Hell Gette: Welcome to Hell

12.11.23 – 31.12.23

Opening: 12 November 2023, 11 am

In her first institutional solo exhibition, Hell Gette presents recent paintings and oil crayon drawings based on the dramaturgy and aesthetics of a fictional computer game. The works were created in the framework of the artist's one-year stay abroad in New York in 2022/23 and are loosely based on Homer's Odyssey – with a particular focus on the psychological processes and mental states of Odysseus.

Dr. Gregor Jansen, Director of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, writes in the catalogue currently being prepared for the exhibition:

“[…] What is simply and beautifully executed in the classic manner of plein-air studies, and initially in watercolor, are the sightings, the first diagnoses that Hell Gette makes on her travels. On this basis, she builds her own new landscape and includes analog as well as digital vocabulary. As an admirer of "Bad Painting", Gette orchestrates the overtones of bad taste that will emerge later. Marcia Tucker originated the term "Bad Painting", using it in 1978 for an exhibition of figurative painting. Painting that (like punk music) was clearly distinct from what had been known before: simultaneously witty and scandalous with its cynical worldview and its merciless contempt for the conventions of art – a criticism of painting through the means of painting.

Gette uses various Photoshop tools, deliberately rough "cut-outs" to achieve a trash treasure aesthetic and, like Büttner, Kippenberger, and Oehlen, to give access to humor. Furthermore, the computer game logic of interlinked images or the perspective of the first-person shooter enters the picture, and eventually, she incorporates emoji icons painted in impasto technique in order to adapt the artificially put-on nature of emojis to the image and to use them like stickers. In this way, the further processing on the computer does not only serve as a sketch to be transferred into the oil painting but also to preserve the digital vocabulary and to use the computer as a (co-)painting partner. Hyper-painting!

[…] Welcome To Hell, however, represents "nervous breakdowns", in other words, the psychological or mental component of the Odyssey in images, the perspective of a gender-neutral Odysseus, because the recipient of the image is also the protagonist of the game. It is a continuation of the computer game through classical oil painting on canvas, therapeutically seen as the treatment for nervous breakdowns. This is also the first time that oil pastel drawings are shown and used in the paintings.”

Hell Gette was born in Kazakhstan in 1986, grew up in Weiden i.d.Opf. and completed her studies with Markus Oehlen at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with distinction in 2018. She was awarded the Debutante Prize for her degree. In 2022/23 she lived in New York and Los Angeles for several months, partly funded by a DAAD scholarship. Her work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Duration of the exhibition: extended until 31.12.2023! Open until 20.12.2023 during regular opening hours. Open on 31.12.2023 exclusively for guests of the BYE BYE 2023 New Year's Eve concert!

Scroll up Scroll up
Scroll up Scroll up