Florian Heinke has his first London solo exhibition at the popular Charlie Smith London Gallery in Shoreditch, opening this week. Heinke is known for his paintings that alternate between political polemics and transcendental beauty. Combining text and image only in black acrylic on unprimed canvas, Heinke’s methods are unique and highly impactful. Schooled initially on the streets of Frankfurt, Heinke discovered studio painting after being arrested for graffiti writing:
“Once I got arrested and they put me into a programme in a workshop. They offered me an alternative punishment: to work in their painting studio. I did my first canvas there with brushes and colour. Graffiti was just the valve to show my rage, incomprehension, and sadness.”
Heinke went on to study at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz before undertaking his Masters at the renowned Städelschule. Since then he has gone on to become one of Germany’s most vibrant young painters, exhibiting globally and being placed in prominent private collections, including that of Michael & Susan Hort in New York.
Despite retiring his spray cans at an early stage, elements of street semiotics continue to endure. The use of text in both German and English; an absorption of advertising techniques; and a clash of imagery derived from various sources coalesce to reference high, low and mass culture.
‘ALLES WIRD GUT’ – translated as ‘Everything will be fine’ – will present a typically Heinkian worldview. Smattered with irony, poetry, longing, derision, optimism and fury, the exhibition will embody Heinke’s ongoing notion of ‘Paradise Overdosed’, traversing contemporary and modern politics; celebrity; glamour; greed; beauty and decay.
Born 1981 Education 2005-2009: Meisterschüler, Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main 2004-2005: BA (Hons) Fine Art, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Mainz
Selected Exhibitions : 2016: ALLES WIRD GUT (Solo), CHARLIE SMITH LONDON, London; Doppelgänger; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; Black Paintings (curated by Heike Strelow), Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt am Main; 2015: …But the gods (Solo), Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt am Main; Acid on tea (Solo), Galerie Römerapotheke, Zurich; 2014: Saatchi’s New Sensations and THE FUTURE CAN WAIT, B1, Victoria House, London; Cultus Deorum, Saatchi Gallery, London; Deltabeben, Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen; 2013: Der faule Biss (Solo), Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt; System of diplomatic Chaos (Solo), Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden; Wurzeln weit mehr Aufmerksamkeit widmen, Bauhaus Universität Weimar; 2012: Bang! Bang! Tatort Kunst, Haus für Kunst Uri, Altdorf; Gesichtsverlust, Kunstverein Viernheim, Viernheim; Troops would love to die, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim; Kein Gott und seine Kinder, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; Alptraum, Goethe Institute Johannesburg, Johannesburg; 2011: Alptraum, Cell Project Space, London; A Beer to spill them into Dust, Waikato Museum, Intraspace Project; When poets die, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt am Main; 2010: Love Kills, Commerzbank Plaza, Frankfurt