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About the Works

Introduction speech by Professor Jost Funke (Bremen, Germany) on the occasion of the exhibition "Between mud flat and desert," with pictures of Maren Wellendorf at the Gallery Andalusia Art, Worpswede, Germany

 April 2004

Maren Wellendorf - Professor Jost Funke

Photo left: Maren Wellendorf, right: Prof. Funke, Centre:Collector of the artist´s artworks

 â€ž The title of this exhibition: Between mud flat and desert - has two geographical terms, two types of landscapes, two parts of the world, two moods, which can´t be more extreme. I don´t know any other artist, dealing simultaneously with such extremes.
                   - Landscapes in artistic terms are appropriation of nature
                   -They also include an explanation of these appropriations
                   -Finally, as a fact they are interpretations, as well as documents
                     of an artistic identity
 Maren Wellendorf in this exhibition shows works on two landscape types:  

On one hand the Andalusian countryside, often sparse, with the harsh structures of bare hills, mostly deserted but with the overwhelming power of their appearance.
 On the other hand paintings dealing with the North German mud flats. The colour changes, the structures refer to the effects of tides, the sky is important.
Maren Wellendorf is an artist who feels the differences of these landscapes with seismographic sensitivity and transmits the feeling of this sensation to her audience. Each artwork in this exhibition is thus for its viewers "a precious vessel into which he can pour his feelings." It is not necessary to identify a landscape, more important is the mood and atmosphere, the aura of an artwork. "Un petit coin de la seen création" - a piece of creation through a temperament. This means Maren Wellendorf is not satisfied with the implementation of external nature but adds her inner nature. Therefore some landscapes lose some of their topography but they gain much of psychology!

The artist, who lives surrounded by Spanish landscape does not perceive it the same way as tourists do. She sees the nature and at the same time she is aware of its exposure to humans. She does not seek for the romantic idyll but directs her attention to the sparseness, the harshness, the wasteland. She knows that the on one hand  the beauty of the mountains, the barren land with its broken colours are an aesthetic event, but on the other hand constitute a sign of a destroyed landscape.
For a long time Maren Wellendorf  has been reluctant to portray the landscapes of Spain - to all our advantage she has overcome her reluctance and shows us her unique visual language of great panoramas, but also more intimate insight into the archaic world with original villages – with no parking and  no souvenir shops!  

In an interview the painter reported, that she perceives through the elemental force of the mountain sides, the smallness of man very clearly Рat the same time she may dispose freely as a painter on such a landscape, she can - literally - move mountains - and she does! Thus each artwork is not created after nature, neither before nature, neither parallel to nature, but of nature (C̩zanne), or created as nature (Picasso).

Each painting refers to the existing creation, but at the same time it is re-creation, i.e. creation of a work that previously did not exist and now forms part of our world. Caspar David Friedrich: "... The painter has to paint not only what he sees in front of him ..."

 Because Maren Wellendorf sees the landscapes inside herself, she can paint a landscape of mud flats, while she lives in the Spanish mountains.

Degas to a student: "Memory and imagination ..." - Maren Wellendorf draws out of both.


The personal style of Maren Wellendorf can be described with one word: Clarity!

Each paintings composition is brilliant, balanced, not a square centimetre is thoughtless, like clamped the paintings´ elements stand in the formats, in the tensional structure, in the ordered structure.

The differences between the formats: 1st The size

                                                          2nd The proportion

Briefly: Each painting is the result of exact pictorial thinking.

But it is more!

To the intellectual planning of the creative process a high emotional power comes in.

Especially Maren Wellendorf´s chosen colour schemes succeed to express this sensual component of her painting. And admirable, how she is able to develop a new painting a new colour tone. (E.g., “cork” or the amazing Diptych “mud flat”)      

       Watt lDiptychon- Maren Wellendorf Watt lDiptychon- Maren Wellendorf   Korkeichen- Maren Wellendorf              

Priel- Maren Wellendorf As for the mud flat paintings a new materiality occurs especially. Buhnen - Maren WellendorfThe painting´s surface becomes a relief; sand, plastics, and fragments of shells - the colour is added to the topic and thus they change the surface, which then changes again under the influence of light and lighting.                                              


Maren Wellendorf has sovereignty over the craft and technical means of painting, she works with acrylic - and oil paints in layers, usually a combination of both, i.e. the use of classical methods of painting. Such a mastery of craft is not art itself - but the absolute precondition for any art (music, painting).

We find ourselves at this exhibition that presents an artist who leads us into two different parts of the world. Free from any scheme she knew how to enrol each subject an individuality which sets it apart from every other painting. And yet all the paintings do have a kind of relation within. Each painting just radiates out also that

- the spiritual world

- the emotional sensuality, briefly

- origins from the artistic conception of Maren Wellendorf!

Prof. Funke -Maren Wellendorf

 I wish for the artist and hope for all of us to experience the spiritual senses of her paintings and to experience spiritually the sensual of her paintings.

 My congratulations to the artist, thank you all ...


                 Besucher der Vernissage Maren Wellendorf