“My paintings tend towards the classical legacy of landscape painting (inevitably slightly romanticised), but without taking away from the nature of the map. I want to keep the image readable, the tempera of the painting and the printed filigree of the map’s surface must work together and balance their separate perspectives: one, a bird’s eye view that is read close to, the other, a landscape, viewed from the distance.”
I've never been to New York City. But I've been seen so many photos, read so many stories and watched so many films about New York that I have a pretty good idea of New York in my mind. In German, we call it Kopfkino, or mind-cinema; those images or narratives based on reality and that can be played out in our imagination.
Other than travel, movies or books, maps also offer a good starting point to set one's mind-cinema in motion. Maps contain information on terrain profile, vegetation, bodies of water and man-made infrastructure. The sole purpose of this information is to feed the map reader's mind-cinema with facts. The imagination of the mind-cinema processes the facts into a picture of the world, at least that small part of the world that the map represents.
That's exactly what I'm trying to do with my work. However, with the help of painting, I free my mind-cinema from the isolation of my brain and develop, together with the map, a credible visual version of a certain territory that is determined by the map. In my paintings I'm not looking for a beautiful view, a special light or a romantically beautified landscape. I'm looking for the typical, the quintessence of a landscape, or at least what my mind-cinema thinks it is. I don't need other research and I don't need to travel to the location; I limit myself to the information provided on the map and add to it only what I know about the world. Credibility is important to me. My landscapes are fictitious landscapes, and yet they are based on verifiable facts. If I succeed in what I want to achieve, then you could describe my paintings as subjective realism.
Uwe Walther was born in 1965 in Sonneberg, Germany. Uwe studied under Professor Bernhard Heisig at Art Academy of Leipzig 1986-90. He moved from Leipzig to Switzerland in 1990 on a Government student exchange and has remained there ever since. Solo exhibitions have been held in Switzerland, Germany, London and Singapore. Recent public exhibitions include 'Kunstfluge at the Museum Hans Erni, Luzern.
Hinterland17 - 29 Jan 2023John Martin Gallery is pleased to present ‘Hinterland’ an exhibition that brings together the work of 17 contemporary painters: Radu Baies, Tim Braden, Hannah Brown, Martin Gale, Martin Greenland, Jan...
Recent Map PaintingsUwe Walther 27 Apr - 20 May 2022I’ve never been to New York City. But I’ve been seen so many photos, read so many stories and watched so many films about New York that I have a...
Map Paintings 2015 – 2018Uwe Walther 4 - 26 Oct 2018I grew up in East Germany during the DDR/German Democratic Republic and studied painting in Leipzig under Bernhard Heisig, later on in Basel under Werner von Mutzenbecher. In 1990 I...
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2022 Recent Map Paintings , John Martin Gallery, London
2018 Map Paintings, John Martin Gallery, London
2016 Ansichtssache, Galerie Marc de Puechredon, Basel
2014 1:25‘000, John Martin Gallery, London
2013 1:25‘000, Swiss Embassy, Paris
2012 Panorama, Galerie Marc de Puechredon, Basel
2011 1:25‘000, Edward Cutler Gallery, Milano
2010 1:25‘000, Galerie Marc de Puechredon, Basel
Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 Preview, Cromwell Place, JMG, London
2019 The Winter Show, John Martin Gallery, London
2019 Kunstflüge, Hans Erni Museum, Lucerne
Represented at art fairs by Galerie Marc de Puechredon and John Martin Gallery at Miami, Bologna, Istanbul, Paris, Zürich, Singapor and London, at least at London Art Fair 2022 by John Martin Gallery
1993 Diploma in painting at Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst, Leipzig
1994 Diploma in fine arts at Schule für Gestaltung, Basel