Leif Trenkler is one of the forerunners of New Figuration in Germany, having attended both the Städelschule and the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf.* His art can be understood as an amalgamation of a wide variety of elements, as "intergradient elements", which skilfully interlock and together produce a great coherent whole. For example, he makes a clear reference to art historical tradition by drawing on various painters of Florentine Mannerism, Venetian Renaissance, Baroque, and even Abstract Expressionism. Instead of merely copying the old masters, however, Leif Trenkler cleverly translates their style into the media age, thus creating an aesthetic of the club and lounge culture of our time.**
The more recent works show snapshots of everyday life, in which the human being plays only a subordinate role. Most of the time he appears only dimly in the background or as a figure on the back. Natural and man-made spaces, flora and fauna are the main actors of the artistic events. The artist does not limit himself to motifs of his homeland, but also penetrates into exotic realms. The strong, exaggerated coloring results in a self-contained, dramaturgical composition. Other important components are the play of light and shadow, as well as reflections in the water. The brushstroke varies, but is usually only subtly visible. This also applies to the distinctness of the contour lines.
Fine art print on Hahnemühle paper, edition of 49, hand signed
80 x 60 cm
Leif Trenkler's multi-layered art delights the eye of the beholder and at the same time blurs the boundaries of space and time. The viewer is taken by the artist on a poetic-fantastic journey into a world between dream and reality. An unforgettable experience awaits ...
Text: Julia Reiter, Art Historian (M.A.)
Leif Trenker, a graduate of the Städelschule in Frankfurt, is considered an important initiator of the New Figuration movement in Germany. In his works, which oscillate between realism and surrealism, the artist, who lives and works in Cologne, examines the effect of light and shadow on architecture, landscapes, and figures. There is deliberately no clear differentiation between fiction and reality, which becomes evident in the expressive and intentionally overdriven use of color in his pictorial worlds. Thus, through a poetic sense of reverie, he disrupts the ordinary, architectural, or natural space and draws in an exciting, fantastical dimension, where the mere visual quality fascinates and at the same time represents his unique style. His paintings on birch wood are instantaneous moments, where figures are mostly depicted in the foreground. Thematically, his work focuses on childhood memories, street and nature views, and scenes of everyday life and parties.
To the artist page