fine art printmaking

new editions

Henrik Eiben


b: 1975, Tokyo, Japan


lives and works in Hamburg



Henrik Eiben's multifaceted oeuvre includes sculpture, wall art, painting and drawing, whereby the process of creation and the result are often characterised by a inquisitive testing of the boundaries of each respective medium. He combines different materials and techniques, lets them react with each other and always leaves the door open to chance. In this way, works emerge that possess a distinct compositional balance and precision - at the same retaining a certain playfulness between the finely balanced colours and forms, giving the works an extraordinary lightness.


For Eiben it is the commonalities, rather than the boundaries between his different media that he makes manifest; this is reflected in the four editions created in collaboration between the Hamburg-based artist and Keystone Editions. Working in lithography for only the second time, Eiben’s passion for the unique characteristics of this technique allowed him to expertly transfer the formal language of his drawings to a new medium. The four very individual works combine the productive interplay of each technique's different characteristics, which become part of the overall composition.


In "Lux" he experiments with the idea of repetition, which is intrinsic of course, to printmaking itself. The drawing, which was first printed from the stone in light pink, was then reprinted in dark purple and the paper turned upside down. Consolidating the uniqueness of drawing and the multiplicity of printmaking, lithography makes it possible to juxtapose two identical yet distinct forms.


Curiosity about the unforeseen and the unpredictable is revealed in "Phaedon". Here, the green water-tusche wash developed numerous spots of varying sizes while drying, both contrasting and complementing the gentle, horizontal blue crayon strokes. As in his drawings, the individual forms overlap and nestle together as if they were dancing with one another. Is this ease Eiben’s response to the existential questions posed in Mendelssohn's Phaedon?


The openness to allowing each material’s individual particularities to unfold freely and to integrating the results into the process of creating the work also characterises "Donnerhall". As in "Phaedon", the reticulated pattern developed during the drying of the water-tusche; this combines with the different shades of blue, creating various surface structures. While the darker colour appears more uniform and opaque, the light marks suggest the texture of elephant skin. Framed by four coloured dots, the different forms overlap, blend into each other and merge harmoniously into a whole, while still maintaining their individuality.

"Hess" is a tribute to Peter Hess, who brought artist Gunter Demnig’s "Stolpersteine" project to Hamburg in 2002. For this work, Eiben combined two printmaking techniques with hand-colouring, resulting in a dynamic coexistence of the respective layers. The turquoise-blue background woodcut shows both the structure of the wood itself as well as traces of manipulation by a steel brush. Within the orange shape, the cloud-like structure of the lithograph merges with the pattern of the woodcut. In addition, these colorful forms reveal the artist’s hand-applied watercolour brushstrokes, making each print a unique work.







Text: Ferial Nadja Karrasch


Translation from the German: Sarah Dudley

paul-lincke-ufer 33
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