Ankalina Dahlem captures desire "which is struck by lightning. It is the ancient desire for Arcadia. The topic has been occupying mankind and artists since antiquity. Nymphs, fauna, Gods, animals inhabit magnificent landscapes, glorious figures of men and women are a delight to the eye. Arcadia runs like a thread through the history of art. In the 20th century Picasso, Matisse and Chagall captured the "Dream of Lost Paradise" with picturesque and graphic expression. Using simple line and surfaces their artist's fantasies are generated of flute blowing herdsmen, of lascivious faun, of wild Centaurus and other frolicsome male Gods, who entice and ensnare willing nymphs.
The scenarios have no particular place. They are acted out in nothing, in heaven, in nature. The ocean, the clouds, the air, the gardens become a picture frame into which we look like into a showcase. There are no fixed proportions here. The protagonists sit under giant calyxes or lean against treetops.
The artist works with mixed techniques on canvas, in ink on paper. Many motifs are in black and white. The few colorful works concentrate on one color: blue, green, brown or a delicate red. All paintings are varnished, lying above the motif like wafer thin opaque glass. It is the transparent partition wall between us and the illustrated scenarios.
Ankalina Dahlem was born in 1968 and is a visual artist and author. She studied free painting and sculpture, among others at Pasadena Art Center College of Design in the USA, at Stadelschule in Frantfurt/Main and at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Karlsruhe, where she became a master student in 1998. Jorg Immendroff, Stephan Balkenhol and Erwin Gross were her teachers. Work stays took her to Tel Aviv, New York and Venice. In 2001 she was awarded the Tony Merz Prize, in 2005 she was nominated for the Horst Jansen Graphic Prize. Ankalina Dahlem also writes short stories and completed her first novel in 2011. Women are the focus of her large-scale drawings and paintings. Naked, sensual, beautiful women, whose shapes are highlighted by means of simple drawn lines. They are individual women and at first glance they bring to mind nymphs by Picasso, Matisse, Cicciolina, the muse of Jeff Koons, or Playmates. At second glance we recognize that they do everything but out themselves at the service of male artists, fools and old men.