Text by Wolf Eismann about Renate Hammond
Wolf Eismann on the pictures of Renate Höllerer-Hammond
At least then, when certain honourable gentlemen perhaps browse through this catalogue at one of their stag parties, they will see themselves for the first time. They look into a distorting mirror and helplessly have to witness how their up till then protective trousers are yanked off by Renate Höllerer-Hammond. Their ugly bodies: non decorative, but truly revealing. Down to ridiculousness, taking pride in themselves and in their wobbly, fleshy loins they stare plump and pink, at their own image. And their arrogance becomes an instantaneous pose that finally makes them conquerable.
Renate Höllerer-Hammond’s work is centred around the male. They drink themselves silly, they collect trophies for the vindication of their power, they are fond of rough company - because they usually appear in packs. Then they know what they want. Volume replaces skill, spontaneity does not need intelligence.
What does the artist see in her supposed enemies, the objects of her obscure desire? Is she a feminist, even a man-hater? With biting irony, if not with furious cynicism, she seems to capture the broken statures of a typical masculinity on paper and canvas. From the griping abdominal bloating directly into a free movement of the hand. Swift and unrestrained, one would think.
On meeting Renate Höllerer-Hammond, however, you don’t believe your eyes: she is not as one would expect her to be because of her aggressive work. She is a gentle, rather silent person - probably with inside bite, but friendly and accommodating. And she smiles - before she dissects her counterpart in the mind. Do not worry she uses the brush, not a scalpel. As a surgeon, she is careful, thoughtful, very deliberate and precise in detail. She takes her time. She needs an orderly moment while working, almost prissy proper arrangement of her utensils, materials for a quiet life with her easel, where she creates her irreverent hatefulness stroke for stroke. Own worlds. Her personal point of view: a meticulous act.
Renate Höllerer-Hammond’s paintings are, in the first place, not directed at those observers who consider themselves so called art experts and who are therefore mostly particularly concerned. Rather, they are meant for those people willing to be shocked, amused or disgusted by discovering something about themselves or others. One thing is always certain. Her topics leave no one cold and that is the main thing, or is it not?
Renate Höllerer-Hammond is inspired by real images. Abstraction occurs rather in the subtle and therefore overdrawn perfidy of the chosen object. Satire is her tool of choice and has its roots in the tradition of ‘New Realism’, which after the First World War in Germany developed as an opposition to Cubism and Expressionism.
The most important representatives of this style: George Grosz and Otto Dix, who's biting socially and politically critical anecdotes depicted the metropolitan world – poverty, violence, war and death – in bitter and aggressive scenes that were artistically overdrawn. In Renate Höllerer-Hammond’s paintings one can, without a doubt, discover a relationship to figures of the famous paragons. Above that, she maintains her own personal style, for in her pictures; people and their absurd and self-indulgent characteristics serve as the focal element.
The setting is almost always a receding, monochrome background, against which the characters are occupied with themselves. They stand up to themselves. Up to a lack of humour being funny and brutal. When looking at these horrific images there is always the subtle fear that nothing really in them is an exaggeration, but a pure photographic image of our own hidden sides. Put down the catalogue for a moment and look in the mirror. What do you see now? - A rude picture that has been made of you? - Or is it really you?