You can’t create an image of a woman without responding to the aspect of beauty... Even though beauty as such probably is sexless, western culture generally defined beauty as a female ideal... Whereas formerly each sex had its own cult of beauty... But during the period of western art and culture, beauty became focused through the female anatomy.
- Marlene Dumas-
Marianna Krueger discusses the image of the woman in a social context and in the media as a reflection on modern society; moments of superficiality and their interpretation in contradiction to the inner moment of the situation. Thus the media image as a fragment of a defined personality evolves into a complex character. The personified object becomes replaced by a real person.
Just as the media instrumentalise the image of women, in my paintings I try to instrumentalise the media themselves by giving their motifs another, a new inner moment and freeing them from the programmed context.
- Marianna Krüger-
Not a Love Song, Solo exhibition, WomanPaintersRoom, Berlin - 2023
In her works, Marianna Krueger reflects female clichés from the media and social contexts of our times; moments of superficiality stand in contrast to inner pictorial situations. Krueger plays with traditional notions of performative acts. She transforms shoes into apparent instruments of torture, makes the head of a photo model look as if it were stepping out of a scene from Salome and transforms a wedding table into a bloody inferno. The question of authenticity and the longing for truthfulness always resonate. Even 'Holy Water' does not wash away social stereotypes; rather, the burlesque protagonist lolls with relish in an oversized champagne glass. The apparent reality is underlined by a playful and fleeting style of painting and thus lifts the veil of Not a love song - but what is hidden underneath remains open.
Außer sich - inner ich 1, Group exhibition MNW, Inselgalerie e. V., Berlin - 2022.
In 2020, the priority of Krueger's work shifts from large-format portraits and paintings of figures, polarly opposed as if in a swing of the pendulum, to the phenomenon of colour. Among other things, she adapts interlaced colour compositions from the famous group of works Homage to the Square by Bauhäusler and colour philosopher Josef Albers. - MK compresses Albers' geometric motifs into extremely small formats with a strikingly modern and urban luminosity. In doing so, she also refers to the colour codes of digital media. Encasing the layers of painting in epoxy resin not only enhances this, but also turns the images into three-dimensionally luminous objects, as in this cube entitled Reset 2. In this way, she transposes Albers' classical oil painting on wood into a new form and aura appropriate to our times. It remains to be seen whether this swing of the pendulum into abstract art will remain an escapade or whether it will expand into a second line of work.
- Gabriela Ivan-
ASPIK Solo exhibition, Kunsthalle der Kreissparkasse, Ravensburg - 2020
In her extraordinarily intriguing picture installation, the Berlin-based artist Marianna Krueger offers more than a purely culinary art enjoyment. Three series of works are linked to form a statement that have art and our perception itself as a subject. Thereby, non-figurative and colour-intensive works, suggestions to works of early modernism, contrast with painted portraits of famous gallery owners whose gazes seem to be directed towards a seascape. Just as if capital were to be fished out of it. Found objects for the future, placed in aspic? Images as if in amber preserved. Bestseller(s)? As in many of her series of works, the artist is concerned here with an act of questioning the world within the field of tension between market and sensuality, with an examination of the self and our counterpart. From there it is not far to the myth of the sirens, who lure others to their doom with their beguiling song... Marianna Krueger invites us to a thrilling odyssey of the arts. - Martin Oswald -
entfesselt! Malerinnen der Gegenwart,
Exhibition catalogue, Museum Castle Achberg, Ravensburg, 2017
When Marianna Krueger takes a look at internationally famous stars and idols, that is to say media-distributed derivations of the entertainment industry, she concerns herself with figures whose personality can at most only be sketchily glimpsed behind the artificial product. Image consultants determine the type, clothing, language and behavior, right down to significant gestures. The prototypes of such staged strategies are pop stars such as David Bowie and Amy Winehouse, the model Kate Moss, burlesque queen Dita Von Teese or celebrities such as Princess Diana, as well as Jackie and John F. Kennedy, whose life stories land themselves to mystification - even posthumously. Along with rapid career success and a place in the limelight, unexpected ruptures in private life, drugs or a tragic death form part of these stories. All the people named above are part of the inventory of Marianna Krueger’s paintings. However, her works involve far more than superficial portraiture. The artist’s concern is to uncover and get to the root of the deeper layers hiding behind the clichés. This also guides her selection of people and images that often originate from video or film stills. The process always involves highly existential experiences such as loneliness, dependency and external determining influences. Along with many others, the retro soul musician Amy Winehouse (1983 - 2011) found dead at the age of 27, suffered from all these. Her life was dominated by the constant ups and downs of success and failure, psychological problems and scandals. Marianna Krueger presents the famous songwriter and singer, whose visual trademark