David Lynch through Austrian landscapes: Wolfgang Dieter Bauer’s solo show at 508 Gallery, London on show until July 30, 2022.
Walking into the 508 Gallery space in Chelsea last week I was astonished by a series of enigmatic artworks by Wolfgang Dieter Bauer, a young Austrian artist who opened his first solo show at the British capital on that day. Accurately curated by the gallery manager, Felix Feltrin and his team, the exhibition set up was clean and clear showing each and every element with proper respect.
I first felt some strange and mysterious energy coming from the artworks towards myself and other visitors, then I stopped by and carefully examined each and every painting. There were definitely some shady messages in them, something as in Edward Hopper’s cold and lonely diner’s scapes. A sort of American pancake post-realism. There were smaller and large artworks hung, all of them very David Hockney colourful but dark at the same time. Then all of a sudden I was hypnotised by one particular painting, as I felt something very familiar in it, but could not figure out what. I continued staring at it as if I was a person I had not seen for a long time trying to remember where and how I knew him.
Then I realised the man on the painting was no other than Kyle McLachlan while picking up a human ear in a very first scene of Lynch’s Blue Velvet, only with Coast Azores’s Rothschild pink villa on his back. Intrigued and hypnotised I was standing there and still staring at the painting while Wolfgang came along and we started to chat so he explained this was not the only Lynch inspired work he has created, then showed me the rest of the show explaining.
The second time I was touched that evening was when he brought me to a very large portrait of his wife and two daughters, who were near us at the show. The very intense expression of all three left me speechless for a moment, there I saw a completely different artist in front of me, a family man who loves his dears so much he could paint them in this angelic way. At this point there were suddenly two artists in one person, one inspired by his obscure sufferings and the other totally enlightened and filled with love. Reading then about Bauer’s work there was this very precise observation in that press release that remained in my head. It said… He brings into dialogue the conscious and unconscious levels of human perception. That is , I think somehow what I had experienced while visiting this show.
Maria Abramenko, Independent Curator/Advisor/Artcritic
Museum Angerlehner 2019