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Introducing artist Detlef E. Aderhold

Posted on October 8, 2015

German artist Detlef E. Aderhold joins us at Curious Duke Gallery as runner up in Secret Art Prize 2015. Read on to find out how these mixed media artworks came to catch our eye.
Discipline: Mixed Media
Age: 66
Where do you live? Lueneburg, Germany
Where did you study? As an artist I am an autodidact.
 MA (Psychology), Universitaet Goettingen, Germany
 PhD (Psychology), Universitaet Potsdam, Germany
How did you get started in you artistic career?
When I was 16 years old I started to draw and paint a lot. After working on a shipyard  (Bremer Vulkan) for four years, in 1970 suddenly two opportunities opened up for me at the same time.  Freiherr Professor Jobst von Harsdorf of the former “Kunstakademie Bremen” (now University) had a look at my work. He told me to drop everything else and start to study art. But there also was the offer to finish school and to go to university and study psychology after that, no small feat for a   dyslexic like me at that time. So I choose psychology as my profession, but it has always been important for me to work artistically over the years.  Finally in 2011 I decided to show my work in public and become a professional artist. 
What can you tell us about your artistic practice?
When I am in my studio I am working on four or five pieces at the same time. While creating my paintings, two processes are particular important. On the one hand, there is the rapid, dynamic, and expressive part characterized by a largely unrestrained and spontaneous handling of paint and canvas. After preparing the ground of the painting with water or coffee, the colors selected beforehand are dripped, flung, and energetically scattered wet-on-wet across the canvas. This action-based element develops on the basis of preliminary plans and mental images recorded in sketches. These form a rough framework, an idea, which is to be realized. I often incorporate impressions or frontage drawings directly on to the canvas. These drawn elements are made with everyday objects – bicycle chains, shards of glass, Lego pieces, or model-train tracks – or natural materials – sand, pine needles, and stones – further develop the composition. These objects and materials leave their traces or impression in the wet ground and sometimes yield additional structures that I can work from. 
The result of the initial process is taken up and further developed. The phase is more contemplative and calm. Here, I try to immerse myself in the painting, to open myself to the painting, pulling out small details that reveal themselves through my contemplation of the surface. 
During a residency at the School of Visual Arts, in the summer of 2014, I began a series of mixed-media works, which are titled Wrapped. The Wrapped series is ongoing and I use a free-play of materials and found objects. Each work in this series takes a crumpled painting rag as its starting point. Each of these small assemblages contains aspects that are present in my larger works: symbols, stains of pigment, and drawing and expressive color. 
The series “The Motherboard Project” (a sample is attached) deals with the question of how change occurs through interaction. The original painting Motherboard is changed through the other canvases (Takes) that are laid on top of it; at the same time, it shapes the new canvases. The removal of paint produces erasures and new structures, for example. The result is a process of reciprocal formation and change. Traces of pint are lift behind on the Takes, and these represent a point of departure for new paintings. The impression is not merely a transferred copy: It is further developed and thus invested with an individuality and identity of its own. What are important to me are spontaneity and the question of how structures form.
Wrapped 16 by Aderhold
How do you choose your subjects?
Sometimes it is a photo or just a shape, a structure, a color that triggers my imagination.
Do you have a routine, or an exercise you have to do get you started? 
Hearing music while painting is very important for me, it puts me in a creative mood. Mostly I hear Jazz, Math Core, such as “Steve Lehman Octet”, “ The Dillinger Escape Plan”, but also  “The Mars Volta”,  “Slipknot” and others. 
What are your ambitions in the art world?
Keeping the momentum and taking my career to the next level.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
To find your own way!
And lastly, choose one word:
Grotesque or beautiful? Grotesque
Urban or surreal?  Surreal
Planned or spontaneous? Both!!
Monochrome or rainbow? Rainbow
Thanks Detlef, it is great to hear such creative secrets.
Liked this? Read about the winners of the Secret Art Prize 2015 her
Curious Duke Gallery is proud to present The Secret Art Prize 2015
PV Thursday 1 October 6-9pm
1-18 October
173 Whitecross London EC1Y 8JT
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Written by Curious Duke Gallery blogger Sinéad Loftus.
Lover of all art and fluffy cats.