The exhibition “Umay” (Turkish: Goddess of women and children), created by the artist collective “3 Hamburger Frauen,” is a unique temporary and accessible installation at the Gallerie Françoise Heitsch, Munich.
For “Umay” the artists Ergül Cengiz, Henrieke Ribbe, and Kathrin Wolf collaged filigree drawings, expressive paintings, ornamentation, and portraits in the style of the old masters on the walls and in the space itself. It is due to the interplay of two- and three-dimensional elements together with transparent lightness and the dark depth of the space, the work is interwoven to a multifarious “3 Hamburger Frauen cosmos.” It is shaped by the conditions and the collaborative spontaneity at the respective locations, but receives its density also through the long-standing artistic collaboration of the three women.
The new work displayed at the Galerie Françoise Heitsch is dedicated to the campaigners of the women suffrage and its 100th anniversary and builds content-wise on the last wall collage “Wild Thoughts” (400 x 300 cm), shown in the exhibition “Sexed Power” at the MOM Art Space in March 2018. Central to the image is a drawing of five feminists, the so-called “radicals.” The template for the drawing is a photograph, which originated in the Munich-based photography studio “Elvira” in 1887. Furthermore, the artists present themselves as Cowboys of which one was supposedly in a relationship with Calamity Jane – a character shrouded in myth. Calamity Jane, who asserted herself riding and shooting in the Wild West, keeps the scenes of the image at bay with her rifle.
Humorously and in a self-staged manner, quotes derived from art and pop culture are employed in order to comment on current as well as historical topics. Due to the tense relationship between elements derived from gestural painting of abstract Modernity, reminiscences of COBRA, and colourful geometry, the 3 Hamburger Frauen are able to repeatedly give rise to questions on how gender stereotypes can be debated anew in contemporary painting.
Since graduating from HFBK Hamburg in 2004, Ergül Cengiz, Henrieke Ribbe, and Kathrin Wolf have been working together and have thus also been able to establish their own artistic signature. With their location-specific, often ephemeral space-consuming works, such as murals, installations, and collages, the collective has been presented at several Museums and Kunstverein.