Walpurgis Night Kaye Donachie

Press release

Javier Peres is pleased to present Walpurgis Night, Kaye Donachie's first solo exhibition in Berlin.


Walpurgis Night is traditionally an evening of pagan ritual and spectacle that blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead. Donachie adopts the title Walpurgis Night from the last chapter in book five of Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. Amidst these bleak times Donachie extends her previous interest in Monte Verita into paintings that embrace the mountain, the idyll and the sanatorium from Mann's book. Using bohemian individuals such Hermann Hesse, Ludwig Kirchner, Colette and Hans Castorp with performer Emmy Hennings, barefoot poet Gusto Grässer and pioneering anti-psychiatrist, Otto Gross she creates portraits that transfigure and evoke something of both the tragic and romantic aspects of their life and times. The historical is layered with reference to a period of optimism and modernism that is checked by the tragedy of the unattainable. The works are subdued hopeful and romantic. The surfaces of the works being created through an intensive process of addition and subtraction with active use of virulent colour and light.


Kaye Donachie lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions have included The Brotherhood of Subterranea, Kunstbunker, Nuremberg; At Home, Yvon Lambert, New York; If Everybody had an Ocean curated by Alex Farquharson, Tate St Ives & CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux. Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, curated by Jens Hoffmann, Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Tate Triennial curated by Beatrix Ruf, Tate Britain, London, Ideal Worlds: New Romanticism in Contemporary Art, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Forthcoming solo exhibitions –To Conjure you up and make you fade, Marianne Boesky Gallery 2009, Maureen Paley 2010