Eberhard Havekost, "Expulsion from Paradise Freeze"

Art, Contemporary art
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Like Gerhard Richter, Eberhard Havekost hails from Dresden, Germany, a coincidence that may or may not account for a shared tendency to graze freely across genres, sampling abstraction and representation with no distinction made between the two.

Havekost, however, is more in tune with the broader strokes of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art than Richter’s elegantly deracinated take on German Romanticism. His gestural studies evoke Willem de Kooning, while figurative works, such as a close-up of female lips, likewise do with James Rosenquist. Still, Havekost’s abrupt s

wings between styles seem more formalist than subversive. This isn’t to deny the alienated vibe emanating from images, like one of a BMW’s smashed front end and another of a turned-off flatscreen TV floating against a gray background. The abstractions too have a deadened air. Even with its references to the present, the show feels stuck in time.

Havekost, born in 1967, lived a part of his life under Communism and undoubtedly witnessed the widespread disorientation many East Germans felt with the Cold War’s end. The paintings here elicit something of the same: a sense of having thawed while remaining frozen in the past.

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