Sibylle Springer (*1975 in Münster, lives in Bremen and Berlin) is a painter. Her large-format works in acrylic on canvas are characterised by contrasts: oscillating between abstraction and figuration, revealing and concealing, beauty and horror, past and present, tradition and innovation. The title of her exhibition at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst furthers the ambiguity, meaning both gift-giving but also poison in German.

Sibylle Springer states that she is interested in the ambivalent and the vague, in nuances. This is also reflected in the body of work the artist creates for her solo exhibition at GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst: an exploration of historical and contemporary images of violence, physical intimacy and other taboos. In a painterly process, Springer hides the original image content from visual perception, makes it disappear in seeming monochromy, adds elements, or varies the format. By this means she opens up new ways of viewing supposedly familiar painting masterpieces and reinterprets their themes.

Besides the many large-format canvases, the exhibition presents smaller drawings that revolve around similar themes. A recreated wall from Springer’s studio displays her research work and myriad connections that serve as basis for her paintings.

A space concept which was specially developed for gift strikes a contrast with the subdued palette of Sibylle Springer’s new series: the normally white walls of the GAK now resemble the colour-painted walls of classical museum presentations. Museum benches in the exhibition space add another element that fuses together historical and contemporary conventions for presenting and viewing art.

The themes of the exhibition will be further explored in depth through an accompanying programme of events.