New German art - continued

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Flo Maak

Emerging German artists - Flo Maak, Shelter series

Born in 1980, Flo Maak is a recent, Frankfurt-based graduate whose highly promising work looks set to become far better known.

Although his principal medium is photography, Maak also uses photo-collages, objects, video and sound to create environments that serve as spatial narrative constructs.

Maak's formal and thematic concerns are loaded with open-ended interpretative potential.

In his photographic series Shelter, for example, (left and bottom) images of animals are combined with items commonly found in domestic interiors.

While appearing to ruminate on habitat, security, and human and animal nature, the works resist easy interpretation, yet are immediate in their poetic intensity and quiet melancholy.


Flo Maak - emerging German artists

The notion of private and public use of space as well as its unseen histories is a recurrent theme in Maak's work.

A series of photographs of public toilet cubicles (left) points towards an obvious intersection of private and public territory, yet hints, too, at meaning beyond the immediate.

Emerging German artists - Flo Maak
images © Flo Maak

These spaces, for example, remain among the few in western society in which sexes are effectively segregated; in terms of sexuality itself, the public toilet is also a common location for anonymous encounters between gay men, an intense conflation of the public and private.


Susanne Ludwig

German contemporary art and photography: Susanne Ludwig

German artists consistently dominate lists of the world's best art photographers, and Hamburg/London-based Susanne Ludwig is already beginning to make a name for herself as an exciting new talent.

Her interests include the themes of loss and memory, reality and fiction - subjects which, although commonplace, are enlivened by Ludwig's increasingly subtle investigations.

The series of images Everything must go documents abandoned industrial or commercial interiors. In these photographs, the remnants of once flourishing businesses are left behind by bankrupt former inhabitants (above), eerily providing a link to the past and present, and serving as a symbol of loss both material and emotional.


Susanne Ludwig: new contemporary German art and photography

The recent series Feasibility Fantasies focuses on the Church as an establishment that is likewise subject to unforeseen social and economic change.

Through video loops and still images, Ludwig documents an eliptical view of a religion that is quite literally in transition.

Susanne Ludwig - emerging German artists
images © Susanne Ludwig

An ancient place of worship is relocated from one side of a river to another to make way for development, while another image depicts an inflatable church soaring surreally above the hillsides.

An air-filled pastiche created solely for funfair entertainment, it nevertheless ascends ambiguously into the heavens.


Michael Just

emerging art from Germany: Michael Just

Michael Just's sculptural works merge the pristine and painterly, the architectonic and artisanal.

Aluminium objects, their symmetry slightly skewed, are simply decorated in pure, vibrant colour. Placed on trestles or plinths, they appear both totemic and playful, approximating recognisable domestic forms, yet far removed from the everyday.


emerging German artists: Michael Just

In other works, clear acrylic surfaces are slathered with painted stripes to create wall pieces, or light projections zig-zag coloured lines onto walls.

Just characteristically looks to fill space with pieces which, despite their often imposing dimensions, question the notion of grandeur while retaining a highly distinctive presence.

Frequently created from materials associated with construction - metals, plastics, scaffolding, light fittings - their purpose, however, is far from utilitarian, a curious combination of precise intent and fluid, decorative gesture.

Michael Just
images © Michael Just, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
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