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Thyra Schmidt & Christina Kral

Photographs and video by Thyra Schmidt

Thyra Schmidt & Christina Kral

Thursday, 27/04/2023

6 –10 pm

The exhibition is accompanied by a text by Frankfurt-based philosopher Angelica Horn, scroll down.

The work of Thyra Schmidt is based on self-authored text compositions translated into various audiovisual and printed media, also conceptualized for site-specific installations in public space. The artist is interested in using language as an image- and space-creating device. In a constant change of perspective, she describes various interpersonal conditions to reflect social experiences.

Thyra lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

She studied at the Braunschweig University of Art and the Düsseldorf Art Academy and has received several grants and international artist residencies (in Japan, Norway, Brazil, and South Korea). Her works have been shown in exhibitions and as projects in public space, among others, at the Photographische Sammlung|SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne; Institute of Contemporary Art, Dunaújváros, Hungary; Goethe-Institute Norway and ROM for Kunst og Arkitektur, Oslo; Kunstverein Paderborn; Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal; KAI 10|Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf. For the extension of the Museum, Haus Opherdicke, Unna, Thyra has created a chronogram for the year 2021 as an inscription on the building. She also publishes individual series and projects in books of her own design, most recently: Über Diebe und die Liebe. On Thieves and Love. (2019, edition cantz/DCV, Berlin) and Rendezvous (2023, DISTANZ Verlag, Berlin).

Christina Kral is a visual artist based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Her work encompasses sculptural assemblage, installation, and painting. For her assemblage works, she uses object fragments that she finds on the street and gives them a new form and legibility by arranging and recombining them. In her painting practice, she is primarily interested in experimentally reapproaching and further developing established techniques. She also draws on processes outside the visual arts, such as gardening or cooking, and transfers them into her painting processes. She combines aspects of her painting and assemblage sculptures in her installations, for example, by spatializing painterly compositions.

Christina started her artistic career in 2008 in New York with an artist residency at Eyebeam. Followed by residencies at Columbia University (Teachers College, New York), Bric Contemporary Art in New York, Guapamacátaro in Michoacán, Mexico, and Gasworks in London, UK. She received multiple grants to support her work, most recently from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at art festivals such as Cafa Biennial in Beijing, China, the Mercosul Biennial in Porto Allegre, Brazil, or at X-Initiative, a temporary experimental non-profit project in the former Dia:Chelsea building in New York, directed by Cecilia Alemani. Her work was included at exhibitions at the Bauhausarchiv in Berlin, the Ludwig Mùzeum, Budapest, Hungary, and at Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin: Worin unsere Stärke besteht — 50 women artists from three generations of the GDR (German Democratic Republic). 

Pictures from right to left:
Thyra Schmidt
From the series IHR: two photographs, silkscreen on paper, each 55.7 x 72 cm (framed) and video projection, text by the artist, 1:09 min, dimensions variable, 2022/2023

Christina Kral

Untitled: Acrylic on cotton, 60 x 60 cm, 2023

Untiteld: Acrylic on cotton, 70 x 70 cm, 2023

Untiteld: Acrylic on cotton, 70 x 70 cm, 2023

Diverse relationships

On the exhibition by Thyra Schmidt and Christina Kral in the series "" of the Studiospace Langestraße Frankfurt

By Angelica Horn


In the three paintings shown in this exhibition, Christina Kral deals with patterns and pattern formation: "Broken Patterns" (Untitled, acrylic on cotton, 2023). The first painting (60 x 60 cm) has paint on an underlying print. Slippage during scanning created a streaky pattern on which there are individual flat yellow shapes, moving blotches in blue, violet, and red, and three elongated horizontal "squiggles" in a turquoise tone. The result is a harmonious whole, full of movement and characterized by lightness. Dark gray stripes with linear interruptions create a "drive" to the right. The viewer's gaze, which goes into detail, becomes part of the inner movement of the picture and experiences a pattern that cannot be pinned down.

