Enclosure by Friederike von Rauch

Opening: Thursday, Sept 8th 2016, in the presence of the artist !
Show: Sept 9th until Nov 5th 2016
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GALLERY FIFTY ONE is pleased to announce its third solo show "Enclosure" by the German photographer Friederike von Rauch (1967). Enclosure is the collective name for her latest series in which she examines the space of three distinguished monastic buildings.
The first is the Dominican Monastery of La Tourette near Lyon (Fr), which is just included in the list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, together with other architectural projects made by Le Corbusier. The other two monasteries are the Roosenberg in Waasmunster (Be) and Maria Regina Martyrum in Berlin (Ger).
In Friederike's distinctive style, she transforms their contexts, capturing their atmosphere in a most purified way.

Stillness, calmness and contemplation are notions that are palpable in Friederike von Rauch’s current work. The project is not about religious symbols and the buildings’ intended purpose, but about their characteristic atmosphere they evoke. By residing quiet some time in each building, she automatically enters into a dialogue with the visual language of the corresponding architect and its surroundings. Through harmonic compositions of architectural details in which light and shadow, space and materiality are subjects, the artist alters the introvert spaces into compositions of abstract forms.

The first monastic building she captured with her camera was the Dominican Monastery of La Tourette, a late work by Le Corbusier. The brutal facade of the convent dominates the plane hillside on which it is located in Eveux. Friederike’s abstract compositions unfold the architect’s idea that a building never can be completely closed from the outside: dark, spatial volumes revealed by thin inclusions of daylight or just the opposite, outward views through large, lattice-shaped windows interacting with the outside landscape becoming a geometrical backdrop.

The second abbey Friederike explored was the Roosenberg Abbey, tucked away in a green oasis in a small village in Belgium, called Waasmunster. This building is a puristic, low-lying complex and was designed by the Dutch monk and architect, Hans van der Laan, who was inspired by Le Corbusier. The colour palette is predominately pale, almost monochrome, a characteristic for all three buildings, but especially striking for the Rosenberg abbey. Due to the lack of artificial lighting, the colours are darkened form the inside, conveying a reserved stillness. The artist renders her images with details of corners, walls, corridors, etc….to underline the meditative character of the nunnery.

The third and last convent is the Maria RM in the Charlottenburg neighbourhood of Berlin, being a memorial for WOII victims as well. The architectural language is very heavy and oppressive, constructed with raw, unfinished materials and very few windows. Yet, in Friederike’s images some of this oppressiveness is lost, by zooming in on the beauty of these bare elements. In clear lines and structures she managed to elevate its heaviness without losing its contemplative aura. More than in the other two buildings she examines the materiality, leaving out the pictorial information in such a way, her compositions transcend reality into the mysterious.

Juxtaposed there will be works on paper by Le Corbusier. Besides being a visionary architect, he made numerous collages, “papier collés”, in which form, colour, typographical elements carefully were incorporated. Often these lines and shapes were a reference to his architectural language, which can also be seen in the compositions by Friederike.

Friederike von Rauch's photographs of spaces and landscapes have been exhibited widely worldwide, including at the CCBB & Goethe Institute, Rio (Brasil), Deutsche Botschaft, Washington (USA), The Hafnarfjodur Centre of Culture and Fine Art (Iceland), Stedelijk Museum Lier (Belgium) and The Flemish-Dutch House deBuren (Belgium) to name a few. She collaborated with the famous architect David Chipperfield on the restoration process of the Neues Museum in Berlin.
Her series on the convent of La Tourette will also be included in the group show “Formes du Silence” at the Convent of La Tourette in Eveux (France), starting from Sept 20th.

It is with great pleasure that gallery FIFTY ONE announces the presence of the artist at the opening of the show.

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