Public Gallery is pleased to present IT STILL SMELLS OF NOTHING, the debut solo exhibition of German artist Cathrin Hoffmann. The exhibition features installation and sculpture by Hoffmann for the first time, alongside some of the artist’s largest and most ambitious paintings.
In her work, Hoffmann reimagines the body to explore and question what it means to be human in the post–digital age. The anthropomorphic figures that dominate her paintings appear like contortionists, twisted and strained they grapple with the cornerstones of our earthly existence—life and death, pain and pleasure, love and loss, and isolation and connection. In Hoffmann’s words: ‘I create a new virtual body, with its weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, to probe what our present time with modern technology, digitization, and hyper capitalism has made us become? How do we exist and behave? What is human, what remains?’
Produced during a time of intense solitude and collective struggle, Hoffmann’s latest paintings give form to emotions that manifest from her own response to the current moment. Fuelled by feelings of existential dread, hysteria and decadence, the over life-sized figures are set against vacant backdrops with only their shadows for company. Alluding to the limbo of lockdown, these desperate characters appear suspended between quiet meditation and stillness on one hand, and unease and horror on the other—as if trapped, powerless in a parallel universe, to which they know not how they arrived.
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