was her 1960s-influenced so-called beehive hairstyle, in an apparently sketchy style, almost fragmented in appearance, that in itself looks like a snapshot taken by chance. The title „Clean“ (2013) refers to drug addiction and the linked painful experiences of the pop celebrity. The picture dispenses with any form of glorification. Marianna Krueger’s works also distance themselves step by step of their living models. The original meaning of the initial motif is gradually lost in the artistic transformation. „That is when painting begins,“ is how Marianna Krueger describes this process. Just as the media make an instrument of the image of the female star, the artist attempts to use the media for her own painting by decontextualizing the motifs and giving them a new inner momentum. The confrontation with the external other becomes a confrontation with the self. From many points of view, then, Marianna Krueger’s works are psychological studies. Far beyond the subjects of the portraits, the artist is concerned with a process of self-questioning, without entering the painting herself. In content, the representations of catastrophes, accidents or banal events scattered among the portraits follow an impulse very similar to that of questioning the image of a media star, as they equally indicate in concept the fragility and instability of our existence. - Martin Oswald in exhibition catalogue -
Wild Thing, Josef Filipp Gallery, Leipzig - 2011
Marianna Krueger's work presents a fascinating synthesis of technical competence and artistic sensitivity. As a result the audience can access her work either conceptional or intuitively. An important aspect of her work is the usage of the paint process equivalent to a historic tracing-system analysing and interpreting contemporary culture (as well as personally relevant issues, memories and metaphors). Realistic or visual high-resolution surfaces in contrast to abstract elements question an overweight of the visual sense in our culture in relation to the whole range of perceptual experience. The obvious visible finds itself positioned or rather lost against a mysterious concealment. Krueger interrogates the purpose or communicative intention of omnipresent, stylised media representation and as an artist explores a societal process in media culture and aesthetics, which causes alterations of perception. Those shifts are characterised by increasingly conditioning patterns of perception, which influence and transform human standards, expectations and demands through media construction and orchestration. Her paintings inspire by a tension, which is building up between the audience and the way of depiction revealing paradoxes of media immersion. On one hand a seeming closeness to the subject is produced and on the other hand inaccessibility of depiction and simultaneous omnipresence are made a subject of conversation.
- Markus Soukup -
FLASH, A.G. Gallery of Contemporary Art, Schwerin - 2010
Flash, a sudden occurence of an intoxication status, showing of intimate body parts, “French Kiss“ in youth language…
Through the use of acrylic colours Marianna Krüger transforms her motives into fragments of fragility and uncertainty. Thus the transparency and depth of layers of paint examine inner moments of the portraits. Subjects made from flesh and blood become almost ethereally and partly transparent. In her exhibition ‘Flash’ dark threatening colours consciously form a deep contrast to the technical and pictorial lightness of Krüger’s works. This latent threat is shown in Glow Star by contradicting a contemporary motive with a monochrome and rather classical composition using the language of traditional portraits. The reduction of colour and abstraction of spatial aspects towards a pure emotional space therefore focus on the inner moments of the motives shown
There is no place like home, Gallery Filipp Rosbach, Leipzig - 2007
Intensifying the subject of her previous work, Marianna Krueger’s »There is no place like home« further explores identity through the aspect of Heimat. Its motives are equally associated with specific places and surroundings (Ausflug, Beste Freunde) as well as focused purely on the inner landscape of human mankind (There is no place like home) The exhibits don’t try to articulate a specific narrative. They rather discuss the ambivalence ofHeimat in terms of self-sufficient social and cultural environments and the current language of multimedia imagery, which creates an illusion of identity (Born on 1st of June 1926). Origin as a personal place dissolves into the aspect of individual lifestyle. Traditional values as individual memories of social matrix (Partisan, Romeo & Julia) are dwarfed to fragments of associated personality
In your eyes, Gallery Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf - 2006
We encounter insecurity and longing concerning the ideal of eternal youth and beauty as well as the inability to accept the natural look and therefore evolution of human mankind. The painting OP shows this contradiction through the patient’s smile after surgery: Is it happiness, or relief, being closer to the personal ideal? Or do we face insecurity and fear because of the still uncertainty of the final result? Catwoman pushes the border of the individual ideal to a fictional and incomprehensible dimension. The painting describes Jocelyn Wildenstein’s, known as Wildenstein’s bride in reference to Frankenstein’s bride, painful process to a doubtful final result. Yet Marianna Krüger’s exhibition stresses the aspect of humanity in terms of evolution in contrast to imperfection of modern society and media imagery as in Russian Song. Natural beauty evolves into hope of emotional complexity and depth. Individualism.