[58] Transit - Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

“Transit” [2013] Nina Neumaier. Varnish on Plexiglass, 20 parts, 15 x 10 x 2 cm. Exhibition at Kunstraum t27, Berlin-Neukölln, Germany.
© Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Earlier this year, Kunstverein Neukölln (Art Society Neukölln) presented an exhibition at Kunstraum t27 that featured selected works of four artists who consciously reorientated themselves over the course of their careers. Reflecting the motto of the art festival ’48 Hours Neukölln’, which in 2013 ran under the motto “Change of perspective”, the “Stoffwechsel” (Metabolism) exhibition illustrated the respective origins and progresses of the changes the artists had gone through in their work. The above photo shows a part “Transit” by Nina Neumaier, published with kind permission of the artist.

Reverse glass painting

Nina Neumaier has been working with reverse glass painting for over 16 years. This old technique is lifted out of its traditional context by the use of plexiglass and unusual formats that accentuate the subjects of the work. The religious tradition of reverse glass painting was common in the 18th and 19th Century. Rediscovered by the group »Der Blaue Reiter« (Kandinsky, Münter, etc.) in 1911, it again flourished in the region of Oberbayern for a brief period.

The mark-making of the reverse glass drawings by Nina Neumaier correspond with the fragility of the material. Closed forms are in interplay with fine transparent formulations. Lines and bands connect both sharply defined and irregularly structured surfaces. Her drawings investigate concentration and reduction. The complex technical constraints of reverse glass painting requires constant thinking ahead in order to allow the necessary technical procedures. A reverse of thinking is also required as everything has to be designed in reverse. Nina Neumaier has worked with this method for many years and developed it accordingly. Every brushstroke has to be executed with precision, as the drying of one layer excludes the possibility of retouching previous layers. (Source: ART IN FLOW)


The word ‘transit’ will forever remind me of the many times my family travelled to or through the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and of the experiences we made at the inner-German border. My strongest memories are of the border crossings at Dreilinden and Bornholmer Straße. The latter is located close to the neighbourhood I recently moved back to, reminding me of the times when we entered East Berlin, and later were able to witness East Germans pouring over the border in November 1989 (see video below).


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