Nov 11, 2022 — Feb 25, 2023

Helga Schmidhuber’s work is strongly influenced by her synesthetic perception: she always works and paints in analog form. Her work seems to be out of time. Yet, this very quality makes it more relevant and contemporary for us today than ever before. 

Schmidhuber’s oeuvre demonstrates the versatility, intuition, and insatiable curiosity of the artist. Her series and groups of works impress with a wealth of different materials: found animal skulls, clay, lacquer, embroidery, to wood, velvet… No material seems foreign to her. Her love for nature and animals dates back far; as a child, the artist spent a lot of time in the forest and in natural history museums. 

The exhibition IN POTENTIA, with artistic interventions in the historic bird hall of the Bamberg Natural History Museum, brings us closer to the world of Helga Schmidhuber in a very personal way.

Her art is mysterious, expressive, and profound. This is already suggested by the title of the exhibition: IN POTENTIA describes the power inherent in individual materials or objects that, when combined, form a whole. Thus, the feather becomes the headdress, the skull becomes the cult object, and many layers of paint become a painting. IN POTENTIA presents a carefully curated cross-section of Schmidhuber’s oeuvre: paintings, collages, and object-like works. 

The German artist, born in 1972, studied painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where she completed her studies in 2004 as the first master student of Albert Oehlen. Since then, she has been awarded prestigious prizes (Markus Lüpertz Prize, Max Ernst Scholarship, Hans Platschek Prize) and participated in artist-in-residence programs in Austria, Iceland, Canada, and Spain. She has exhibited her works in major institutions worldwide, such as the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the CCA Andratx, Mallorca.

IN POTENTIA, Helga Schmidhuber, installation view, AOA;87 Bamberg, 2022
Helga Schmidhuber, o.T., 2010, Bear skull, varnish, rope, porcelain on velvet cushion
IN POTENTIA, Helga Schmidhuber, installation view, AOA;87 Bamberg, 2022
Helga Schmidhuber, o.T., 2012, antelope skull, drawing on drumhead, wire