In a second, completely different picture (60 x 60 cm), the work was preceded by a preoccupation with folded-over fabrics, which produce new patterns when folded over. Two main surfaces meet in the middle of the picture, analogous to such a process; on the left, a yellow-ochre "fabric" with blue, green figures in diamond shape; on the right, a more dominant orange with yellow-ochre and green in areas and stripes. At the top is the tip of another "fabric" in black, white-grey, and turquoise-blue with diamond shapes. This rather calm picture has the pattern as a given, which always consists of repetition and rhythm.

In the third picture (50 x 50 cm), which is the most complex and the most recent of the three, band-like structures are used, two of which stand out in particular in white-purple-white and white-red-white, which are placed vertically. Black and blue two-dimensional forms in the center bring calm and certainty to the picture; on the sides of the painting, it becomes clear how other layers preceded the one on top, which can be seen openly here. They are more fluid on the one hand and more transparent on the other. This picture, which was produced by masking the surface, also reflects the nature of the picture as such: with the central object, the background, and the foreground. In the broadest sense, each work can be understood in its composition and structure as (a) pattern, which is, however, "broken" and not a guideline to be followed or adhered to.


Thyra Schmidt has reproduced photos from the family album using screen printing and shows two sheets from the series "IHR" (2022/2023, 55.7 x 72 cm each) in this exhibition. "Ihr" ("You") are the ancestors from whose time the photos originate, from the fifties of the 20th century. One photo shows people happily and proudly standing in and around a car, dressed for Sunday. They are almost all looking to the right (so there is something to see there); a man leaning against the car with his arms folded, presenting and representing himself, is looking directly at the photographer; we can assume that he is the car's owner. The meeting of these people, the event being observed, the vehicle, all of this was obviously something special.


In the second of the red silkscreens, we see horses. On the left is the hindquarters of one of them, while on the right, filling almost half of the picture, is the front part of a horse on which a jockey is sitting, but whose head we cannot see. At the back, in the middle of the picture, we see a group of people; there are benches to sit on, trees at the back, and a large area covered with grass at the front. If we link the narratives of the two pictures, the event to be seen in one is probably the horse race in the other. The reproduction of the photos in red screen print not only creates autonomous artistic works but also generates a dialectic of memory and presence.

On the one hand, the monochrome screen print distances itself from the photo and, thus, from the photographed reality. On the other hand, however, it brings this reality closer. It even allows it to be experienced more directly - in the sense of a memory, even if it is a memory of something we have not experienced ourselves.


Below the first screen print on the room's front wall is a video projection of a text sequence (text by the artist, 1:09 min, 2022/2023), which begins with the words "Das kenne ich nicht." ("I don't know that.") Individual statements can be seen and read in a precisely ordered sequence at different locations on the wall's surface - the whole thing ends with a rapid sequence in a vertical line. Here, the text is both image and temporally organized structure. The viewer can feel personally addressed by the text at any of its points (e.g., "Where are you?"); it is entirely up to him whether he does so or whether he takes the text sequence as an autonomous entity in itself, as is the case in a poem, for example. This is an open relationship that is determined by the words and their arrangement and sequence but is not clearly defined. Since it is a loop, it is possible to look at the text repeatedly and to repeatedly experience it for oneself, to reflect on the sequence and the context. It ends with the staccato: "JUST IN DEM MO MENT BIST DU NICHT DA" ("JUST IN THE MO MENT YOU ARE NOT THERE".)


The textual event as a pictorial order contains a diverse relational structure and enables a variety of relationships to it. This applies to the exhibition as a whole - to the relationships between the individual works and between the viewer and them. It is a space of possible relational events. It is up to the viewer how far and how they engage with the art and participate in its life and vitality. Individual freedom is possible.



© Angelica Horn, Frankfurt am Main 2024

Translation with DeepL Translate and Grammarly.

Angelica - Thyra - Christina



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