Martin Assig - Promise - Installation View 1
Martin Assig - Promise - Installation View 2
Martin Assig - Promise - Installation View 3
Martin Assig - Promise - Installation View 4
Martin Assig - Promise - Installation View 5

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art is delighted to announce a new solo show featuring the works of Martin Assig. 

Exhibition dates: 3rd of April 2024 - 18th May 2024 

Private View: 17th of April 2024, 6 - 9 PM


Martin Assig’s artistic cosmos circles invariably around the human being, asking essential questions about our existence and its transcendental manifestations. The artist enquires about the dichotomy between life and death, about loving and longing, suffering and loss, all basic human fates and emotions. As art historian Ullrich writes in the exhibition catalogue of Assig’s extensive retrospective at Museum Kuppersmühle in Duisburg last year: ‘The pictorial works offer themselves as counterparts and companions for inner monologues, as instigators for internal conversations’.

Martin Assig is less of a contemporary artist in a topical sense, the subjects he raises are fundamental and enduring, not current socio-political ones. He could be seen in a tradition of religious or mythological image-making with the aim of reaching metaphysical realms through the creative process. And though Assig’s compositions tempt us with colourful iconography, the message is not religious and does not spare us from our darker sides. The artist touches the innermost of our feelings, he ventures into realms humans often are fearful to explore or express. In his epic series St Paul, an homage to Paul Klee, Assig, like Klee, uses text to communicate another level of understanding. The words can elevate the visual impact, but also be enrichingly out of sync with the external and internal image depicted. St Paul was started in 2009, comprises more than 1000 drawings and was partly shown at the museum Boijmans von Beuningen in Rotterdam in 2016. The cycle chimes with Assig’s personal life of illness and salvation, of existentialist questions and musings, of life and art-related thoughts and penchants. The viewer gets the impression that the artist has to reaffirm through his art that he is still alive.

The London exhibition is entitled ‘Promise’ and strikes a more positive tone than the core of Assig’s St Paul series. The main group of drawings on display entitled Seelen, souls, references the metaphysical part of our existence as well as a reflection of the artist’s own soul, alluding to us humans as individuals in their spiritual uniqueness. Most works are devoid of text, the imagery translates mainly visually and more intuitively. In Seelen Assig returns to cutouts, which he had worked with in 1999 for the floor piece ‘Erzählung am Boden’, making the series more playful simply thanks to the nature of the cut and paste technique. However, also Seelen expresses perennial dilemmas and desires, as timeless as Assig’s media, wax and encaustic, dating back to ancient Egypt. Combined with the title ‘Promise’, a glimmer of hope emerges and Seelen could conjure a trajectory to a brighter future.



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