are you just imagining it? At the same time, optical perception becomes more refined, every minimal difference gains in importance. In his new paintings, Achim Bertenburg draws on some of the photographs that the researchers were able to take before they died. Here and there the men, their tents or sleds seem to become visible under the layers of paint. Their outlines struggle against the variety of gray-blue hues. Possibly, however, the struggle also takes place in the observing eye, which must rescue the concrete figure from its abstract ground in order to have a foothold and not lose itself in the surface. Finally, in the delirium of the ice desert, fundamental themes of Achim Bertenburg's painting can be found: these concern the shadow areas of human perception.