Vivian Greven. Apple
Sensual surfaces, erotic compositions, immaculate beauty, yet distorted time and time again through a startling, cold weft—the latest paintings by Vivian Greven (1985 in Bonn) seduce the viewers with their peculiar tension which arises between poles like perfection and the uncanny, tradition and avant-garde. Greven’s figures are brought to life sculptures in pictures. Their smooth skin is reminiscent of marble and porcelain. Sometimes provocatively glossy, sometimes mysteriously matt—her figurative paintings mirror the desire for a perfect aesthetic and a soulful corporeality in a digital age.
Apple and arrow—the contentual starting points for her new series Apple are two of the oldest and most prevalent motifs of cultural history. Greven’s virtuosicly unsettling compositions bring to mind coalescing associations ranging from the biblical fruit as a symbol of lust and knowledge to the logo of ›Apple‹, the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, to digitally animated computer games.
In the exhibition Apple, Vivian Greven toys not only in her paintings with different instants of complex light and shadow effects, but transfers them via additional coloring also onto the walls of the exhibition. The cabinet-like exhibition architecture takes up the baroque history of the Palais Stutterheim through narrow doorway arches and comprehensive pastel colors. As the observer, one is instantly mesmerized by the sensual figures and gets tempted to forbidden touching of the paintings!
Image: Ham II, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 155 × 200 cm, Courtesy the artist and Private collection, Berlin, Photo: Ivo Faber