Redbud Gallery Showcases Germany's Past and Present

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Magda Boltz-Wilson's current collection, "Berlin, Potsdamer Platz" at Redbud Gallery, is an abstract succession of block prints, some monotone, others with striking swipes of colors. The work reflects the sea of change that the country went through.

Potsdamer Platz is one of the most noted intersections in Germany. It has been at the center of decades of history for the country, from its total destruction after the Second World War, to its literal divide when the Berlin Wall was erected, to its becoming a pile of rubble after the demolition of the Wall. In 1991, the area was reborn as the largest building site in Europe. It is this Potsdamer Platz that Boltz-Wilson has captured in her artwork.

Some of Boltz-Wilson's prints are obvious images of the construction. Skewed skyscrapers jut out of the canvas. If you look closely enough, you can almost feel the city coming alive in these prints, along with the hope of a new era. Large mechanical cranes assist in the buildings on her canvas and dust covers the perimeter.

In addition to the black and white buildings, Boltz-Wilson has a series of colorful, vinyl block prints that move away from her infrastructure theme and depict the history of the area. In one print in particular, a series of faces stare out at you. Are they watching you, like some sort of secret police, or are they the victims, attempting to hide away? Either way, the impact is haunting.

Several of the block prints are mounted on light boxes, which gives the artist the ability to mask other images in the background. Peeking behind the prints, one can make out construction, buildings and bridges, melding the artist's take on the past and present.

If you have the opportunity to chat with Redbud's owner Gus Kopriva about the collection, you should. He is passionate about the work and loves to talk about Germany in any capacity. What you don't learn from the artwork, you can find out from him.

Magda Boltz-Wilson's "Berlin, Potsdamer Platz" runs through March 10 at the Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th St. For more information, visit www.redbudgallery.com

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