Cornelia Baltes - Hub Bub: Stockholm

4 May - 22 June 2023

We are pleased to present Cornelia Baltes’ first exhibition at Andréhn-Schiptjenko. The opening takes place between 5-8pm on Thursday, May 4.


Cornelia Baltes is known for her paintings and installations that oscillate between abstraction and figuration. Her iconography slips in and out of recognition, where the viewer may discern hints of objects or figures in the broad, fluid strokes overlaying iridescent colour. Baltes scans the environment for everyday, peripheral details and convert them into something monumental, tempting the viewer to process and make sense of what is seen. The resulting paintings are formally and figuratively in flux, and morph into a different narrative for each of us.


Charged with a distinct intensity and sense of movement, Baltes’ minimal compositions balance playfulness with subtle detail. Seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes are in fact meticulously applied with highly pigmented paint over solid fields or gradations of colour. The superflat surfaces are created through a combination of precise brushwork and airbrushing - a tool Baltes began working with almost a decade ago to provide more control over her colour gradients than spray cans would allow. This technique has become an integral part of her visual language of amplification through simplification.


In Cornelia Baltes’ often large-scale paintings, there is room for interplay between the body and the gesture; her sweeping lines - the trace of a choreography on the canvas - extends to murals and colour fields on the walls. She wants to surround the viewer with her work, to immerse them in it. This physical connection of the paintings to the space makes them appear as characters on a stage. The exhibition is viewed as scenery for a play that the audience participates in, with different vantage points and lines of sight directly affecting the viewer’s experience. Baltes is acutely aware of the paintings as a group and pays careful consideration to how they interact with one another and the various other elements of the installation.


Equally multivalent as the paintings themselves, Baltes’ titles feed into the indefinite play between figuration and abstraction. She finds it important to acknowledge the individuality of each work, which entails a process of trying to find a title that feels onomatopoeically “correct”, i.e. that the sound of the title instantly conjures an image or action.  The exhibition title takes the onomatopoeic word hubbub – meaninga loud, confused noise from many sources - describing unclarity over what exactly is being said and by whom, and separates it into further unclarity and gibberish, ripe for (mis)interpretation.


Cornelia Baltes (b. 1978 in Moenchengladbach, Germany) currently resides and works in Berlin. She received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2011 and has exhibited at institutions such as Kunstmuseum Bonn; Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz; Museum Wiesbaden; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; The Royal Academy of Arts, London; Chapter Arts Center, Cardiff; Kunsthalle Nuremberg; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; ICA London; Mostyn, Wales; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Kunstverein Ulm; Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf.


Currently, works by her are included in the exhibition No Illusions, Painting in Space at Hamburger Kunsthalle.

For more information and press images, please contact Hanna Lundberg at
Installation Views