Maja Behrmann

cut, cut, collab

08.01. - 20.02.2021

The exhibition “cut, cut, collab” is the first solo showing by the young Leipzig artist Maja Behrmann. She works with a constantly growing collection of shapes that develop continuously and manifest themselves in figures.
Presented in an analog catalog and in digital memory that must be maintained, the figures accumulate as confidantes. They determine each other mutually through their encounters with each other. As an open cycle, this bundle is the foundation for a structure of works and their autonomous components.

Maja Behrmann
Ohne Titel (Raut), 2021
Wood, colour laquer
110 x 72 x 40 cm

Shapes change, but can also be found again across groups of works and circulate in works on canvas, sculptures, and knitting pictures. Each further development, each new material, new form, and new individual detail in turn flows back into the index. By ordering and rearranging, the excerpts project themselves on each other.
“It is like a system that repeatedly breaks up and on which I build extensions. The cycle breaks through the experiences and contingencies with various materials and grows through the intermediate results in the process. These intermediate phases, i.e., forms and figures in their deviations and combinations, for example from knitted material, must then be catalogued and taken up again.”

Maja Behrmann / cut, cut, collab / EIGEN + ART Lab from Galerie EIGEN + ART on Vimeo.

Condensed, she describes her procedure as a “cut and repeat”.
Individual forms, portions of them, and composited patterns are mirrored, reversed, or tipped over. She proceeds intuitively, but tests the constellations and responds to whether or not they function in their place. She thereby repeats this testing systematically; it is a constant back and forth, from one thing to the next.

Maja Behrmann’s works are intensely colored and graphic – in part reductions taken on their own, in part overlapping concentrations. Beginning with small outline drawings, what is seen is reduced by means of repeated drawing; ever fewer curves and edges remain relevant:
“These are all selective, reductive processes. I have these drawings somewhere in the book, but then I need the drawing in another booklet. So ultimately, I draw the same outlines or shadows again and again, developing and abbreviating the forms again.”

Maja Behrmann
Ohne Titel (Tulp), 2020
Wood, colour laquer, textile
78 x 118 x 115 cm

Memory produces vagueness. The forms demand that their legibility and appropriation be assessed. By dealing with them, they become confidantes; sometimes they refuse approach, but also this attribution. They inevitably become their own authorities.
But Maja Behrmann’s figures seldom stand alone. When they encounter each other, a field of tension arises, composed of attachments and dissociations, proximity and distance – a rehearsal stage to feel out the possibilities of acquaintanceships. Whether in two dimensions or set up in space, the figures and their fragments interact with each other.
Possibilities of gatherings and open spaces are played through and parsed. By being limited to an alphabet of shapes, valid formulations can found at least in the short term and social interactions can be mirrored and comprehended.

Maja Behrmann // cut, cut, collab // Eigen + Art Lab // Interview from Galerie EIGEN + ART on Vimeo.


Maja Behrmann
Ohne Titel (T), 2020
97 x 102 cm

Perhaps it is the concept of leeway that Maja Behrmann scenically investigates in her pictorial spaces and arrangements:
“Space and interstice is always a shape, a negative form, and I take this willingly up immediately, also. At the same time, it is an external description that one can take in as much as what the figure has of inherent presence: the feeling that it conveys.”
They pile up, grow together, and combine. Some shapes or figures are closer to Maja Behrmann for a certain time: if they were all the same, it would be disconcerting.

Translation: Mitch Cohen

Maja Behrmann, born 1994 in Frankfurt am Main, studied Book Design and Graphic Design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. Since 2017, she studies Painting and Print-Making at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig in the class of Christoph Ruckhäberle. Maja Behrmann is a scholar of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung since 2017 and in 2018, she was awarded with the Birknerpreis of the Birkner-Stiftung for her publication „Fundus und Flexion“. Moreover, in 2019, she received the study award of the Friends of the HGB and Sparkasse Leipzig for „Auszüge aus Katalog der Vielen“.

Maja Behrmann
Ohne Titel (Glock), 2020
Wood, colour laquer
94,1 x 74,7 x 35 cm

Exhibition views: Eike Walkenhorst
Works: Studio kela-mo