CAPRI

Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present CAPRI, a solo exhibition of new work by Cornelia Baltes, her first with the gallery.

Evoking feelings of summer, sun and nostalgia, Baltes invites us into a world where everything feels intensified. Summer is a season that plays by its own set of rules—it is exotic, it is energising and it is something we think and fantasise about year-round. Summer has the potential to answer all of our problems or, at the very least, to provide us with a kind of temporary escape. This possible escape, however, gives way to a kind of urgency. Summer comes with an end date, thus each of its days is contextualised by a need to maximise them to the fullest. In this sense it becomes a state of mind, balancing a desire to do everything with a need to do everything.

In CAPRI, each of Baltes’ paintings play on these emotions. Moving beyond the canvas, the works are immersive and captivating, creating an infectious feeling.

This light-handed and animated energy that Baltes’ works produce is made possible by her impressive technique and understanding of mark-making. Each brushstroke is meticulously planned, made with the intention of evoking these sensations in the viewer. The richly pigmented black paint Baltes uses creates an enveloping depth in counterpoint to a background created by concentrated and almost unreal colours, the two blending seamlessly one into the other. The fizz and pop caught between the formal tension of their elements and the almost impressionistic rendering of a scene.

Adding to the playfulness of the works are their titles—each painting has a name like Mario, Holden, Cody or Cooper—creating a kind of mystery and narrative around who or what they might be: enhancing the figurative reading against the formal.

Baltes shows us fleeting glimpses of bare skin and a sun burn, a pair of flip flops, legs, pool toys, water splashing and more abstract elements that come together to tease us, to show us what we are missing, and to ask us to join in.

Cornelia Baltes (b.1978, Germany) has had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Ulm (Ulm), the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Sunderland) among others. She has also shown at MOSTYN (Wales), Kunsthalle Nuremberg (Nuremberg), Museum Kunst Palast (Dusseldorf), and Museum Folkwang (Essen) among many others.