Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl

 

Nina Pohl (*1978) is a photographer whose work draws upon the traditional categories of beauty and the sublime only to subvert them. Working with large format photography, Pohl’s subjects are imbued with a sense of theatricality that originates from the grandeur of Romanticism and Symbolism, while also embracing the dramatics of the natural world. As well as making art, Pohl also runs Berlin’s Schinkel Pavilion, which she established in 2002 and where she regularly curates exhibitions.

 

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Pohl deals with subject matter in both the abstract and figurative realms, often combining the two to highlight the inherent antagonism between painting and photography. She depicts broken, fragmented, gestural brushwork, layers of paint in raw and expressive textures, all of which nod to the traditions of Abstract Expressionism. Esoteric compositions play with the relationship between the abstract and the figurative—for example, a Willem de Kooning-inspired background, cacophonous with colours and textures, is superimposed with an image of a parrot in flight in the first of 2012’s A Little Something Refreshing series. Pohl’s superimposition and blending of the two mediums mainly adheres to one of three techniques—photographing a painting, photographs enhanced by brushwork, or a painting rendered as the framework for a photographic element.

The uniqueness of Pohl’s practice is undoubtedly the confrontation between classical painting and the medium of photography—aesthetically reinterpreting the physicality of painting through the documentarian nature of photography. Subversion and dichotomy are consistent themes throughout her work, and she regularly examines the idea of subversive beauty—through idealistic paintings contrasted with a mundane object like a traffic cone or car tyre; or through photographs that exaggerate nature, and traditions of art history, through a romanticised lens, yet simultaneously present nature (and photography itself) as a wild, alienated, and estranged place for viewing. The surrealism of these depicted worlds is heightened by the apparent objectivity of the camera. Pohl, however, serves to highlight the clear and apparent staging of the artwork, probing the viewer to question the perspectives of both artist and viewer.

Examining the dialogue between fiction and reality within photography, Pohl often fragments the surface of an artwork in order to create a new layer of mark making, thus highlighting the different levels of illusion. By introducing particular elements (often the gradation of colors), she addresses the ultimate concept of the artwork as a manmade way of viewing (in this case, of viewing nature). Pohl’s interventions serve to redefine and subvert questions of reality, imagination, illusion, grandeur, and banality—redefining both painting and photography, and their relationship to each other, while doing so.

 

Works
Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Running into a picture, 2012

Nina Pohl
Running into a picture, 2012
Fine art print on dibond
49.6 × 61.4 cm
24 × 19 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Cone head, 2012

Nina Pohl
Cone head, 2012
Diasec
253.5 × 201 cm
78 3/4 × 99 1/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Starling), 2006

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Starling), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Pathways), 2006

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Pathways), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Hurricane), 2006

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Hurricane), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
A little something refreshing I, 2012

Nina Pohl
A little something refreshing I, 2012
Diasec
201.5 × 277.4 cm
109 × 78 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel (Wasserfall I), 2004

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel (Wasserfall I), 2004
Diasec
257 × 184 cm
101 1/8 × 72 3/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Wave II), 2006

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Wave II), 2006
Diasec
255 × 177 cm
100 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Vesuv), 2006

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Vesuv), 2006
Diasec
217 × 157 cm
85 3/8 × 61 7/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (Apple tree), 2004

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Apple tree), 2004
Diasec
250 × 174 cm
98 3/8 × 68 1/2 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Untitled (The longer, the better), 2004

Nina Pohl
Untitled (The longer, the better), 2004
Diasec
249 × 179 cm
98 × 70 1/2 inches

Nina Pohl
Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel/untitled, Arbeitstitel/working title: Tag und Nacht, 2004

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel/untitled
Arbeitstitel/working title: Tag und Nacht
, 2004
Diasec
42 × 63 × 3 cm each (framed)
16 1/2 × 24 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches each (framed)

Details
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Running into a picture, 2012
Fine art print on dibond
49.6 × 61.4 cm
24 × 19 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Running into a picture, 2012
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Cone head, 2012
Diasec
253.5 × 201 cm
78 3/4 × 99 1/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Cone head, 2012
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Starling), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Starling), 2006
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Pathways), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Pathways), 2006
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Hurricane), 2006
Diasec
250 × 177 cm
98 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Hurricane), 2006
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
A little something refreshing I, 2012
Diasec
201.5 × 277.4 cm
109 × 78 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
A little something refreshing I, 2012
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel (Wasserfall I), 2004
Diasec
257 × 184 cm
101 1/8 × 72 3/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel (Wasserfall I), 2004
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Wave II), 2006
Diasec
255 × 177 cm
100 3/8 × 69 3/4 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Wave II), 2006
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Vesuv), 2006
Diasec
217 × 157 cm
85 3/8 × 61 7/8 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Vesuv), 2006
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Apple tree), 2004
Diasec
250 × 174 cm
98 3/8 × 68 1/2 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (Apple tree), 2004
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Untitled (The longer, the better), 2004
Diasec
249 × 179 cm
98 × 70 1/2 inches

Nina Pohl
Untitled (The longer, the better), 2004
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel/untitled
Arbeitstitel/working title: Tag und Nacht
, 2004
Diasec
42 × 63 × 3 cm each (framed)
16 1/2 × 24 7/8 × 1 1/8 inches each (framed)

Nina Pohl
Ohne Titel/untitled, Arbeitstitel/working title: Tag und Nacht, 2004
Details
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Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Nina Pohl

Nina Pohl
June 2–July 30, 2005
Munich

In her large-sized photographies, the artist Nina Pohl embarks on the strategy of subversive beauty: Photographies, which inflate nature in the sence of a seemingly romantic inwardness, concurrently describing it as a place of alienated staging. An obscure apple tree, draped all over with apples, imitating an endless galaxy, shining in a gloumy red. Down to its bole one will find the traces of the imperishable prosperity trash.

An endless brown winterwebbing from a climber named: the longer the better, which- in its never ending ramification- keeps on grabing more and more objects of wealth- the mountain bike. Or the water fall. Here the bodies of water resemble an atomised milky way, in which the colored visitors stare into the ridiculousness of their existence.

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Press

Auf dem Rücken der Pferde
Texte zur Kunst, article by Vanessa Joan Müller, June 2013

Portfolio: Nina Pohl
Monopol, article by Elke Buhr, November 2012

Das Schlußwort
Kunst Magazin, article by Matthias Planitzer, November 15, 2012

Eternalising the Moment: Photography Nina Pohl
Exit, Summer 2007

Biography

Nina Pohl (*1978, Berlin) lives in Berlin. Selected solo exhibitions include Stadtmuseum Münster, Muenster (2008), Oldenburger Kunstverein (2007) and Kunstverein Heilbronn (2006). Selected group exhibitions include DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague (2016), Witte de With – Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2011), Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2011), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (2009), Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2009), Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf (2008), Essl Museum – Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg/Vienna (2007), Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden (2006), Museum Ehrendorf, Dusseldorf (2003), Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf (2002), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2001) und Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf (2000).