Exhibition “Sketchbooks”



Studio Christoph Niemann in Berlin currently presents a selection of unpublished travel drawings by Christoph Niemann. Collected over the past decades, the sketchbooks capture the countless impressions of his travels around the globe and provide a rare and personal insight into his artistic career.

Visits are possible by appointment, please feel free to contact Gallery Director Thekla Mellau. We ask you to wear a mask when visiting the exhibition rooms.

Studio Christoph Niemann
Schröderstraße 2, 10115 Berlin


“Most of these drawings were created while I was travelling. When I’m on the road I’m usually overwhelmed. I always bring sketchbooks, to help my mind make sense of what I see.

In this regard drawing is closer to writing than it is to photography. First, there is the idea of simplification: taking a complex three dimensional situation and flattening it on a piece of paper using a limited amount of strokes with a pencil or a brush. The most important process is to translate an objective reality into a visual entity that has meaning to me.

Technically, a chair in a cafe is just a bunch of molecules lumped together. I’m pretty sure the chair doesn’t care about the world it’s surrounded by, about whether people find it comfortable or pretty, or even that it is categorized as “furniture” and compared to other chairs in the world.

Once I draw it, I make the chair an actor in my personal universe. The way I translate it into a drawing is informed by how I feel this day, about how alert my eyes and hands happen to be, and (whether I want it or not) about all the chairs I’ve seen and drawn before. Depending on how I decide to draw the chair, the image might trigger an emotion or a memory with the viewer. Instead of a random physical object, it has become a vehicle for information.

This process of translating is the most basic element of creating a drawing. The drawings in this show are not “sketches” in a sense that they are done in preparation for a more refined artwork. They are the results of my foraging for new visual vocabulary.”

Sylt, 2020, ink on paper

Singapore, 2006, ink on paper

London, 2007, ink on paper

Brooklyn Heights, 2022, ink on paper

Garden, 2021, ink on paper

Andalucia, Spain, 2015, ink on paper

Barcelona, 2011, pencil on paper

Andalucia, Spain, 2016, ink on paper

New York, collage

Baltic water study II, 2022, ink on paper

Rue Vavin, France, 2006, pencil on paper

Kronenhalle, 2021, ink on paper

Pfandbon und Granatapfel, 2017, pencil on paper

See also:

Selection of Travel Drawings

Gallery of Photo Drawings

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