6 SEPTEMBER 2021 – 20 MARCH 2022

The exhibition “K.H. Hödicke” at Hall Art Foundation comprises approximately 40 paintings and sculptures produced between the mid-1960s and the mid-1990s, including works in which Hödicke portrays West Berlin during the separation.
Commenting on the historical influences that have shaped Berlin’s culture and sense of design, Hödicke’s broad brushstrokes and emotive color palette lends his works a blurred, as-seen-through-memory quality. In an early painting like Passage (1964), for example, Hödicke employs textured surfaces and fluid contours to enwrap his subject-matter in a psychedelic sheen. True to the time period when it was made, Hödicke’s Passage showcases modern conveniences against an Impressionistic backdrop.
In the teeth of all his references to tradition, Hödicke’s work is nothing if not documentarian in intent. Without any trace of nostalgia, a work from the late 70s like Auf der Dachterrasse (1979) conveys a self-assured sensuality. The viewer sees an isolated man looking onto the cityscape below him. Holding a cigarette, the pointedness of the man’s face communicates speed, self-possession, and, in the manner of a character study, just a hint of self-indulgence.

In later works like the 1995 painting Trichter-Teppich, the viewer looks directly onto a Berlin which is constantly renovating itself after the fall of the Berlin wall. Looking out onto the city directly, rather than observing someone else observe it, the viewer shares in the unsettling anxiety of not knowing where reconstruction will lead. Between these two extremes of direct and mediated observation, Hödicke’s contributions to Berlin kommt nach Niedersachsen also depict domestic interiors, urban signage, and characters drawn from all walks of life.
While Hödicke’s paintings have a directness suited to the scenes he depicts, his sculptures communicate an idiosyncratic monumentality. In Hödicke’s sculptural work, the most delicate, most unlikely poses are reified in bronze. Not wholly anonymous, the personages he constructs bear traces of their social class in the way in which they comport themselves before the viewer, wearing their casting like a garment plucked from the ever-changing landscape of Berlin.

© 2022 Hall Art Foundation
© Images Roman März