MARTIN DÖRBAUM 30°N / 120°E


Galerie Thomas Zander is pleased to present for the first time an exhibition of works by Martin Dörbaum. Dörbaum has already been part of the gallery’s programme at this year’s Art Cologne, where he was introduced as “New Talent”.

The exhibition features works from Dörbaum’s latest series “30°N / 120°E”. 
The title of the exhibition gives the geographical coordinates of Hangzhou in China, where the artist was staying for two months this year as a visiting professor at the Chinese-German academy of fine arts. Dörbaum is intrigued to discover bizarre spacial situations: On his travels as well as in his immediate surroundings, he spots absurd architectural constructions, like spoilt urban landscapes, grotesque monuments, undefined buildings and other peculiarities of everyday life that he incorporates in his pictures and objects.
In his latest works, Dörbaum makes reference to the Chinese architecture and landscape he found in Hangzhou near Shanghai. The artist uses photographs as sketches and subsequently constructs new spatial situations, landscapes and objects through computer programmes. Digital worlds come into being which retain only fragments of real situations or which are merely inspired by them. Taken out of their original environment they are reduced to the essentials of form and appearance. Sometimes this makes one wonder about the idea and purpose of these constructions, which actually do exist in the same or a similar fashion.

Dörbaum is a master at setting the scene. His computer-generated images are occasionally pervaded by a gloomy, foreboding atmosphere. Dramaturgically placed lights illuminate the scene and simulate reality by means of photographic aesthetics – a reality which is eventually exposed as an artificially created world. His sculptures, however, are characterised by a sober objectivity: Reduced architectural forms suggest buildings whose idea and purpose do not reveal themselves to the viewer at first sight. In his works, Martin Dörbaum represents the world as a deserted stage, on which fiction and reality seem to blend. What was absurd to begin with remains equivocal and unexplained.

Martin Dörbaum, born in 1971, lives and works in his hometown Berlin. He completes Lothar Baumgarten’s master class at the Berlin University of Arts in 1999. In the same year, Dörbaum receives an art grant for photography from the DG Bank. Further scholarships follow, like the MKK grant for fine arts in graphic printing in 2005. From 1999 to 2001 and 2005 to 2008 the artist is guest lecturer at the Berlin University of Arts. This year, Dörbaum is visiting professor at the CDK / China Academy of Art in Hangzhou / China. Since 1997, Martin Dörbaum’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, e.g. in the exhibition „Bookmarks” at Städtische Galerie Iserlohn 2006 and at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

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