Eberhard Havekost makes dense, anti-gestural paintings that explore the tension between a highly mediated image and the visceral immediacy of a seductively painted surface.
Working from photographic sources – shots from TV and video, images culled from magazines and catalogues and his own photographs – he selects prosaic subjects ranging from anonymous buildings, trains and trailers, and modifies them to make inkjet prints as the departure point for his paintings.
His paintings elude straightforward classification: mundane images that are abstracted into a kind of mannerism of the everyday. Havekost’s paintings are executed in colour on top of a six underlying and alternating coats of grey and white. This slow, careful process creates a luminous atmosphere that makes the paintings glow with a strange, otherworldly richness of light. Havekost describes this as a ‘democratic light’ that reveals the immanent brilliance of everything. The compositions of his paintings are often energetic and active, often making use of vertiginous angles and dramatic shifts in focus or blurring effects to create visual distortions like a filmic pan. In this way, they seem like freeze-frames that pause the visual process, transforming it into an arresting, material instant.
Eberhard Havekost was born in 1967 in Dresden and lives and works in Berlin. Solo exhibitions include ‘Retina’, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2010), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2010), ‘Harmony 2’, Stedelijk, Amsterdam (2006), ‘Harmonie’, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg (2005), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2001), Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves, Porto (2001) and Kunstmuseum Luzern (1998). He has participated in several group exhibitions including ‘Structure and Absence’ White Cube, London (2011), ‘Against the Grain; 15 Years of Collecting’, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (2009), ‘Von Bill Viola bis Aernout Mik’, Hamburger Bahnhof. Berlin (2007), ‘Neue Malerei’, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2006), ‘Trials and Terrors’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005), ‘Painting at the Edge of the World’, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001), Prague Biennale (2003) and ‘Images in Painting’, Museu Serralves, Porto.