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Nairy Baghramian on Michaela Eichwald's Difficult-to-Digest Paintings

‘Eichwald often reveals her journey through her direct, yet humorous and heady titles’

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Michaela Eichwald, Woman (left) and Woman (right), 1999, acrylic on canvas, 170 x 100 cm (left) and 170 × 90 cm (right). Courtesy: dépendance, Brussels, and Maureen Paley, London

My view on the present through the lens of the past is diverted by meandering around my surroundings and my own history. However, my glance falls repeatedly on the paintings of Michaela Eichwald. For a long time now, she has been crossing my path with her heavy- duty, difficult-to-digest, abstract and expressive paintings and sculptures.

In their collage-like cacophony of seemingly well-known yet somehow impenetrable source material – which she often organizes into a loose, horizontal blog – a disobedience flares up. On the one hand, its turbulence has a nauseating effect, even while it stimulates the mind. 

Eichwald often reveals her journey through her direct, yet humorous and heady titles, which turn the paintings’ abstract, physical clusters into search images; at the same time, they act out an analysis that is critical of society within the arena of contemporary painting.

Published in Frieze Masters, issue 7, 2018, with the title ‘Artist's Artists’.

Nairy Baghramian lives in Berlin, Germany. Earlier this year, she had a solo presentation at the SMK, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, and her work was included in a group show at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden. Her solo exhibition at Palacio de Cristal, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, runs until 14 October. She will contribute new works to the Festival d’Automne in Paris, France, which runs from 13 October to 6 January 2019. Her sculptures are also included in group shows at Secession and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria, until 11 November.

Issue 7

First published in Issue 7

September 2018
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