Gerd Lieder (Germany 1955 - )


1955 Born in Helbra/Lutherstadt Eisleben ( Germany)
1978 Moves to Munich
1979 – 1983 Study of theatre science, history of art, German
language and Literature at the Ludwig-Maximillian-
ersity in Munich
1994 First picture cycles with the theme,, “Spiegelungen”
1996 Intensive engagement on water reflections
2000 His theme is the visual experienceable world by
means o
f reflection in different media like foils, water, glass and mirrors.
Now liv
es and works in Bremen (Germany)
The first "picture" in the history of mankind was a reflection - in a slop, a calm lake or a waterhole. And the reflection of an early human face bended over the water might well have substantially contributed to the downing of the consciousness of the human being: The self performed movements and grimaces reproduced by the reflected picture - therefore it must be me what is looking at me. The key phrase is not "cogito, ergo sum" but "video, ergo sum" -I see (me), therefore I am.
Gerd Lieder discovers and encodes the world of reflections and thus he reverts to the probably most "archaic" realization processes. At the same time he is imparting to us a unique, non-repeatable detail of the reality in every single of his - necessarily - perfectly drawn pictures, as there is nothing more transient than a reflection. Only the camera - Lieder's most important hand tool apartfrom the red marten paint brushes - is able to keep this impression. Never will anybody of us see the same reality which Gerd Lieder is.showing in his pictures¬a nyhow he is pictu ring rea lity. At the sa me time Lieder's works a re frozen ti me, images of a spl it second, which will never return that way. He offers to us a reality - and there is the subtle of his art - a reality which is not provable. Thus these pictorial declarations contain a playful provocation: It looks real - but was it really so? Probably it gives Gerd Lieder sometimes a secret pleasure that only he knows and can know (the truth). A real¬ity which is truly existing but owned only by one single person ...
As if this was not enough, Gerd Lieder is playing with the viewers understanding of reality in a different way too: His pictures are as they were encodings of the reality occasionally putting our perceptibility to the test:
What is it what is being reflected there? Lieder fulfils the whole range from "clearly visible" to "no idea" ... So his reflections are often showing real articles but in many cases they are ha rdly recognizable. And this again is a subtle move: a photorealistic painting where the reality is invisible. And again Gerd Lieder is the only person knowing the truth For other pictures the spectator is forced to look very closely, as for instance the many architecture pictures are looking like abstractions -like many of Lieder's pictures - eventually being able to be decoded through their name, as "Uber den Rhein" (Over the Rhine) or "Moschee" (Mosque).
The abrupt switch from objectivity to abstraction and vice versa is another particular nature of Lieder’s works. In an exposition of his works one realizes his strategy (procedure), as several descriptions of reality correlate with each other. But if one took one or another picture out of context and showed it without explanation, a couple of beholders would take them for abstract paintings. Therefore another trick: perfect photorealistic paintings which can be recognized as abstract picture or not. I can not get rid of the hunch: This man plays not only with realities but with the beholders too.
One should not overlook the psychological implications in Lieder’s works
- above all the fact, that someone watching the world via reflections is simultaneously avoiding direct eye contact and “showing the world one’s back”. This way the artist refuses active participation in life and tells phenomena and events as optical pageant.
Who is familiar with Lieder’s art knows his many works “reflecting” lonesomeness, melancholy, and yearning- so as “Abschied” (1999, “Goodbye”), “Tod in Venedig” (1999, “Death in Venice”), “Sehnsucht” (2004, “Yearning”), “Sonnensucher” (2005, “Sunseeker”), “Herbstsonate” (2004, “Autumn Sonata”) just to name only some of them. Gerd Lieder’s life is circling around his - obsessive - work and his family. This he declares when naming one of the loving portraits of his wife Chris in the double sense “Lichtblick” (2005, “View of Light”) or when managing in the reflection a real fusion in “Kopf an Kopf” (2004, “Head to Head”). This way one can learn from Lieder’s works about realities and something about the artist as well.
Fortunately the artist follows an unswerving course - and as he is in addition to this very diligent and hard working, he can present an already voluminous oeuvre. In this context it is amazing how many aspects Gerd Lieder reclaims from the topic “reflections”. Still life, portrait, nude, landscape and painting of architec¬ture - almost all genres of pictorial arts can be found. What ever scene Gerd Lieder is going in for-the result is utmost aesthetic and brilliant in the craft’s sense: conceptual pictorial art of its best.

Exhibited by

Work Selection