ARTEFACT.BERLIN OPENS WITH THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF EXHIBITIONS DEDICATED TO CONTEMPORARY ART AND DESIGN
The exhibition, titled Remember That Time, presents large-scale paintings by American artist Gunars Martinsons marking the official opening of Artefact.Berlin’s new space in the heart of Berlin Schöneberg.
Gunars Martinsons – Remember That Time
Artefact.Berlin, Geisbergstraße 12, Berlin
December 8, 2021 – March 25, 2022
Open Tuesday – Friday 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment
Gunars Martinsons, Youth with Turquoise table, 1992. 70×100 cm, Courtesy of the Artist
December 6, 2021 (Berlin, Germany) – Marking the inauguration of its new space Artefact.Berlin, founded in 2021 by cultural entrepreneur and longstanding collector Anna Rosa Thomae, unveils Remember That Time, a solo presentation of paintings by American artist Gunars Martinsons. The first in a series of exhibitions dedicated to art and design, the exhibition is an autobiographical dive into the artist’s journey through life, from memories from his childhood to a more mature reflection on existence, nourished by his dense geometric vocabulary and the emotional ties thereof.
Opening on December 8, 2021, Artefact.Berlin is a new gallery and project space prefiguring itself as an extension and complement to Thomae’s already reputed international cultural communications agency A R T Communication + Brand Consultancy, established in 2014. Through a series of curated art and design exhibitions, the project is rooted in Thomae’s ongoing commitment to supporting, presenting, and promoting art, design, and architecture as intrinsically connected disciplines.
Gunars Martinsons, Woman with flower and bird, 2015. 158×195 cm, Courtesy of the Artist
The name of the gallery itself, artefact, is the entry point into the vision behind it. Derived from the Latin terms arte, or with skill, and factum, thing made or object, it acts as bridge between two worlds: the craft and the object, the way of making and the tangible iteration – ultimately, the elemental bond between the art and the design.
The gallery’s philosophy is based on opening a dialogue, connecting the past and the future, the everyday object and the work of art, the architectural space and the space of living – enhancing one by virtue of the other – experimenting with and reinterpreting the gallery concept and the collecting experience. With a rich program of carefully selected exhibitions focusing on contemporary art and design, the new space stands as an important reference point for art and design collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.
“Working at the crossroads of art and design, one particular, long-lived lesson has stood out to me – commonly, the notion of artefact is deeply tied to that of craft, and to a sense of past. Working with contemporary artists, architects and designers for over fifteen years, it struck me that craft is all but past, but in fact inherently contemporary.”
– Anna Rosa Thomae
Gunars Martinsons, Remembering things past, 2013. 152×152 cm, Courtesy of the Artist
Gunars Martinsons, Really left it too long, 2013. 152×152 cm, Courtesy of the Artist
Remember That Time, on view through February 25, 2022, is Hamburg-based American artist Gunars Martinsons’ first exhibition in Berlin – an extensive presentation of large-scale paintings that depict the artist’s autobiographical, emotive and time-imbued journey through life, from the memories of his childhood to a more mature reflection on time, focusing on geometric compositions made of structural elements of architectural matrix. At once figurative and abstract, the recurring motifs that compose his works call to a past time, most markedly that of the artist’s childhood, observing his father at work. In fact, the paintings are a tribute to Martinsons’ father, an architect whom he adored and admired, ultimately cultivating the artist’s own fascination with the discipline, and which can be traced in the structures that loom large in his imagery and rise in the colorful geometries of the glimpsed or imaginary buildings and constructions that inhabit his works.
Martinsons looks back to his paternal sources of inspiration:
“As a child, I would spend hours nosing around in my father’s studio, looking at the rolls of blueprints spread on tables, unfolding what, to my young eyes, appeared as wonderful abstractions of lines, squiggles, and shapes of all sizes and forms. I loved sitting at the drafting tables, in those days with no computers and cad systems to do the drawings. In my work, I retreat to the eye of that child – to this magical world to play with and explore – rendering the many stories concealed behind these architectural lines, long perpetuated in my mind.”
The canvases stand as broad geometrical yet free flowing architectural expanses, inviting viewers to imagine the individuals that inhabit these constructions, to create the experiences that fill them, to tell the memories that inhabit them. A fitting reflection of Artefact.Berlin’s spirit, this first exhibition leads the way for a contemplation on past and future, on time as it nourishes both space and object – an homage to all things remembered and loved.
Rooted in the Schöneberg district’s distinct architectural heritage, Artefact.Berlin will continuously connect with local art and design professionals and general audiences alike through a dense program of multidisciplinary events, talks, and performances, once again fostering Berlin’s extensive and widely diverse cultural community and its visibility worldwide.
Gunars Martinsons, Things that happen on the way home, 2014. 151 x 190 cm, Courtesy of the Artist
About Anna Rosa Thomae:
Growing up in Berlin in the 1990s, Anna Rosa Thomae spent her formative years living and working between New York, London, and Berlin. With a career of over fifteen years in the field of global cultural communications Thomae has ceaselessly nurtured the premise that valuable synergies exist between, and can emerge from, art, design and architecture – a vision that led her to establish her own consultancy, A R T in 2014 in Berlin. Ever since, Thomae has worked with creatives across all continents, ranging from gallerists, museums, and artists to designers, architects, and more. A versed art and design collector, constantly shaped by her professional and personal encounters, Thomae has developed an extensive collection bringing together vintage European furniture from the 1960s—1980s in tandem with Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art.
Established in 2021, Artefact.Berlin is the symbiosis between these two passions that continue to develop to this day.
About Gunars Martinsons:
Gunars Martinsons is a Hamburg-based American artist working in painting, prints, and photography. Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin (United States) to European parents, he was exposed to arts and encouraged to cultivate his creative eye from a very young age.
A graduate in the Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to Europe – where he has lived ever since, and where he developed a career in advertising. A commercials director, he spent the past decades travelling internationally for his work, all-the-while pursuing his artistic practice.
Remember That Time, on view at Artefact.Berlin from December 8, 2021— March 25, 2022, is Martinsons’s first solo exhibition in Berlin.
Gunars Martinsons – Remember That Time
Geisbergstraße 12, 10777 Berlin, Germany
December 8, 2021 – March 25, 2022
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