09/16 – 11/13/2011

Eckart Hahn: The Black Fragrance of Beauty

I live in a very unpleasant world and my work is meant to be a counter attack.” (René Magritte)


While painting, Eckhart Hahn (1971 in Freburg/Breisgau) listens to audiobooks, especially bizarre stories, spooky novels, or suspenseful crime thrillers. This literary influence makes an impression on the subjects and mood of his paintings that mesmerize the observer with their poetic-surreal energy. As a figurative artist, Hahn creates scenes that defamiliarize reality. People, objects, animals, and landscapes vanish behind plastic bags, are pelted with colors, go up in flames, change colors, or change their aggregation state. The pictures’ background are mostly monochrome and nondescript by which Hahn leaves the viewer in the dark where the shown actions take place. The focus is on the precisely depicted subjects that have such a level of detail that it seems to give a tactile impression. The artist constructs stage-like scenes that have fantastic elements, which create their very own reality.

In his pictures, Eckhart Hahn refers to traditional genres of art history and motifs like still lifes or historical painting, the Crucifixion of Jesus or the Holy Family. By defamiliarizing them, they are transferred to a contemporary context. This way the works deal with the restraints of civil life, with religion, family, social status, social structures and their signs of disintegration. In a dramatic way, Hahn stages his fairytale-esque, sometimes comical but mostly ruthless depictions. The pictures explore the borders between dream and nightmare, the intermediate zone between night and day, between the rational and the irrational.

The confident metaphors used in his pictures often resemble a game of Russian roulette. Contextual traps confront the viewer suddenly with the violent, the grotesque, and the absurdity of human actions. In the process, the tattered idyllic scenes can be viewed as metaphors for our current times.


Selection of Works

In this up to this date biggest solo exhibition of Eckhart Hahn, works are displayed that have been created in the last five years. Next to his pictures, sculptures will be on view that will incorporate the room as a new visual world.

The works are gathered from numerous art lenders from all over Europe and the USA.


 Interview with Eckhart Hahn in SWR2 Journal on December 10, 2011 as a MP3 file (3 MB)


 Film for the exhibition



Vernissage: 15.09.2011