​In The Air

October 28 – December 2, 2021 
1110 2 Ave F2, New York, NY 10022

Opening Reception
In The Air

Join Stride Arts in welcoming Hallo-weekend this year with a most unique episode of the Modern Arts Meets Chamber Music series: The End of Time by Salon Séance and In The Air by artist Kerstin Roolfs. From a comfortable gallery exhibiting abstract, automatic drawings and paintings by Kerstin Roolfs, dive into the history and emotional depth of classical music through a séance conducted in the form of concert theater. Creatively curated by world-class artists of numerous disciplines, Salon Séance’s special program delivers a connection between the soul and classical music one can only experience for themself. Surrounding this special musicianship will be Kerstin Roolfs’ abstract watercolor series and her newest works inspired by the pandemic.  Let us celebrate Halloween in séance-inspired attire as we trace through the automatic, free-spirited strokes of Roolf’s works and embark on a timeless musical journey with Salon Séance.

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About the Exhibition

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In the Air, 2021

Oil on canvas / jute, 82 x 95 in

My main interest is to explore the world, people and relations around me. My works are oil or mixed media paintings, drawings, wood or linoleum prints and installations. The images I use in my work are often based on self-made or collected photos combined with literature, poems or phrases. I use digital tools in order to layer text, photos, and images and combine them to create a new work. Photo and text based collages will often merge into watercolor and ink drawings and these are sometimes the starting point for my large scale oil paintings. 

The emphasis of the exhibition In the Air is based on my work during the pandemic. I noticed in 2019 all the beautiful, colorful medical and microscopic images, often depicting viruses, including corona viruses. I used these microscopic images, altering them with photoshop, to create a series of watercolors on canvas. I continued this abstract series until the news of the pandemic broke. 

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Once it was established that we were in a pandemic, my work shifted to automatic drawing and painting. Automatic drawings or unplanned drawings were made famous by the Surrealist movement. My ink and watercolor drawings 2020-2021 depict heads, which share space with spheres.

I first developed these androgynous head and figure shapes when I moved to New York in 1995. The watercolor spheres appeared much later in my work around 2015, and I have combined these symbols in my most recent automatic drawings. 

In the Air includes my recent work of large scale figurative oil paintings, abstract watercolor paintings and automatic ink and watercolor drawings. 

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Art is not a handicraft,
it is the transmission of feeling

the artist has experienced.
Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910

It starts with a line

We create shapes out of lines and compositions out of shapes. Culture is based on the line.

Without the line there wouldn’t be any drawings, paintings, writings, music scores or science. Once the first human drew a line, a shape, a composition in that cave, that was the beginning of culture.

The amazing thing to me is that we still feel the necessity to draw lines. Kids do it automatically, as well as artists, scientists and scholars. It has been a great relieve to me during the pandemic to be able to draw all these lines, which become shapes and then the compositions in In the Air.

I hope my lines speak to you.

Kerstin Roolfs, October 2021

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Kerstin Roolfs is a German/American artist whose work has addressed the themes of portraiture, sports, history and politics. She studied Fine Arts in Berlin/Germany and moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1994 and to the Bronx, NY in 2016, where she lives and works. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and part of numerous group exhibitions in the US, Canada, Russia and Europe.

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