About the art of Micaela Pagener and Volkmar Petermann / by Dr. Peter Funken

„Together we are strong!“ – This could be the slogan of the Micaela Pagener and Volkmar Petermann.
Living in Cologne they present themselves as duo which means that Pagener and Petermann exhibit together as well as supporting each other with constructive criticism during the production processes of their works. Nevertheless, the works of the two could not be more different with one being about objects whilst the other is all about painting. Micaela Pagener mainly creates tableaus that could be classified as reliefs. They appear surreal to the recipient, often being ostentatious and fantastic formations; furthermore irony as well as illusion and somewhat of a chaotic romanticism is what defines her works.

Her husband Volkmar Petermann’s approach is a different one: His works can be classified as crossover of pop art, a personal reception of classical modern painting and naturally autonomous methods of expression.

The art of Pagener and Petermann is individual in regards to idea, design and material; nevertheless the artists perceptions of montages of pictures as well as general combinatorical methods is present. As mentioned this might be executed in different ways and yet it remains as a mutual principle and stylistic device.

Another motive, which was significant for Volkmar Petermanns paintings, seems to be a foundation for his as well as Micaela Pagener’s works. „Balance“ – describes the idea and depiction of a tension which ultimately result in harmony.
Especially Petermann’s Pictures are influenced by a conception of „balance through dynamic“ as well as vice versa, whilst in Pagener’s works similar effects are achieved by combination of materials and objects. It can be perceived how both artists develop unique, strong and well balanced compositions based on a visual dynamic achieved by combinatorics.

Micaela Pagener’s works are often based on window or peepshow situations, allowing us to take a peek into a fabulous realm of curious details.Further works of the Artist are based on sequencing or enumeration, as for example „Picture of Pictures“ (2014) whilst other works of her thrive in a structured arrangement of objects, for example her work „Peepshow“ (2015). The surreal hides a piece of the fortune and happyness that we are all chasing after even though the impeding danger of it tipping over into a nameless disaster. Maybe this is the case because the artist uses findings, throwouts and seemingly worthless materials which tend to transport special kinds of emotions and helps them to ascend to a new and better fate in her works.

Volkmar Petermann’s painting is objective as it is abstract. Furthermore, his visual compositions always seem concentrated and dense, almost as if built. The strong choices of lucid colours cause this type of art to appear alive, like a signal and even splendid as if a sun would shine and illuminate it from the inside while causing the art to emanate a strong glow.
With regards to content Volkmar Petermann keeps negotiating the questions and thematics of relations, proportions and combinations repeatedly. This concerns the depicted humans but also a world of abstract shapes including their colours.
Persons as well as objects are depicted in moments of harmony and equilibrium under a „dynamical Balance“, of which one could speak of as a „balanced dynamic“ as well.
With almost equal weight formal, aesthetical as well as social questions are the foundation of the artists works creating his own personal field of expression.

More about curator Dr. Peter Funken