Liegende Frau mit Schlange
Elvira Bach, Liegende, Acryl auf Leinwand, 2020 © Elvira Bach

21.05 - 26.11.2023

Elvira Bach

A retrospective of Elvira Bach's works from the 1970s to the present.

Barlach Kunstmuseum Wedel

Barlach Kunstmuseum Wedel

Elvira Bach is the German female painter of the present. She possesses an insatiable hunger for images, which she formulates in impetuous and passionate positions. Independent of group contexts, she is recognized today as an extraordinary loner, who unagitatedly and solely by aesthetic means, in strong contours and colors, concentrated on a few pictorial objects, thematizes her being a woman and the assertion of the feminine in a world dominated by men.

  • tanzende Frauengestalt

    Elvira Bach, Sie tanzt in der Stadt, Acryl auf Leinwand 1997

  • tanzende Gestalten

    Elvira Bach, Wenn es Nacht wird, Acryl auf Leinwand 1983

They are great women, they are strong women, they are women who know and master their sexual attraction. Elvira Bach's paintings are not about the role of women in society, nor about questions of emancipation, but about the pleasurable awareness of being a woman. The women's movement was never her subject. She paints women. Only women. Because she sees them differently than men see women. "My women show what I myself have experienced and lived through, what I imagine and dream of as a woman." Insofar Elvira Bach also always paints herself, not in the form of self-portraits, but in the form of image-filling, female archetypes - lusty and ironic - strong and self-confident, in various mythological or social roles. Symbolically, these women are complemented by feminine accessories such as hairstyles, dresses, jewelry and shoes with which the painter does what she wants and which for her sometimes serve as a metaphor of freedom, statement, combat zone or as a symbol of self-empowerment.

  • Frau hält ein Kleinkind über sich

    Elvira Bach, Tschernobyl, Acryl auf Leinwand 1986

  • Expressive Frauengestalt

    Elvira Bach, Nachteule, Acryl auf Leinwand 1981

"Always me" could be the motto above Elvira Bach's world of images, as it similarly is for Frida Kahlo or Maria Lassnig. But in contrast to their often painfully surreal processing of inner and social conflicts, Bach's confrontation is more direct, vital, erotic and self-confident. In the spirit of "I am as I am," her women are often naked, sporting a hugely curved mop of hair as a magnificent headdress and wearing high-heeled shoes that seem to merge with their feet.

  • Schuhe und Frauenbeine

    Elvira Bach, Laufsteg, Acryl auf Leinwand 2010

  • Frau in Unterwäsche

    Elvira Bach, Nach Coply, Acryl auf Leinwand, 1995

The exhibition is a retrospective of the artist's oeuvre and provides a comprehensive insight into her extensive and consistent work, which continues to this day as a never-ending stream of images, without losing any of its excitement and liveliness. In addition to painting, Elvira Bach also works as a sculptor on bronze, ceramic and glass sculptures, exemplary to be seen in the exhibition.

Elvira Bach was born in Taunus on June 22, 1951, and studied painting at the Academy of Arts in (West) Berlin from 1972 to 1979. In 1982 she was invited to documenta 7 in Kassel, which promoted her international breakthrough. Today, her works can be found in numerous public and private collections worldwide.

  • Sitzende Frau im roten Kleid mit Weinglas und Zigarette

    Elvira Bach, Unfreiwillig Allein 2, Acryl auf Papier 2020

  • Frau im bunten Kleid

    Elvira Bach, Ohne Titel, Acryl auf Leinwand 2020

Our special thanks go to Atelier Elvira Bach, Berlin and Galerie Marcus Deschler, Berlin for their gracious loans, Susanne Obert and Anja Mosbeck for advice and support, the city of Wedel and the district of Pinnebrg for financial contributions.