Karin Pliem


Karin Pliem

Nature and culture are productive opposites. While the former represents the original, the unspoiled, the latter is considered its transformation, if not its transcendence. The relationship between nature and culture is not however one of antagonism, instead they are virtually dependent on one another. Art likes to play them against one another, although at best, as an abstract system of representation itself, it can merely simulate the concept of naturalness.

Karin Pliem’s painting brings together creatures from diverse parts and ecosystems worldwide and blends them into a single heterogeneous complex. Flora from the tropics, Alpine valleys or the botanical garden encounter sea animals or transgenic plants cultured in the laboratory.

This painting, which translates hybridization into the composition of the image, presents itself like a jungle of forms and colors whose surface has been leveled off. Pliem, however, alters the form, color and size of the individual vegetal elements as the pictorial invention requires: the formulation of details within the multi-layered surface of the classical panel painting adheres above all to compositional considerations. As a result, the idea of the human who shapes nature gains direct access to the genesis of painting:

as an entity that forms and deforms, enables and destroys, the human does not place itself outside of nature, but instead right in the middle of it.