Lethbridge artist Jeanne Kollee explores Germany in the early twentieth century through abstract expressionism in her new exhibit Unter dem Messer which runs at Casa June 25-Sept. 2.
“It’s my interpretation of early 1900s-20s and 30s Germany during the Weimar republic,” Kollee said.
She was inspired to produce the colourful works by reading Otto Friedrich’s book “ DeLuge — A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s.”
“ I used the colour palettes of artists like Otto Dix and Wassily Kandinsky for this project,” she said adding she was inspired by the conditions faced by artists of the time.
“It was a frustrating time for artists, writers and actors trying to get their message across to people. It was a time of revolution and worker’s strikes. A lot of art was considered degenerate and debauchery. There were cabaret shows done in the nude,” she said, adding the artists had a lot of tough times to be inspired by.
“ Inflation was high. It was a time of reparations that had to be be paid after the First World War but they couldn’t afford to pay them, so they printed more money which lead to higher inflation,“ said Kollee , who has German ancestry going back to the 1600s and has visited Frankfurt and Aachen.
“ So I was trying to visualize what they would have seen,” she said she expects audiences to read the titles of the work and interpret the works individually.
She said her works are very textured as she liberally layered the colour palette of the day with a palette knife.
All the works were done over the past two years. So it was a project of intent,” she said.
Casa also opens Pass it On, June 25.
“ Five local artists (Amy Dodic, Donna Gallant, barb Goodman, Angela H’Wood and Karina Mark) selected an item and painted a still life. When they were done, they passed it on to the next artist until the cycle was complete,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.
“ So there are 25 paintings. and the items they chose are on display too so you can see the source material,” he continued.
“It’s interesting to see the unique interpretations of each item. It’s a simple item, but there are five radically different interpretations,” he said.
The opening reception for both exhibits is at 7 p.m., June 25.
But before that, new exhibitions also open at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Trianon Galleries tonight, June 24.
The SAAG features Germany born, Winnipeg based artist Holger Kalberg’s new exhibit the Colony with an opening reception at 7 p.m., June 24.