Wertenbruch feat. Camilleri Redux

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Katarina Lennmarker is a Swedish national residing in Malta since 2009. She holds a BA (Hons.) in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins, UK, and recently finished a Masters in Creativity and Innovation at the University of Malta.

Katarina has worked with Art consultancy for international brands such as Diesel (Italy/US), Playstation (Nordic region), Sony (Pan-European) and Volvo (Sweden), developing Brand Association projects that support emerging artists from all over the world. Through consultancy work for the notable Wanås Foundation and visual artist Ann-Sofi Sidén, she had the opportunity to branch into Fine Art management and Curation.

Austin Camilleri and Ludvig Wertenbruch by Alan Carville.

Wertenbruch feat. Camilleri Redux was put together by Katarina Lennmarker, the new curator at the Opus 64 Galerie. Moira Zahra visited the opening of the exhibition with two close friends/colleagues, Ruth Ancilleri – A Fine Arts lecturer at MCAST whose expertise permitted for closer exploration of the exhibited artworks, and creative media lecturer Eleonora Rose Abela, who was our photographer for the evening.

Upon arrival, one is immediately welcomed by works that hugely contrast each other in form, texture and colour. Austin Camilleri’s ‘Nartilmaria’ greets with bold red brushstrokes, and right opposite are the much more subtle works of Ludvig Wertenbruch, whose pieces are reminiscent of Miró’s more minimal works, yet on a much more muted and adult colour scheme. On closer inspection and observation, there is an evident similarity in the subject of space and time in both Wertenbruch’s and Camilleri’s works.

“Nartilmarja from his red series, produced between 2006 and 2008 through the reclaiming and refinishing of older works, offers a striking counterpart and physical juxtaposition to the seeming simplicity of Wertenbruch’s works.” told us Katarina Lennmarker

In ‘Nartilmarja’, what looks like an underpainting, seems to have been given a separate treatment from the block red background, and yet they relate to each other beautifully. The expressive block red has a certain transparent consistency which acts as a link to the lighter composition in the middle of the artwork. This contrast is evident in all of Camilleri’s works although in this particular piece, it is distinctly powerful.

Aside from the common theme of space and time, a certain relationship between cold geometry and warm texture is present. In Wertenbruch’s work particularly, there is a perception of direction which seems to be leading the viewer throughout the exhibition, and although the work is very graphical and severe on the surface, the hints of texture introduce an organic aftereffect. Negative space is especially recurrent in the pieces, and yet is handled very differently by both artists. The combination of works is initially curious but somehow it is their same distinction that allows them to compliment each other.

Katarina Lennmarker explained to REDWHITEmt that the gallery was approached by Ludwig Wertenbruch, a well-established German artist who comes to Malta once a year since five years to study English. He expressed an interest to exhibit some of his art, which Katarina found to have a ‘similar intensity and approach to the subject of time passing’ as Austin Camilleri’s studio works and his latest display at St James Cavalier.

“The collaborative exhibition was born out of this curated concept, and the artists agreed to show together based on the dynamic contrast that is created in the spatial relationship between their works, although they have never met nor spoken until today at the opening.”

Present at the exhibition was also Maltese artist and photographer Patrick Fenech whom we got a chance to speak to briefly. He was nice enough to show and explain to us about his interactive installations.

The exhibition will be running until the 8th of October at Opus 64 Galerie, 64 Tigne’ Street, Sliema, opening from 10.30 – 13.00 and from 16.30 – 19.00.

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