Mara Mattuschka - Nothing stands between me and Sokrates

Opening: Wednesday Feb 18, 2015, 7pm
Feb 19 - Apr 4, 2015


  • Mara Mattuschka, installation view 03, 2015
  • Mara Mattuschka, Fliegender Teppich, oil on canvas, 2015, 140x100 cm
  • Mara Mattuschka, Sokrates, oil on canvas, 2015, 120x100 cm
  • Mara Mattuschka, Mops, oil on canvas, 2014, 120x90 cm
  • Mara Mattuschka, installation view 02, 2015
  • Mara Mattuschka, installation view 04, 2015
  • Mara Mattuschka, Danae, oil on canvas, 2014, 110x110 cm
  • Mara Mattuschka, Morlocks, oil on canvas, 2014, 100x100 cm

Many know Mara Mattuschka for her experimental video works from the early 1980s onwards, but constantly she followed painting as well. From February 19 2015, we show new paintings in our gallery. 

The title of the exhibition „Nothing stands between me and Sokrates“ leads directly into the world of the artist in which fragments of the human being manifest and oscillate between reality and fiction, narration and impossibility of expression. Angles are shifted, backgrounds dissolved or only slightly indicated, the figures find themselves in impalpable, transitory places. Similar to her earlier paintings, Mara Mattuschka herself acts as the protagonist in some of her works. The dealing with the self, the complexity of ones own identity  and how it is or becomes constructed, is a main focus in her artistic approach since her beginnings. Identity understood as an entity, a unity of being that is compound by a spectrum of different states of being which steadily regroups itself in the mind as an ongoing process. Those inner processes happening partly aware, partly unaware, are reflected in the poses, gazes and facial expressions of the figures as well as in the subjects and titles of the paintings. 

In „Angelehnt (Ajar)“ we see Mara Mattuschka from above in a contemplative pose and view, which is further emphasized through the perspective and her grasp on to her head. It’s not clear what occupies her, anyway she is in a restless state of mind which is paused by the mode of painting and intensified by the unclear background and laterally incidence of light.
In „Morlocks“ the artists refers to the world-renowned novel „Time Machine“ by H. G. Wells in which subterranean, light-shunning creatures live in caves and who by night go for their human food. The world of the so called upper-class of the humans is maintained by machines which the Morlocks run. So both are part of a system in which they are dependent on each other or exploit the other. 

In the new series the artist further focuses on classical mythology as in „Danae“ or „Io with the cloud“. Io, who involuntarily is delighted by Jupiter in the shape of a cloud, doesn’t dedicate herself devotedly to her destiny, she articulates her case with a scream or sound which slightly slips the eccentric rococo hairdo out of position. Frequently the figures within Mattuschkas compositions find themselves in tragicomic situations in which they aren’t able to express pricesely their status. Language is one of the main elements in the artists work both in painting and movies. The mute inner states of being which shape themselves as a „close up“ in painting, awaken in her movies. For example in her latest movie „Stimmen (Voices)“ which had its premiere at the Viennale 2014. It tells about a man in whose ‚inner house‘ five different characters are living. Constantly they have to negotiate their needs with each other and they have to arrange their outcoming through the body and their articulation through language between each other. 


Mara Mattuschkas Socrates, ironically depicted half turned into stone, half ‚alive‘, seems to articulate similar with his gaze: „Speak so that I may see you“. In terms of Mara Mattuschka, one can only answer with Loriot: „Life without a pug is possible but pointless“.