Christopher Hartmann, Installation view, BLUM Los Angeles, 2023

Christopher Hartmann

Christopher Hartmann

Nightswimming

July 1 – August 12, 2023
Los Angeles

Biography

Christopher Hartmann (b. 1993, Germany) is a German-Costa Rican artist living and working in London. Hartmann’s paintings present us with places in which specific time and space are suspended. They are concerned with relationships; how these are shaped by contradictory forces of alienation, intimacy, and dependence; and the emotional tension this instills within each of us as we negotiate their terms. Typically presented in moments of presumed dialogue or physical interaction, Hartmann’s subjects embody the desire for an authentic connection. The eeriness of Hartman’s work is symptomatic of the age we live in: an isolated, technology-driven and oversaturated world where realism has been pushed to a simulated extreme. Using layers of oil paint that mimic the masks of photo editing software, Hartmann’s subjects radiate artificial tones of scarlet and yellow to evoke the luminosity of the screen, calling forth the strangely unfamiliar hue of our digital selves.

Toying with and shifting between ideas of vulnerability, ambiguity, and attachment, Hartmann depicts negative spaces as abstraction to conjure the many possibilities of that which is not shown. Rumpled bed sheets, with a gaze held intently upon them, become a series of rippling marks from the artist’s brush that leave the viewer to wonder by whom and how the loosely represented object became so impressed. Likewise, ocean waves, with a focus held tight in, become swirling strokes of frothy white and undulating blues—though what may lie beneath the depicted wave’s surface remains for the viewer to imagine.

Hartmann holds an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins, London, UK and completed his MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK in 2021. He is a recent grantee from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation (2020) and resident of The Fores Project, London, UK (2020) and Nassima Landau Foundation, Tel Aviv, Israel (2022). 

Solo exhibitions of Hartmann’s work include State of Life, May I Live, May I Love, T&Y Projects, Tokyo, Japan (2022) and What I Want to Say Is This, Nassima Landau Foundation, Tel Aviv, Israel (2021). Selected group exhibitions include Queering the Narrative, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2022); MFA Fine Art Degree Show, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK (2021); High Voltage, Nassima Landau, Tel Aviv, Israel (2020); and London Grads Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2020). 

Selected Works

News

Flaunt: Blum & Poe | Nightswimming

07/07/2023

Los Angeles Times: Weekly Countdown

06/28/2023

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