Tumble through the looking glass with Corinne von Lebusa, whose delicate paintings assume an otherworldly quality. They are a portal to an alternate reality. With one foot in the here-and-now and the other in a dreamscape of forgotten memories and missed connections, she presents women in various states of provocation and play. Their relationships with one another and with the opposite sex are upended and explored. It is fitting that the bedroom is the recurring setting for these encounters, rooted as they are in the mind’s eye and centred around the power dynamics of the erotic. Are these women sleeping, dreaming or plotting from between the sheets?
There is something illicit about the experience of looking at these paintings; the scenes feel deeply private, and to gaze upon them is to become a voyeur. Unknown symbols abound, adding to the pervasive sense of privacy transgressed, and heightening the pleasure and shame of the forbidden bound up with them. Based in Leipzig, the German artist studied painting at the city’s Academy of Visual Arts in the class of both Arno Rink and Neo Rauch. The influence of both artists can be felt in the underlying menace and intrigue that charge Von Lebusa’s work, as well as her fascination with the invisible emotions that both shape and unravel our lives.
“Are these women sleeping, dreaming or plotting from between the sheets?”
A series of paintings, exhibited for the first time last year at Galerie Kleindienst, focus on women in striped leotards tumbling and stretching together. While at first glance they appear lighter in tone than some of her more sinister scenes, there remains an undercurrent of provocation. Who exactly are these women, and what remains unseen? They peer cheekily between their own legs, their bodies emphasized and yet disguised in their stripy get-up—like sexualized jesters up to no good. Together, they serve to show that spying through the keyhole rarely answers more questions than it raises. Sometimes, to steal even a glance is to fall further down the rabbit hole.