Exhibition: 30th January – 7th March 2008


Maddox Arts is pleased to present “The Tattooed Horse”, an exhibition of new paintings by renowned German artist Werner Liebmann. The show will run from 30th January till the 7th March with a private view being held on the evening of 29th January. “The Tattooed Horse” refers to one of the several new canvases the artist has prepared for his solo exhibition at Maddox Arts. Werner Liebmann’s art is firmly rooted in the traditions and juxtapositions of the Leipzig school where he trained between 1983 and 1986. Shielded from the new trends of conceptual art and the influence of Joseph Beuys in the west, the art students in East Germany benefited from a more traditional painting education, founded on rigourous artistic standards and a conscious analysis of society. Werner’s paintings can be readily associated with the intense, expressionistic strand of art that emerged from the Leipzig school under the influence of Professor Bernhard Heisig, to whom his classmate Neo Rauch later became assistant. Despite the apparent variety of styles, the Leipzig artists were generally encouraged to paint for the sake of painting, without the urgency to convey a particular concept or opinion, but to enjoy their medium and to use it as expressively as possible.

In front of a blank canvas, Werner Liebmann will often begin his journey with nothing more than a black dot. This nucleus might rapidly become a sheep, around which mountains are formed in shimmering violet. More beasts and characters emerge from the brush before eventually the artist can step back and admire a landscape populated by a wealth of imagery culled from the resources of his mind and surroundings. The mood of the canvas is often a result of a news report or feature he has just read or seen on television. Around him, the flood of images allows the artist to draw surprising and sometimes sinister correlations that may find a home in a seemingly tranquil and idyllic landscape. Where some artists might select or trim the content of a painting, Liebmann believes in the human ability to conjecture order in the apparent chaos, to sift through the contrasting imagery in order to find something familiar or even truthful. As he says himself: “Isn’t abundance great?”

After early studies in Chemistry and working as an engineer in Halle, East Germany, Werner Liebmann began his studies in painting in 1977, first at the Giebichenstein Castle in Halle, then between 1983 and 1986 at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, under the tutelage of Professor Bernhard Heisig. From 1986 through to 1992 he was a teacher at The University of Arts, Dresden and since 1993 he has held a professorship for painting at the University of Arts in Berlin. Werner Liebmann has exhibited extensively throughout Germany since the 1980’s, in both solo shows and mixed shows. After re unification he has also exhibited in Japan, Canada, USA, UK and at the 1990 Venice Biennale.