Modersohnstraße 35-45 10245 Berlin (Friedrichshain)
Saturday 30 October: 6pm to 11pm (Public opening) Sunday 31 October: 12pm to 9pm Monday 1 – Friday 5 November: 3pm to 9pm Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 November: 12pm to 9pm
A great non-linear mind is about to make an indelible impression in Berlin. The city will soon be seeing the opening of Pejac’s newest solo show and anyone lucky enough to have visited one of the Spanish artist’s previous exhibitions knows this is something to impatiently look forward to. For the past two and a half years, Pejac has been working prolifically in order to create a new series of artworks, forty-five of which will be on display in what will be the artist’s largest exhibition to date.
The venue for this event is a former train manufacturing facility in the eastern part of the German capital. This 2500-square-metre complex still very much exudes an atmosphere of industrialism.
As Pejac continues to explore novel ways of articulating his ideas and engaging his audience, the exposition demonstrates just how varied his creative output has become. Staying true to his background in street art, he has alternated the more traditional use of oil and acrylic paint, with spray paint. With just as much ease, Pejac has applied chalks, (graphite) pencils and even flames from a lighter for finishing touches. In addition to the pieces on the walls, the space of the erstwhile factory will accommodate three large-scale installations as well as eight sculptures. Intermingling different – both classic and contemporary – sculpting techniques, the expressive languages of these objects allow for a myriad of interpretations.
‘‘Most of the works were conceived while the world was holding its breath. APNEA for me means breathing again’’, Pejac comments in reference to both the pandemic and the title of his show. ‘‘During a time of lockdown, painting within the four walls of my studio felt like a liberation and a lifeline. APNEA represents this contradiction.’’ The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic leaves many wondering if and when life will return to normal. However, by making plain – as he has done in the past – that he is concerned with the direction the world is going, Pejac seems to be raising the question of what was ‘normal’ in the first place. His worries relate first and foremost to social issues and climate change.
No matter how pleasant and intriguing it is to lay eyes on Pejac’s exceedingly subtle and poetic depictions, these can also prove every bit as disquieting when one comes to realise – perhaps at second or third glance – what messages their author is actually trying to convey. Evidently, a great sense of urgency speaks from APNEA.
And so, following on from his well-received gallery debut in London (‘Law of the Weakest’, 2016), a remarkable show in a traditional gondola workshop in Venice (‘A Forest’, 2017), and another smaller, more intimate one on an inland waterway barge on the river Seine in Paris (‘Waterline’, 2018), Pejac is now bound to make a name for himself in Berlin.
By once more positioning his art at the intersection of sheer ingenuity, surreal reality, current world events and references to art history, he offers viewers plenty of food for thought and leaves nothing to be desired. Well, probably except for his brand-new limited edition prints that the artist is excited to be releasing in the context of this show. On previous occasions, prints of this kind proved in such high demand that they were almost literally gone in seconds.