Eberhard Havekost makes dense, anti-gestural paintings that explore the tension between a highly mediated image and the visceral immediacy of a seductively painted surface.
Working from photographic sources – shots from TV and video, images culled from magazines and catalogues and his own photographs – he selects prosaic subjects ranging from anonymous buildings, trains and trailers, and modifies them to make inkjet prints as the departure point for his paintings. His paintings elude straightforward classification: mundane images that are abstracted into a kind of mannerism of the everyday. Havekost’s paintings are executed in colour on top of a six underlying and alternating coats of grey and white. This slow, careful process creates a luminous atmosphere that makes the paintings glow with a strange, otherworldly richness of light. Havekost describes this as a 'democratic light’ that reveals the immanent brilliance of everything. The compositions of his paintings are often energetic and active, often making use of vertiginous angles and dramatic shifts in focus or blurring effects to create visual distortions like a filmic pan. In this way, they seem like freeze-frames that pause the visual process, transforming it into an arresting, material instant.
Born and trained in Dresden, Eberhard Havekost lives and works in Berlin. He is professor of painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, including Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2012); Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2011); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2010); FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (2008); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2006); Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005); Centre d'art Contemporain, Carjac (2003) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Serralves, Porto (2001).