In April 1988, after a four-year wait, and 18 months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Linde Hartmann’s application to leave the GDR and relocate to Hamburg is approved.

The abrupt move from the charged atmosphere of social upheaval in Leipzig to the sedate Hanseatic city of Hamburg, the absence of direct confrontation and the sheer range of possibilities precipitates a period of questing for a new artistic position. At times, painting gives way to other fields of work, fading into the background. During this period, many pictures are abandoned and overpainted or destroyed.

Constant change and overpainting of the same pictures time and again leads successively to a new way of working. Even though elements of the earlier expressive painting style and the use of drawing in the painting of individual pictures remain, the basic tenor of her work changes. The palette expands. One question is illuminated and investigated from different angles. Different ways of looking at things and expressing them are now explicitly sanctioned - more than that, they are foregrounded and their potential exploited with enjoyment and relish. What is of interest is not the development of an individual stylistic approach to be rudely imposed on the subject but the fathoming of the multiplicity of possibilities lurking beneath the surface of the theme.

Ansgar van Zeul 2026

>> Painting 1988 – 2006