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Generalanzeiger 9./10.10.1999 (Bonn)

Fibreboard and grey cardboard are his canvases

Art: Frank Hahnís Landscapes in the "Alter Turm"

NIEDERKASSEL. One feels strangely familiar with his landscapes. A cloud is reflected in the water, the contours of the trees create an impression of the dense, intricate foliage, and the meadows at the waterís edge with their deep greens broaden the view into the distance. The Sankt Augustin artist Frank Hahn paints landscapes of the Sieg and the Rhine. In large areas of colour he captures what is "typical" without having to specifically localize the motif. The same applies to his landscapes of the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea and the other North German landscapes currently on display in the Town Gallery in Luelsdorf, the "Alter Turm" in the Rheinstrasse.

Time after time he succeeds in showing the landscapes in his own unmistakable way: one is caught in their spell by the large harmonious areas of colour. Details become unimportant, the rich colouring gives the paintings their true character. Grey cardboard, wood, fibreboard Ė these are the "canvases" used. They are rough and porous and absorb the intensive acrylic paints like sponges, thus permitting the intensive luminous power and the rich fullness of the paintings. In spite of the rich colours, the total painting is never oversaturated . Water, land, sky Ė the land-

 

scape ensemble always plays with these three components. They are usually portrayed in only two or three colours, for example violet and yellow, or blue, green and grey. Techniques from art printing seem to have been adapted into painting. Hahn, who was born in Toronto (Canada) and completed a course in printing graphic art and aquarelles at the Art Academy (Studio fuer Kunsterziehung) in Bonn between 1979 and 1982 while studying mathematics, philosophy and pedagogy at Bonn University, draws on various techniques. People do not feature in his naturalistic landscapes: the artist sees the landscape from the point of view of nature. Perhaps a country house may remind one of the "invasion" of civilisation, but neither electricity pylons nor aeroplanes disturb as one lets oneís eye wander over the sky and scenery. Flooding does not appear threatening to Hahn. On the contrary it offers the artist an aesthetical motif.

Frank Hahnís island and river landscapes are on display in the Town Gallery "Alter Turm" in Luelsdorf until 17th October, 1999. Opening hours: Saturday from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m (haa)

 

 

 

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Rhein-Sieg-Rundschau, 28.9. 1999

 

Painter paints version of the chalk cliffs in Rügen appropriate to the 20th century

Landscape as a catalyst

gw Niederkassel. His paintings are usually named by "Indigo and Pink" or "Blue, Green and White" and these titles merely describe the colour range the works are composed of less the landscapes, they show. This means: Frank Hahn from St. Augustin, who currently presents his paintings at the municipal gallery "Alter Turm" in Lülsdorf-Niederkassel (near Cologne), pays more attention to colours or colour tones than to the subject. Frank Hahn, at the age of 47, who studied mathematics, philosophy and pedagogy before turning to art in 1975, is a painter through and through, using landscape as a catalyst of atmosphere evoked and passed on by the real scenery. Frank Hahn could as well paint abstractly. His paintings are nearly naturalistic even though reduced by means of abstraction. This shows: Frank Hahn is a romantic knowing nature can be a metaphor for growth as well as for transcience and a metaphor for the different situations of human existence, too. That was also known by Caspar David Friedrich, who didn't only share his love to Rügen with Frank Hahn.

 

As Friedrich tried his hand at the chalk cliffs of Germany's largest island, so did Frank Hahn and painted a version appropriate to the 20th century. As well Hahn`s landscapes seem to be orientated on the esthetics of the popular culture. His paintings, large and most of all without sharp contures, as well as the monochrome aspects of its inner areas, remind us of the back-grounds of comic-strips. But - they are painted much more subtle and by a magic charming atmosphere: the bright, sun-flooded meadows as well as the dark landscapes, flooded by the river Sieg or the industrial landscapes with smokestacks, reflected by the water. Above all, the Northern landscape and the play of its elements: sky, land and water - seeming to consist of an endless wideness, affects the painter as well as the river Sieg when flooding the banks turning well-known themes into unusual prospects and moods. Usually, Frank Hahn paints on wood and using its grain for additional structures in these paintings, depending on the effect of light. Further materials are fibreboard and canvas.

 

 

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General-Anzeiger 8./9.4.1995 (Bonn)

 

Few colors, importance of the planes: In his landscape paintings Frank Hahn wants to show preservation value in nature. Photo: Franz Riener

 Erotic Shapes of Mother Earth

Frank Hahn captures the austere climate of the Baltic Sea in his paintings

by Michael Hochheuser

Sankt Augustin. The ocean, in front of it a wide field with single trees, a lonely farmhouse: Devoid of humans are the landscapes painted by Frank Hahn. In his paintings, to be viewed in the exhibition "Rügen and Hiddensee" in St. Augustin's public library, he captures the austere climate of the Baltic Sea.

Most of his works have ripened over a long period: In 1992, Hahn spent a week on the island Rügen in the Baltic Sea; and a multitude of drawings originated. "Each morning, I got up at six, to make best use of the short period of time", relates Mr Hahn, who lives in St. Augustin, at the exhibition's opening.

The pencil drawings developed, often years later, into watercolors and acrylics in his home studio. They don't always stick with the natural model: Often Hahn changes the color, plunges an originally yellow plain into deep violet, omits a group of trees, as it would have disturbed the painting's composition.

Simple shapes, few colors, the importance of planes instead of lines - these are the most important elements in the 42-year-old artist's paintings. Self-educated, he arrived at painting landscapes at the beginning of the 1980s.

 

Rather an unfashionable subject - yet deepest necessity for Hahn. "He wants to represent the beauty and preservation value of nature," said the chairman of the Artistic Society of the county Rhein-Sieg, Helmut Frotz, at the exhibition's opening. Beauty: For example in the "almost erotic shapes of mother earth", as Frotz put it. And preservation value - in some of the paintings it can be felt that nature is endangered, for example in the towering clouds which, menacingly distorted, arch over the soft, round shapes of the landscape in "Gelbgrüner Abend" ("Yellow-Green Evening").

In their best moments, Hahn's work reminds of Edvard Munch, the great Norwegian, in their sinister coloring and flowing shapes: For example in the painting"Mönchgut"("Monk's Estate"). On the other hand, some works look light and vibrant with life, and the meadows of the island Rügen shine sparkling green.

Water, Meadows, Paths

Landscapes at all times of day and year are captured by the artist, bright spring paintings as well as winter landscapes in soft light. The themes, however, remain the same: Water, meadows, paths leading to solitary houses with invisible occupants. The exhibition at the public library...

 

 

 

 

 

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