Shop the Show: See How Artist Volker Hüller Fills His New Paintings of Birds With a Spirit of Hope

His new paintings are currently on view at Van Doren Waxter in New York.

Volker Hüller, Suburban Bathers (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.
Volker Hüller, Suburban Bathers (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

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What You Need to Know: “Birds” at Van Doren Waxter presents new, intimately scaled oil-on-canvas paintings by the Brooklyn-based, German artist Volker Hüller. Painted in 2021, these works—all of birds, as the title suggests—represent renewed hope for the artist as he and his wife welcomed the birth of their first child in the midst of the pandemic. Why birds? The artist points to Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope,” in which she writes that hope “is a thing with feathers / That perches in the soul.” For the artist, the works signal a new and more emotive use of color. 

Installation view "Volker Hüller: Birds" 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Installation view of “Volker Hüller: Birds” 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Why We Like It: A poetic sensibility permeates the exhibition. Hüller’s birds appear like messengers or oracles against varying skies, and besides moons and suns. After the tumult of last year, the images call to mind the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, and the dove that appears carrying an olive branch, letting Noah know that deliverance—and safe land—are nearby. Adding a layer of drama to the presentation, the artist has presented these works against a deep red gridded tile wall on the third floor of the gallery’s 1907 townhouse.

What the Gallery Says: “These new canvases show a more naturalistic approach to imagery, compared to Hüller’s previous works, which displayed a more stylized and abstracted take to representation. His colors are more varied and saturated here, with more expressive brushwork and deliberately modulated textures. There are beautifully painted passages of reds and oranges, and tropical blues and greens; these colors are at once descriptive as well as transporting. Wild at Heart and In the Heat of the Night, are two of my favorite pictures in the exhibition,” said Augusto Arbizo, partner at Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller
Amore
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Volker Hüller, Amore (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, Amore (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, In the Still of the Night (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, In the Still of the Night (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

 

Volker Hüller
Black Moon (2021)
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Volker Hüller, Black Moon (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, Black Moon (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

 

Volker Hüller
Wild at Heart  (2021)
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Volker Hüller Wild at Heart (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, Wild at Heart (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller
Acker at Dawn (2021)
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Volker Hüller, Acker at Dawn (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, Acker at Dawn (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

 

Volker Hüller
Rockaway Beach (2021)
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Volker Hüller, Rockaway Beach (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

Volker Hüller, Rockaway Beach (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter.

 

Volker Hüller: Birds” is on view at Van Doren Waxter through July 2, 2021.


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