press release

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, in cooperation with Dina4 Projekte, Munich and Frühsorge Contemporary Drawings, Berlin are pleased to present Facebook, an exhibition that brings together the works of 21 international artists. Facebook explores the theme of portraiture through a wide range of media in drawing stretching from classical pencil portrait to online profiling. Through successful presentations in Berlin, Munich, Dresden and now London, Facebook has continually evolved and adapted to the new location by adding new countries and local artists.

From watercolors and charcoal drawings to animated videos, from ready-mades to cartoons and line drawings, Facebook investigates the theme of portraiture and its core issue: identity. The genre of portraiture has played an important role in all periods of art history as a view of the self but also of a whole society and its time. Ourdays the runaway success of social networking sites has become the most popular way to give an image of ourselves to the outside world, in many ways it has become the contemporary (self) portrait. Fixed concepts do no longer exist, identity is becoming more and more fleeting and ungraspable to define. Anybody can set up a profile and communicate it through websites and blogs. Completely fictitious characters can be introduced and intrude the personal life of others while creating a sense of loss and isolation at the same time. These developments question many traditional connotations about portraiture and challenge the view of contemporary artists on how to approach that subject matter.

A core group of the exhibiting artists has been in all of the Facebook shows. Italian artist Davide Cantoni for example burns paper by using a magnifying glass that directs rays of the sunlight, the scorched edges revealing celebrities and wannabees from the Fashion World. Invented characters are the protagonists of Katija Eckert’s photograph-like digital drawings: the German artist creates fictional sceneries in uncanny atmospheres emerging from faded childhood memories. Claude Heath’s practice is based on tactile perception: between 1996/97 he realized a series of portraits of a mask. Blindfolded while touching the object, these drawings explore the third dimension physically and link it to digital spatial concepts and programs.

The London show will also feature a selection of works by a group of recent graduates from St. Martins College. Kristian de la Riva will present the video ‘Cut’, intense and brutal series of animations wherein simple black line drawings describe the artist’s sense of loss at the end of a relationship. Very ironic and comic is Alina Spatariu’s ‘Zoomania’, a ready-made installation composed by clay animal characters in colorful boxes and tiny frames of pen and ink drawings on flesh-coloured paper.

Next to the large number of European artists, there will also be several American artists amongst them Ruby Osorio: her gouache and ink drawings are completed by tiny embroidery inserts. Reminiscent of fairy tale iconography, her female characters combine the beautiful and the tortured soul of female identity. Facebook forms part of the drawing lab, a cooperation founded in 2009 dedicated only to drawing:

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Ort: 11 Church Street London NW8 8EE

Künstler: Kirsty Buchanan, Davide Cantoni, Motoko Dobashi, Katja Eckert, Murray Gaylard, Claude Heath, Astrid Köppe, Charlene Liu, Bas Louter, Theresa Lükenwerk, Matthias Männer, Serge Onnen, Ruby Osorio, Catalina Pabon, Danica Phelps, Sebastian Pöllmann, Nicola Reed, Kristian de la Riva, Olivia Seiling, Alina Spatariu, Andreas Tellefsen.