Armin Boehm: Armin Boehm
16 December – 20 January 2007
Armin Boehm was born in Aachen in 1972 and studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1997 and 2001. In its current exhibit, the Johnen Galerie displays Boehm’s recent works, which focus on places where religious delusions were enacted. The huts and dwellings of sects, for the most part inconspicuous in their outer appearance, not uncommonly became crime scenes. Boehm has researched religiously charged places that elude the modern civilizing principles of existence and order and attack our civilization with radical ideologies and false promises. This research led him to peculiar settings and events. Because of the rituals and unusual moral concepts practiced there, these sites experience a particular ecstasy that meshes uneasily with the banality of their architecture and generally rural surroundings. Boehm captures the threatening scenario behind unimposing facades in picturesque tones.
Running parallel to the large-format works of places are small-format portraits. As with the former, these attest to an ostensible normality while evoking mild irritations that are difficult to pinpoint at first glance. The portraits involve the victims of the sects, and the knowledge of this horror casts those pictured in an ambivalent light.
By instilling his current motifs with such a substantive intensity, Boehm reduces his painting to simple compositions. He also largely reduces his color spectrum to refracted colors and carefully blended color gradations in gray tones.
Boehm’s preference for enraptured motifs in his content was already visible in his earlier works, for example in the series of images of prison islands, the Neuschwanstein motifs or in the archictectural citations oriented towards Stanley Kubrick’s Shining hotel in the “Hotel California” paintings. The locality-rooted moment of the irrational and horror represents a constant in Boehm’s painting. In his new works, he inserts this into a closed conceptual-narrative concept.