“Landscape is almost like measuring time; you look at something and try to find out where it ends. So, the contemplation of a landscape is always a search, the search for something new, the search of time.”
Janaina Tschäpe was born in 1973 in Munich, Germany, and was raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hochschule fur Bildende Künste, Hamburg, and her Master in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York, where she has lived and worked for over twenty years. Tschäpe has become recognized for a multivalent body of work, embracing painting and drawing, film, photography, sculpture and performance.
“Walking Mountains and Dancing Swamps” at Galleri Brandstrup shows a series of 13 monumental gestural paintings. Casein and watercolour are applied in successive layers on canvas and paper, irrupted by delicate shapes drawn in watercolour pencils. For Tschäpe, painting is an active medium, connecting the process of artistic practice to lifecycles found in nature. She works with colour in intuitive grand gestures, executed in pursuit of the idea of painting as an event.
Tschäpe’s carefully nuanced canvases and drawings include imageries evocative of the natural world, suggesting growth, transition, and metamorphosis. Her continuing fascination with water and admiration of its endless possibilities of transformation manifests in the exhibition. The title “Walking Mountains and Dancing Swamps” hints towards elements of aquatic life and organic shapes, creating a universe of sublime landscapes that shifts between image, fantasy, and abstraction. With her work, she points more towards a sort of topology, sites of deterritorialization, free spaces with no national or cultural lines of differentiation.
Janaina Tschäpe’s works are included in important international public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophía, Madrid, Spain; Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janerio, Brazil; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden and the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY amongst others. She has presented solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Kasama, Japan; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland and the Contemporary Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri. She has been featured in numerous international group exhibitions at venues including Whitechapel Gallery, London; the TBA21-Augarten, Vienna, Austria; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil; Centre D’Arte Contemporain de Normandie, France; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Kunsthal KAde, Amersfoort, The Netherlands; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan to name some.