Because Something Happened Here
04.08 — 05.19.18

Devening Projects is pleased to invite you to Because Something Happened Here, a show of new work by Dorothee Joachim. The show opens with a reception for the artist from 4 – 7 on Sunday, April 8th and continues until May 19th, 2018.

For painters, light offers one of the greatest vehicles for inquiry and expression. It also holds within itself one of the most desirous and challenging of objectives. Fraught with potential cliché, redolent with psychological and emotional triggers, and shaped by art history, light is always there; but it can be difficult to introduce new ways of expressing what might seem so familiar. Despite those challenges, light remains critical; that has never been made clearer than in Because Something Happened Here. It is our great pleasure to bring the work of this esteemed Cologne-based artist to Devening Projects for the third time.

Dorothee Joachim makes light physical. Her alchemist’s approach produces evocative focal points that utilize pigment to actualize light and all its requisite effects. The work has depth and presence; it radiates with delicate modulations of hue and tone to arrive at a mystical cynosure. That delicacy of light exists not only within each independent piece but also within the shifts that occur when one encounters the work in an installation. The resulting conversations allow for even deeper readings about how context, scale and perception add complex layers to an encounter that is already rich with allusion. The luminous effect created in her paintings varies from piece to piece bringing a poetic interpretation to the sensual possibilities of surface and color.

Starting each painting with a carefully prepared and primed surface, Joachim then layers the work with very thin washes of intense hues. Highly diluted, but well supported by polymer binders, the color quickly runs off the vertical plane until a moment when the water begins to evaporate and minute granules of pigment adhere to the surface. This process is repeated hundreds of times—the panel is rotated with each application to create even color distribution—until a particular surface quality is declared and the painting becomes a delicate luminous field. At this point, light becomes physical. The subtle gradations of tone in the substance of paint manifests a perceptual experience drawn out by atmosphere. Light becomes a tool to hover between zones of clear awareness and ephemerality. It’s the kind of instability that occurs when light dims and focus drifts.

For the past two years, Dorothee Joachim has focused on utilizing various papers and boards as supports for new color and light experiments. This exhibition’s title, Because Something Happened Here, is highly appropriate. Much is happening in this energetic project; the approach is risky and thrilling. Working with color in a new way, Joachim creates highly variegated surfaces that link more directly to physical nature, an area her paintings on panels bypass. Image is suggested, and there are particular textural occurrences that feel referential. Despite the physical drama present in these new pieces, they are absent of narrative. Her work continues to find its source in how light is perceived and how it permeates scrims and filters. In these new, modestly sized boards and papers, those screens might be rough or pooling; regardless, there are fissures everywhere through which light breaks. It is the residue of contact that creates this new and highly engaging direction. Active and chromatically charged, the physicality of her material and process brings light forward. Tactile, vivid but always diaphanous, Dorothee Joachim’s new work is light that one knows and feels.

Dorothee Joachim received a Masters Degree in Painting from FH Cologne, Department of Fine Art. In 2012, she won the Leo Breuer Award of Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), along with solo exhibitions at LVR LandesMuseum and at Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung in Bonn. Recent solo and two-person shows include installations at kjubh Kunstverein, Cologne (accompanied by a catalog), and Laszló Vass Collection, Veszprém, HUN (2-P), 2017; Off Space, Devening Projects, Chicago (2-P), 2012; Brühler Kunstverein, Brühl, Germany, and Devening Projects, Chicago, 2009; pp projects, Hamburg, 2008; Kunst aus NRW, Aachen-Kornelimünster (2-P), 2007; galerie januar e.V., Bochum, 2002; Kunstmuseum Mülheim/Ruhr (with catalog) and Galerie Schütte, Essen, 2001. In 2011, she presented “IM ROHBAU”, a one-day site-specific painting intervention at W7, Haus Wallrath + Jacob, a Cologne residential building from 1888 in reconstruction, in cooperation with architect Andrea Wallrath, BDA.

Recent group exhibitions include Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL, 2018; Kunstforum Solothurn and Galerie Abbühl, Solothurn, CH, Galerie Schmidt und Schütte, Cologne, and The Flying Field, Berlin, 2017; COFA Contemporary, Cologne, and EXPO Chicago / Editions + Books (with Devening Projects), 2016; Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin, Verein für aktuelle Kunst/Ruhrgebiet e.V., Oberhausen, and Museum Bochum, 2013; Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung, Bonn, 2012; Kunstmeile Wangen #4, Wangen / Allgäu, 2011; Angle art contemporain, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, F, and Judith Racht Gallery, Harbert, MI, 2010; Galerie oqbo, Berlin, HALLE ZEHN, Cologne, and Northern Illinois University Art Museum, DeKalb, IL, 2009; Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Hagen, 2005 and 2004; Hunter College / Times Square Gallery, New York, 2003.

In addition to these projects, Dorothee Joachim has exhibited her painting widely since the late seventies. Her work is featured in numerous private and public collections including Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Hagen, LVR LandesMuseum, Bonn, and KOLUMBA Museum and Museum Ludwig in Cologne. She lives and works in Cologne.

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  • DJ1_untitled (A1), 2016, watercolor on paper, 17.75 x 12.5 inches
  • DJ4_untitled (A4), 2016, watercolor on paper, 17.75 x 12.5 inches
  • DJ19_untitled (B3), 2017, watercolor on paper, 24 x 17 inches
  • DJ25_untitled (C1), 2017, watercolor on paper, 12.6 x 9 inches
  • DJ27_untitled (C3), 2016, watercolor on paper, 12.6 x 9 inches
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  • DJ5_untitled (A5), 2017, watercolor on paper, 17.75 x 12.5 inches
  • DJ12_untitled (A12), 2017, watercolor on paper, 17.75 x 12.5 inches