31. May 2017, Text by Tobias Kunz

The #facts exhibition is presenting new aspects of Felix Lippmann‘s artistic working. Viewers as well as initiates of the artist’s previous lines of work like paint it black or step outside will notice immediately the intense, thickset colours of the paintings that seem to reach out into the room almost haptically. Moreover, the pieces are unusually colourful and richer in contrast, which makes them more heterogenic. Colour is the most important element for Felix Lippmann, because it can express everything or, to say it in his own words, „I am drawn into colour.“

This enthusiasm stems from his origins in landscape painting. Lippmann has always been fascinated by nature’s colours, which he transfers into his works while intensifying them. They can be interpreted as a first fact, a strong message that enables interacting with the art.

Secondly, the viewer is being surprised by an unusual language of forms. Large, interacting surfaces constitute a breach with the former homogenic image traditions. In a sense, this is a daring sassiness, because now you are forced to view, to even translate the allegedly disruptive anew. Ultimately, this allows the paintings more freedom.

This is nothing less than the quest for a consistent language of forms that is supposed to be universally understandable. For that, Lippmann is connecting known elements and putting them into a new context, enabling all paintings to balance successfully between motives of nature and urbanity.

The work kurz vor grün for example combines landscape painting with fragments of street art. Symmetric, but also irritating colours and forms are compelling the viewer to see the work under different aspects.

The latin word factum does not only mean fact, data, or numerous other things, but also translates as oeuvre. Felix Lippmann’s oeuvre in it’s entirety is mainly this: private („My paintings are like my way of living“).

So the #facts exhibition is nothing less than the facts of Lippmann’s current conflicts, and ultimately also the conflicts of the viewer. Art was, is and will always be a mirror of it’s present society. In times of Brexit, Le Pen, PEGIDA and Trump, populism is flourishing in a stunning way. Terms like alternative facts, hate speech and fake news are suddenly getting common.

Supplied with hashtags, they are spreading in the social media so quickly and allegedly self-evidently that it is becoming hard to discern truth and lies. Finding answers gets harder and harder, because former core values are faltering and personal realities are being attacked by obvious lies.

Felix Lippmann wants to put his works in contrast to these tendencies, offering something true and straightforward – art as an irrevocable fact, so to say.

Interacting with these paintings is inevitable and definitely wanted. They are meant to be discoursive objects, which is why sociocritical elements of street art, the language of the streets, are being found in current works like done or fourpointeight.

The truly exceptional dimension of the works is the combination of different styles and sujets into a comprehensive concept. hashtagtree for example can be seen as the visualization of a digital phenomenon by means of a natural object, because the numerous alternative facts are stemming, like the twigs of a tree, from a true fact.

Visitors will also meet the self proclaimed greatest president of all times, truths pushing forward through blackening efforts, Front National rising to power, and the hate speech of so called patriotic Europeans, found written in social media as well as audible every given Monday in Dresden’s historic centre.

The great range of motives outlined in the exhibition also represents the ever changing range of themes in the social media, alternating inconceivably fast. The colour codes in fourpointeight and done can be seen as translations into digital media.

The latter could quintessentially mark the climax of the search for a homogenic language of forms, unifying landscape and urbanity, language and surface, digital and analogue.

Although all paintings have their own style and deal with different topics, they are united by a universality that is not seen at first glance. In a way, they are consistently divers, just like Felix Lippmann himself.