Berlin Wall Time

Berlin Wall Time 1979-1989

Evelyn Kuwertz grew up in Berlin in the post-war years, she experienced the ruins, the reconstruction and the era of the Berlin Wall. Since then, perhaps as part of an unconscious process, she has been concerned with the symbolic nature and value of concrete locations. She observes her city with a politically and socially aware gaze.

INGEBORG RUTHE, art critic for the Berliner Zeitung

In 1979 the city of WEST BERLIN became an ongoing theme: she discovered the U-Bahn (underground railway) and the S-Bahn (urban railway) as characteristic big-city motifs in which the attitude towards life of Berlin residents could be expressed, and which rendered visible the special political situation of the city. She represented urban life of the 1980s by means of the interchange stations of Hallesches Tor, Kottbusser Tor and Gleisdreieck, showing people waiting or hurrying up or down stairs. The light accentuated both the space and also the people who merged with this space. She also painted anonymous, approaching groups of people in a portrait-like manner, as they travelled by U-Bahn or stood on escalators. In the S-Bahn stations of Schöneberg and Friedrichstraße she took a different approach. Here the people become increasingly ghostlike, more impersonal, until they almost disappear out of focus. The partition of the city was particularly tangible at these locations. On the one hand this was a metaphorical visual language, on the other hand also a realistic view of the twilight state in which the S-Bahn system, owned by the German Democratic Republic, found itself at that time: little used and neglected following the construction of the Wall and the call for a boycott which followed on from this. A decayed world.

Berlin Railway Station Gleisdreieck 1979 | 100/150 cm, acryl, oil / canvas
Railway station Friedrichstrasse 1980, 80/120 cm, acryl / paper Bütten
Railway station Kottbusser Tor 1982, 100/200 cm, chalks, water color / canvas
Railway station Kottbusser Tor 1983, 140/70 cm, acryl, oil / canvas
Train ride 1983, 90/130 cm, Tempera, acryl, oil / canvas
Nuclear bunker Berlin 1983, 100/70 cm, acryl, oil / canvas
Bunker - Kudammkarree Berlin 1984, 188/144 cm, tempera, oil / canvas
Nuclear bunker Berlin 1984, 100/134 cm, tempera, acryl, oil / canvas
Railway station Hallesches Tor Berlin 1983, 80/120 cm, water color / paper Bütten
Railway station Hallesches Tor Berlin 1983, 80/100 cm, water color, tempera / paper
Railway station Wien 1986, 100/200 cm, water color, gouache / paper
The western section of the S-Bahn station of Friedrich- straße was a generously proportioned hall with many struts and braces, a stable relic of the times of intensely flowing traffic. This formerly lively transport hub of the metropolis was now dozing, a place of tired pensioners, of resigned figures seen from behind. The border guard on the high parapet, with gun at the ready, seemed like a left-over performer from an absurd performance.

RENATE FRANKE, Artcritic, Tagesspiegel, Berlin
That is Berlin too: cool and closely observed, precisely composed, related to the melancholy scene in Manhattan by Edward Hopper. The expressiveness of Evelyn Kuwertz, like the American, dispenses with a striking tendency. Her pictures speak for themselves - hauntingly, but unobtrusively in a discreet language that doesn’t hide anything, especially not the tragic of a divided city: e.g. the terminus at Friedrichstrasse.

Berliner Morgenpost, 13.11.2008