A little time has elapsed, however, I wanted to share some thoughts about the private view of a solo show I have up at my gallery in Munich. On a cold, brisk day in November 2012 an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Gallery Lau in the heart of Munich to see my work. The gallery is run and founded by the lovely Karoline Lau; a whirlwind of a woman who believes passionately in art and has been a supporter of mine for some years. There is something rather unique about a Private View in Munich. Unlike London where the crowd would be loud and boozy, busy talking and (if you are lucky) doing a bit of looking, the Munich crowd take their private viewing very seriously. It is expected that the artist speaks about their work… at length. These Bavarians really want to know about technique, process and the historical context of the work. Which for me is a good thing. It just so happens a lot of my inspiration has come from Germany. Bauhaus, Josef and Anni Albers and my German surname seem to add a depth to my work that this audience appreciates. There is a hushed and concentrated silence as I talk about these influences. Someone asks for a very specific explanation of a particular part of the process and they listen carefully to the answer. It’s a deeply strange experience to be at a Private View where everyone is completely silent and facing in your direction. Slightly disconcerting if not for the glass of excellent Riesling Karoline is serving. Which brings me to the food. The soft interior of a crispy orange-coated pretzel, quite unlike any I have ever eaten before; strawberries and chocolate nestled in a bowl and of course some German sausage.
The term ‘vernissage’ commonly used in Germany, is a French word, quite literally meaning ‘varnishing’. Historically exhibitions at the Royal Academy, for instance, would have had a special day for varnishing the work and therefore finishing it before a more general public showing. This word in itself implies a certain kind of gravitas to the proceedings. It was an honour and and joy to be part of and if you ever find yourself in Munich do drop in and say hello.
‘Ptolemy Mann – Dynamics of Colour’ at Gallery Lau will be up until March 2013