16. July – 25. July

Reuterstr. 31
12047 Berlin

Elisabeth Greinecker 
Jessica Groome
Satoko Kako
Ron Siu & Jessica Jang 

In Paul Klee’s 1922 painting titled Wachstum der Nachtpflanzen (growth of the night plants), luminous precessions of stacked, transparent, plant-like shapes reach vertically on a black ground. As they move towards the top of the canvas, the shapes become brighter, creating a sense of depth and emergence. Repetition as well as shifts in scale and value create an animated sense of time passing. The jaunty swagger of the plants contradicts their surroundings. It seems they are flourishing in the darkness. Of course, there are plants which bloom or smell sweetest at night, however, I imagine that Klee coined the term Nachtpflanzen himself, employing this invented noun as a platform for fantasy. 

Our exhibition Nachtpflanzen explores the theme of nocturnal growth, given the anxieties of our current time. In Excerpts: Columbarium, Snakey, Eels, Fish Ghosts, Penjing Tree, Crying Lotus,* Jessica Jang and Ron Siu work with Chinese myths, mysticism and astrology through a series of animated vignettes. Fighting isolation and daily challenges of the pandemic, Jang and Siu were looking for ways to work remotely and collaboratively at the same time. Remixing and re-telling myths places them in a different context, and the act of doing so over and over generates its own new myth: is the scholar dreaming of the butterfly or is the butterfly dreaming of the scholar? 

Jessica Groome’s Worry Worms are made with coloured pencil on black paper, each featuring two worms intertwined. They are comical, obsessive and a little unsettling. The seriality of the work provides small shifts from drawing to drawing without a linear narrative. In a similarly executed body of work titled Night Blooms, colourful insect wings, flowers and botanical motifs overlap in a dreamy garden world.

In an exchange with Groome, Satoko Kako’s recent vessels explore worm-imagery in metallic, earthy tones. Stacks of cups, plates, vases and curious blobs are grouped together on cylindrical plinths in her installation Daily Life Machine, which transforms individual pieces into surprising sculptural arrangements. Kako’s series of pastel drawings My Imaginary Vases are airy propositions, showcasing ideas which could be, but are not. 

Elisabeth Greinecker’s intimate glass works are based on queer source material, reducing photographic images and drawings. Cutting, arranging and melting glass pieces together, she uses collage techniques to isolate figures and hone abstractions. Using the transparency and opacity of glass, she negotiates and subverts questions of representation.

Navigating collective fear, grief and change as we slide into summer 2021, Nachtpflanzen offers a gesture of persistence for the moment. 

*Excerpts: Columbarium, Snakey, Eels, Fish Ghosts, Penjing Tree, Crying Lotus was produced by Siu and Jang during a digital residency at Factory Media Centre (Hamilton, Canada). The artists would like to acknowledge the support of FMC for the creation of this work. 


The trope of the reclining woman occurs throughout art history as an object of desire, but also as a damn good compositional idea; a curvy horizontal shape in front of the dynamic vertical lines of interior space practically paints itself. But instead of being the passive object to be viewed, what is it like to be the recliner? The exhibition title Recliner suggests both a comfy chair as well as an assertive being with a thinking mind: one who reclines. In this duo show of abstract sculpture and painting, Jessica Groome and Julie Beugin open a space to engage in the mental repose that is essential for constructive and experimental thought.

Jessica Groome’s sculptures are directly influenced by Kirchner’s reclining women in his gloriously bizarre 1933 painting, Three Nudes in the Woods. Kirchner’s surprising use of inventive shapes and flat colours could easily be a current example of contemporary figurative painting, barring the stylized bob hairdos of the three lounging figures. Kirchner returned to the composition many times, and Groome has been similarly obsessed, repeatedly coming back to references to the painting in different forms. In Recliner, her pastel floor sculptures directly mirror Kirchner’s three figures. Initially appearing both comedic and physically solid, their bold and voluptuous personalities are enunciated with a seamless and precise construction. Yet their solidity and implied weight is an illusion; on closer observation, it can be seen that they are only made from paper, delicate and temporary.

Continuing this feeling of lightness, the walls of the exhibition are hung with the airy collaged paintings of Julie Beugin. On large scale canvases, big loose transparent gestures overlap in cut and paste compositions. Abstracted from photographic collages of shapes and light in the city, Beugin’s paintings suggest a puzzling sense of space while remaining direct and material. Bright and muted tones mingle in large fluid gestures, suggesting moments of transitory sunlight. As each painting is constructed from multiple paintings with visible seams, nothing is singular, and compositions are necessarily contingent and unpredictable. Negative white spaces of unpainted canvas appear both as the simple surface of the canvas and as a limitless depth of possible space.

During the continued uncertainty and weariness that is the spring of 2021 in Berlin, this exhibition, whether it can only be viewed virtually or actually in person, will provide open space, breathing room, and the possibility of regeneration, even relaxation, in contemplating the abstract and unknown.

April 10, 17 and 24th 2021

tofeelclose is a space for individual and collective reflection. The project gathers momentum and shape through every voice. Contributors offer unfolding ideas and inquiries, lay bare obsessions, wade through the mundane, stage a place for an encounter. Look for ways to feel close. Artist commissions will be added biweekly from July to October 2020, thereafter archived.

Artists: Carrie Allison, Eve Tagny and Emii Alrai, Katherine Boyer, Erika DeFreitas, Lindsay Delaronde and Jamie Black, Maggie Groat, Jessica Groome and Tiziana La Melia, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Shellie Zhang
Curators: Art Gallery of Regina, Franz Kaka, Paved Arts, Jennifer Smith, Kenderdine and College Galleries with BlackFlash Magazine

tofeelclose is curated by Tarin Dehod and organized by Tarin Dehod and Derek Sandbeck of AKA, design by Carson Sargent

I'M ON FIRE organized by me and Aleksandra Bielas at SPOiLER , Berlin
opens January 25th, 2020

January 2020: KILLING TIME edition of double-sided microfibre beach towels for sun + moon bathing : collab with Ella Dawn McGeough (100X180CM) & made from recycled plastic water bottles

See you on Wednesday for the opening of Studio Apartment at Miracle Baby: 

351a Oakwood Ave.
York, Ontario
M6E 2W1

Sept 2018: I started a project space in my garden (Berlin, Wedding) called La Datcha. During the summer, La Datcha hosts artists for occasional projects, workshops and residencies.

This year's resident was Canadian artist Jenine Marsh. Check out images of her exhibition Vivisections here.

Make / Shift, CIRCLES & WIGS at FELT galleri October 19-22, 2017, Bergen NO

Core Remission, group exhibition at gr_und (Berlin) featured in KubaParis.

Naming the Thing that Disappears, part of the exhibition Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting at the Vancouver Art Gallery, September 30, 2017-January 1, 2018.

Soft Glove at Erin Stump Projects, September 13- November 11, 2017, Toronto.
Limited Edition exhibition text by the amazing Ella Dawn McGeough.

From January - October 2015 I curated a series of exhibitions at Howard Park Institute, Toronto. Check out the archive here.