Kati Heck’s New, Literature-Inspired Paintings

by Andy SmithPosted on

Germany-born artist Kati Heck crafts absorbing oil and watercolor paintings that use varying sources, whether literary or living models. At times, these surreal scenes utilize abstracted backdrops, at times adorned with text reminiscent of advertisements. Heck was last mentioned on HiFructose.com here.


A statement offers some insight into the inspiration from the artist’s recent work: “The works are loosely based on Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (1909), a six-part symphony in which Chinese poems from the Tang dynasty (known to Mahler in German translation) are set to music,” it says. “Heck transfers the shifting, bittersweet mood of Mahler’s folk songs – and the antique poems behind them – into a group of dramatic scenes, peopled by expressive yet enigmatic characters. Music, drinking, exaltation and sorrow pervade the pictures, engendering a parallel world in which crystalline reality can seem to unravel – as if on a whim – into a fable, cartoon or dream.”

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