In the last two, three years Henri Haake has performed remarkable changes in his work. Before, his paintings were based on often dramatic, politically charged images which he transformed with vigorous brushwork. His more recent pictures are characterized by a certain stillnes, by greater clarity and pointed coloration; his graphic skills are now supplemented by a remarkable talent for color. And as clear as his subjects are: of equal importance is what remains unsaid, the gap between individuals and things.
With an alert eye Henri Haake scans the world. He investigates the environment as it is, he frees himself from evaluations. At the same time, he searches for the appropriate motif, the right image. Some of them he finds in papers and magazines, other ones he photographs himself and takes these pictures as starting points for his paintings. His sight is cool and analytical, yet his distance is softened with humor and sympathetic irony.
The motifs might be as banal as a plastic café chair or as exotic as African sceneries. In the center, however, there is always the human individual; even when people are absent, as in the most recent masterpiece, Osu, a beach scene in Ghana – even in this landscape painting man is present by the marks he made. Like a sociologist, Henri Haake searches for the typical, he observes how people walk and stand, captures their ways of expression, their self-presentations.
As in classical art, this coagulates in formalised poses. It can be the stereotypical gesture of a boxer, the image of a pipe smoker, an advertising model or elderly intellectual, the hazy appearances of beach strollers and soccer players, or the typecast attitude of a woman resting or dealing with her beauty. The figures are isolated and introspective, seem to be somewhat lost in their unrelatedness; even the soccer players do not interact but stand alone. The endless movie stops for one, the decisive second, complex activity is condensed to one image. Thus this work is imprinted by a siesta stillness, a day sleep atmosphere – a silence, though, that is full of tales.
The decisive point, however, is not so much reality itself but rather its transformation into art. Henri Haake shows the world in its painterly quality. The question is not whether the world is beautiful, but how it is when it comes along as a picture. It is about the process of painting.
|1989||born in Lübeck|
|2007-10||took courses at the Atelier Colour Works, Lee Kozlik, Lübeck|
|2010-16||studied fine arts at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, since 2011 with Robert Lucander|
|2013||Hunter College, New York , MFA|
|2015||Knispel Preis for painting and graphics
Diploma at the Universtität der Künste, Berlin
|2016||Master Student, Universität der Künste, Berlin|
Lives and works in Berlin
|2016||Berlin Masters, A3, Arndt Art Agency, Berlin
Dialog der Residuen, Köppe Contemporary, Berlin (solo, with Jeewi Lee)
Cross Section I, Busche, Berlin
|2015||_ndo, Museum Jorge Rando, Malaga, Spain|
|2014||Transformation, Universität der Künste, Berlin|
|2013||Hunters MFA Open Studio, New York
Nachschlag, Uferhallen, Berlin
Quer, Universität der Künste, Berlin
|2012||Red Smoke, Galerie Manzoni Schäper, Berlin|
|2011||Berlin – London, Gutshaus Erlenbach, Zurich
Simultaneity, Atelier Colour Works, Essig Fabrik, Lübeck
2011-2016 participated regularly in the Rundgänge of the Universität der Künste, Berlin