Latest Tweets

Other Criteria will be at @sp_arte 2017 from 5–9th April, presenting limited edition works by Damien Hirst… https://t.co/1tpowYuSTA
5 hours ago

RT @FinancialTimes: What Damien Hirst did next https://t.co/uNL1yCuSEa
5 days ago

At @artcentralhk booth E06 until Saturday 25th March https://t.co/Tvc2BiSenB https://t.co/oGZJDKYRAM
5 days ago

NEW Damien Hirst's Limited Edition Print successfully launched at Art Central Hong Kong https://t.co/LhhwFnx2QN… https://t.co/9WtsDAaOvQ
2 weeks ago

Sneak pic from our booth E06 at @artcentralhk #ArtCentral2017 #HongKong https://t.co/pRK74gCZOb
2 weeks ago

Gavin Turk @NPSGallery: End of Show Flash Sale Starting Now! Until the exhibition ends, Sunday 26th March, 6pm GMT… https://t.co/mkR5TDLGnh
2 weeks ago

Rachel Howard both at the Italian Cultural Institute @iiclondra & the @jerwoodgallery from 15 March 2017… https://t.co/jOJpOeP4N4
3 weeks ago

Rachel Howard, Haunch of Venison Zurich

April 21, 2009 by Ellie

Haunch of Venison Zurich presents Rachel Howard: Der Wald from 6 June - 15 August.

Mann im Wald, 2009, Acrylic, oil and household gloss on canvas, 123 x 91.5 cmMann im Wald, 2009, Acrylic, oil and household gloss on canvas, 123 x 91.5cm

For her first solo exhibition in Switzerland, British artist Rachel Howard presents a new body of paintings which explore the furthest reaches of human experience. Entitled Der Wald, the German word for the forest, the exhibition evokes a shadowy world in which horrifying acts go unchallenged.

With their distressed surfaces these paintings represent a new development in Howard’s work. They also extend her ongoing investigation into the way in which the human body registers physical and emotional violence. Their departure point is archival photographs which record the bodies of civilians who have been led into the forest and subjected to unknowable brutalities. Howard’s treatment of this historically controversial subject matter involves semi-abstracting the physical form of the figures while making their torture manifest in the picture’s agitated paintwork and roughened surface, creating correspondences between subject and medium.

She says: ‘Der Wald and Mann im Wald are woodland scenes suggesting acts of hideous cruelty; men contorted by the weight of their own bodies into positions of excruciating pain, hands chained behind their head, a pose – known banally as the ‘stress position’ – that is still used today. In some of these new paintings I’ve used paint as a way of tarring the canvas, using black to stain and anchor the image but then letting shards of fluorescent pink, yellow or orange show through.’

In these works Howard deliberately sustains an uneasy tension between traditional associations of the German forest with national pride, enlightenment and romanticism (as in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich or Ernst Ludwig Kirchner), and the nameless abominations that have taken place in the dark heart of the forest, particularly in times of conflict. Like light glimpsed through the trees, the bright colours that are refracted through the blackened surface of Mann im Wald harbour the possibility of hope. Similarly, the small red still lifes of flowers punctuate the larger, more disturbing scenes, offering isolated moments of redemption.

Press Release courtesy Haunch of Venison.

For further information and images contact: Silvia Lorenz, Haunch of Venison T +41 (0) 43 422 8888 E slorenz@hofv.com