Ebensperger, Berlin

We are proud to present the first extensive solo show of our gallery artist Maria Thurn und Taxis, Waywards. The exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, and videos. An exhibition catalogue will be available.

"For some time now, the young German artist Maria Thurn und Taxis has been examining the role of masks with regards to identity. It is not simply a question of depicting the protagonists of her drawings and paintings wearing masks which disguise or exaggerate their personalities, but the act of transformation, and the effect this has on them and those who encounter them - which appears to intrigue her. Thurn und Taxis enjoys using her work to pose questions, but she paradoxically engages and frustrates us by encouraging us to turn these thoughts over, without offering an answer or a solution.

In one recent painting we find a figure dressed in a robe of Cardinal red. The attitude of the subject's pose and his dress suggests that he is indeed a cleric, but the face turned towards us is that of an elongated African tribal mask. The two distinctly different symbols jar and we withdraw, confused, only to look again and attempt to decipher a hidden narrative that might provide us with a 'way in' to the work. Time and again, Thurn und Taxis creates a status quo that allows for confusion. The figures that populate her paintings and drawings are attractive in a Baroque sense: that is they border on the line between sensuality and excess, and between the carnivalesque and the grotesque. The subjects are also often brightly, even garishly coloured. Sometimes they stand alone, defiant against stark grounds of white or sky blue, at others they morph into strange totem-like hybrids: part animal, robot and toy. […] Thurn und Taxis talks of how her delicately rendered drawings, watercolours and more robust, impastoed oil paintings are compiled through the collation of material that comprises anthropological journals, images sourced from current affairs' magazine and pulp pop culture." (Excerpt from Jane Neal's essay on Waywards)