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18 Apr 2017

Cornelia Schleime: A Blink of An Eye

Berlinische Galerie

Reviewed by Vera Wilde

If Lewis Carroll's Alice got classical training while reading beauty magazines, the resultant playful, skilled rebellion would look like this. From a mustachioed man-beetle to a three-faced bird-woman-snake, her watercolor figures stand alone astride blank paper worlds.

Schleime's paintings overflow their imposing canvases. Combining asphalt and shellac with acrylic, she achieves textures typical of old oils. Grains, cracks, and sparkles reward close looks. The composition fills the space. Yet, her faces exude the calm of Renaissance chiaroscuro work.

After denied applications, an exhibition ban, and tight monitoring, Schleime emigrated from East Berlin with a suitcase and a roll of paintings. Her early work disappeared. But no mourning mars her juxtaposition of colorful photographs atop framed pages of her Stasi file. Her laughing eye unifies the show, testifying to art's political power.

Exhibition Cornelia Schleime: A Blink of An Eye link
Start date 25 Nov 2016
End date 24 Apr 2017
Presenter Berlinische Galerie link
Venue Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, Berlin, DEU map
Image Cornelia Schleime, Blind Date, 2007, private collection, © Cornelia Schleime, photo Bernd Borchardt, courtesy of the Berlinische Galerie

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