Since time immemorial is the portrayal of the human face considered the highest dis - cipline of the visual arts. In these times of craftless training, hurried production of art and the abstract taste of many collectors, this is often neglected - because it makes it obvious that the standards of the art cannot be met despite the great precursors and the richness of existing imagery. Not so with Claudia Katrin Leyh, who devoted herself with enthusiasm and dedication to the face of humanity and it‘s hidden facets of emotion and expression. With her fully sculptural works, she creates forceful images that enter into a quiet debate with the viewer and require more time and more than a quick look in passing - as it as often becomes a habit, especially with visitors to museums and exhibitions. The sculptures of Claudia Katrin Leyh are designed for living with and spending time with them.
To exchange ideas with them, to quietly think about them, again and again. They resemble the face of the great love that you‘ll never truly fathom and in which you‘ll find something new, touching and great over a morning‘s coffee. They are like the faces of old people, full of life, engraved by fate, whose wrinkles attest to their path of life through times as a furrowed topography where sometimes, deep within, you can see patches of unspoilt freshness like paradise islands
It‘s always these faces, full of a long live, inner depths and great ideas that engage our attention; akin to the indecipherable looks of a person that cannot be discovered in conversation even years later and whose verbal expression is only a camouflaged image of something reflected in a radiant face. It is those expressive depths and cont - radictions that animate and fuel the work of Claudia Katrin Leyh.
Her works range from harmonic and quiet radiant heads like the Renaissance style »Regent« to humouristic rogues and twisted faces like »golden day« and »the Imp in the moss«. We also find group figures, like »happy future« or »Political Clowns« that are presented and need to be understood as installation art. Claudia Katrin Leyh occa - sionally adds surprising, partially irritating and therefore exctiting attributes to the pure face - like the heads mounted on ostrich eggs of the »Bureaucrats« or the lamp shade covered figure »Light is on...«.
This way, the artist playfully changes the aura of her creatures. Profoundly and witty, she sketches portraits of people we all know and laugh about. And even more so after the shocking moment of becoming aware which part of them also is alive within our - selves - a part of the melancholic looking one, the foolish clown, the caricature of the snappish lady »Golden Goose«. In this way, the portraits of Claudia Katrin Leyh always offer themselves up as »Alter Ego« - with one work even being named that - leading us to a our true, inner face.
A stroll through the heads and faces gallery of this artist is a conversation full of joy and surprising self-discovery for everyone with open eyes. At first glance, Claudia Katrin Leyh appears to enter new territory with her latest works - we‘re looking in vain for the well known anatomies of her sculptures and in their place are surprised by a primeval looking Fisch, »Guardian Fish« or the black lower head with a large Golden Helmet »Othello«. With archaic power these sculptures act like metal memorials whose depths are however as complex as previously known works.
With reduction the artist achieves what is expressed in all of her works: exposing basic patterns of being human and doing so with original pleasure, even artistic greatness. Robert Eberhardt galler y ROBERT EBERHARDT Berlin