Mariele NeudeckerThe Arts, Jan 4, 2012
Mariele Neudecker is a German born artist currently living in he U.K. She gained international attention with her tank works- a series of romantic and sublime landscapes, often inspired by old paintings, which are brought to 3-dimensional life in water-filled tanks.
The murky water recreates the atmospheric perspective illusion used in painting to create depth, and results in miniature worlds for the viewer to lose himself or herself in. At the same time, the sharp cut edges and sterile boxes bring the viewer firmly back to the real world in which they are standing. There seems to be something about the loss of the romantic to the knowledge of science that drives these works.
The tank works take the sublime landscape of museum painting and places it in the display context of the natural history or science museum, institutions that shape our understanding of what we are looking at in very different ways. Since producing the tank works, Neudecker work has grown in scale, incorporating huge displays of natural looking forest floors, immense installations of melting icebergs, and outdoor pieces of sunken ships and buildings.
More recently Neudecker has taken a turn away from the landscape and moved to examinations of the machine. This has included reproductions of airplane black boxes and two impressive 11 meter long graphite rubbings of decommissioned Hercules missiles from a display in California.
Neudecker currently has two works on display in Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of Nature as part of a multi-site art exhibition titled Preternatural. This is only the second time the artists’ work has been seen in Canada, and presents an opportunity not to be missed!