Cornelia Baltes

Written by Art & Culture

Cornelia Baltes is a German artist known for her paintings and installations that stand on the edge of abstraction and figuration. Corporeal elements such as hands and feet, part of a face, often captured in motion, are teased out of bold colour fields and gestural forms that combine to hint at a narrative in pictorial space

What are you working on right now? /Tell us about your exhibition during Stockholm Art Week?
I’m currently preparing my exhibition ‘Hub Bub’, which will be my first presentation with Andrehn-Schiptjenko. It's exciting for me as I’m taking over the whole space with murals and paintings. I think it's going to be quite intense and maximalist.

What inspired you to become an artist, and how has your artistic journey evolved over time?
The short version of the story is that I felt very strongly that this is something that I wanted to do and I just kept stubbornly working on it. I found my voice as an artist while studying in London around 2010 and my practice has just continued to evolve since then. I just haven’t stopped. Keeping doing is the root of my practice and how I need it to be.

What is your creative process like, and how do you approach developing new ideas and concepts for your work?
Everything I do is grounded in a drawing practice. I don’t draw from life but rather from memories, half-memories, sense-memories. I tease the work out into the open somehow and then it finally resolves as I negotiate with the materiality of painting to make it take form.

Can you tell me about a specific artwork or series of works that are particularly meaningful to you and why?
I was very happy to catch the Alex Da Corte show at the Louisiana Museum last autumn. I really responded to his practice- how he was working with strong colour and even smell, to handle the space of the museum in its totality in a multisensory and emotional way. Being such a perfectionist for producing his often very short videos impresses me. He’s also very funny with it, which I like.

What do you think of Stockholm as an art city?
This trip is going to be my first experience so I’m looking forward to diving in.

Do you have a favourite Swedish Artist?
I recently became aware of the work of Moki Cherry through a presentation at Galerie Nicolai Wallner in CPH. Her practice with her partner Don, was very holistic and they saw art as part of life which I love. Visually Moki’s work resonates strongly with me too and feels totally contemporary and exciting.

Do you have a favourite bar or restaurant in Stockholm?
I’m a total Stockholm virgin, but hopefully after my show I will already have some favourites. Looking forward to meet you, Stockholm!