Photos: Andreas Stuckenschneider


30th March - 16th May 2015



DIRECT ART GALLERY opens its first solo exhibition Nº 4 „Kakteenherz“ with works by the artist Menia. We cordially invite you to the opening on 20th March at Citadellstraße 15, 40213 Dusseldorf.


Menia was born in Poland in 1965 and lives in Germany where she pursues her art. Ambivalence and contradiction pervades through her art. „Kakteenherz“, the title of the cover painting being showcased at this exhibition illustrates the contrariness, that is inherent to Menia‘s art. A cactus can be associated with pain and injury, whereas a heart can be seen as a symbol of love, dedication.


„Wild“, another painting being presented in this exhibition is a sample of the striking ambivalence in Menia’s art. The body, bedded on foliage, is cut lengthwise from the throat to the pubic bone. It wriggles in a morbid and grotesque way such that the torso slides into a soft curve, perceivable through the form of the throat, the back, the knee and the buttock, while not in the least bit through the composition of the nature depicting the background. A soft, round body – tortured, twisted and brutally injured. The female creature spreads her legs wide apart. The beholder gets an unobstructed view on the painted genital. The dark vulva and the blood dripping out of the wounds contrast with the pale body. Long, sharp claws decorate the curved toes and fingers. The open mouth and the slit eye are painted with a frontal perspective, whereas the extended head allows only a side view. The title „Wild“ illustrates the ambiguity of the painting. The outer appearance indicates the wild, animalistic nature of the figure. At the same time the overemphasized female genital, the maltreated, splayed body and the gaze full of relish yet pain, sway the interpretation of the title to the theme of sexual violence. Did the grotesque creature injure itself or was it abused as a fair game?


The large-sized paintings let the beholder have a share in the artist’s destruction of paradise. The paintings‘dimension and the method of destructively transforming a landscape, a body or an atmospheric moment, refuse unity. Sometimes there are maltreated bodies, bending in front of beautiful exotic landscape, while in others, poetic and sensual scenes pretend to exhibit harmony and security. „Der Traum vom Ankommen“ – „The Dream of Arrival“ – illustrates an extraordinarily contemporary topic of our time. A colossus rests upon himself on a beach. The man‘s right hand lies on a heart, his head rests securely on his own strong chest. His dark and overemphasized muscular body resembles almost a compact square and adumbrates Menia‘s study of cubism. The painting‘s superficial appearance of security and harmony is deceptive considering its title, in conjunction with the ongoing political scenario. The painting expresses the perpetual yearning for peace and understanding through Menia‘s oeuvre. Menia‘s idiosyncratic picture language is reflected in a seemingly naive manner of painting, which follows neither the rules of anatomy, nor the rules of perspective. The divisions of the painting into foreground, middle ground and background as well as the use of local colours strengthen the impression of infantile imagination. The inherent impact of ambivalence and contradiction is increased by this consciously naive picture language. The content seems to be more appalling in its purely innocent portayal.





DIRECT ART GALLERY is a non-profit gallery with the aim to support artists with a mental or psychological handicap. The gallery is run by the foundation ‘Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung’ and is located in the center of the well-known museums and galleries of Düsseldorf. In addition to the presentation of classical positions on Outsider Art, the gallery also focuses on young, upcoming contemporary artists.