About the artist
Naturally Lea Gudrich has an artist’s biography that qualifies her to be taken seriously – fine arts studies in Rouen, art academy in Krakow, then a teaching position in Trier, exhibitions all over Germany, a studio in Cologne and a second one in the countryside in Speicher. As always, these facts say little about the person behind them. What is clear is that her paintings reflect the academic rigour of the Polish art academy, her bold and colourful exuberance the excess of French free art, and that she has always been a painter can be seen in the mastery of her strokes, the thousandfold learned and polished handling of her materials.
The fact that the beautiful is obviously easier for her than the strikingly disgusting can also be discerned from the biography of a painter who often paints precise miniatures of small animals. However – and this is probably a truism about artists who communicate through pictures – such observations are as far removed from reality as trying to explain the pyramids of Giza by the weight of their stones. The best way to encounter Lea Gudrich is in her paintings, which are pleasing at first glance and create an uncanny eeriness at second glance, creating an unease in us with familiar objects and situations of our world.
Her often large-format works resist academic domestication and skilfully elude many categories of contemporary – often male – art criticism. Her pictures are courageous because they are not afraid of kitsch and catchy because they directly touch something in the viewer that works reflexively and does not require any conscious reflection on the content of the picture as a diversion. This subcutaneous moment unfolds best in her large-format pictures, whose magic lies in their immersive magnetism. Regardless of the time we spend in front of her pieces, Gudrich’s painting is experienced as an ongoing metamorphosis; there is always a field of colour, an arc, a subtle and ephemeral new world to be found where before there was mainly canvas and paint.
Lukas Biniossek(Translated from German original)
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