Kalin Lindena began her career as a graffiti artist working on the streets of Braunschweig. Part of a tight-knit community of other graffiti artists, or ‘writers’ as they referred to themselves, Lindena found the urban environment offered her great freedom. With an entire town at her disposal, she could choose from an endless supply of contexts and surfaces on which to create new work. Lindena worked in this way for ten years before studying at the Braunschweig School of Art in 1997, the culmination of a noticeable shift in her practice.
Although still clearly influenced by its style in terms of scale and gesture, Lindena’s recent work has moved away from graffiti towards a more considered deconstruction of the boundaries and definitions of painting and drawing. Her elaborately detailed, often graphic-like works are made using many materials on a variety of surfaces. Recently she has used shards of broken glass to create a motif on the gallery floor, painted on windows and sheets of plastic, and continued to make works outside using spray-paint. Lindena creates a sense of depth in much of her work that is reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky’s Cossack paintings, whilst maintaining completely flat areas for the incorporation of text, an integral part of her practice.
Lindena has a vast repertoire of imagery from both high and popular culture and has an interest in semantic systems. Her work contains layers of references, some instantly recognisable, some familiar yet hard to define. In Finks 1999-2000 the artist created a large mural painted over a period of several years. In what became a form of visual diary, the image included a reworking of Neil Young’s Harvest album cover, Bob Dylan song lyrics and a homage to Will Oldham, who for years remained the anonymous composer of the Arise Therefore LP. Other works have incorporated corporate logos, the image from a mineral water label for example. The act of quoting such appropriated imagery alludes to the process of ‘tagging’ by graffiti artists, a way of asserting identity and authorship. Lindena has created two new works especially for the exhibition.
Kalin Lindena was born in Hannover in 1977. Her solo exhibitions include Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne (2004), Simultanhalle, Cologne (2003), Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe (2002) and the Kunstverein Braunschweig (2001). She has participated in a number of group exhibitions including deutschemalereizweitausenddrei, Kunstverein Frankfurt (2003), Painting on the Roof, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2003), Fünf deutsche Frauen, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York (2003) and Hossa, Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca (2002).