Silke Bartsch

b 1963 Osnabrück . Lives and works in Berlin.


Silke Bartsch paints scenes and situations from her urban surroundings, focusing on aspects of the everyday. Her subject matter includes places she enjoys such as miniature golf courses, balconies, tents and allotment gardens. Her painting style dances on the border between representation and abstraction.

While the paintings are mainly void of human presence, the places portrayed remain animated. Within the details of each painting you are able to find subtle traces of the people who once used these spaces as a form of retreat from the gazing masses, or a shelter where one can at least temporarily, follow his or her own pace.

With a colorful approach, using light overlapping brushstrokes, Bartsch presents her small microcosms as series. These series have varying titles such as ‘above’, ‘absence’, ‘Rückzugsmöglichkeiten’, as well as using street names and numbers, each representing a place where life can continue unnoticed. Her paintings are picturesque painted collages, which provide an insight into a neighborhood world, seen from the perspective of the anonymous observer, however, without seeming voyeuristic.

What remains visible in a rather graphic translation are the utensils of lived-in places without the appearance of its inhabitants. A balcony or an allotment garden is a place where life happens outside of the intimate living space, a semi-private cove within a public space. It is possible to gain snapshots of the outside world from within these spaces without really being seen, and also for the eyes of the locals for whom this view is so familiar. These contemplative scenes become the starting point for the viewer to explore these everyday stills.

All of the motifs are based on photographs that are expressly taken with the paintings in mind. Through the painting process the view of nature and architecture become simplified. In what some may find as unspectacular subject matter, Bartsch finds a starting point from which to explore the boundaries between realism and abstraction. Bartsch often works in small series of three to six paintings using a combination of acrylic and oil paint. In parallel, the artist continues to explore the use of other materials including polystyrene, linoleum and wallpaper as a means to challenge the classical notion of the picture plane.


  • 2017–2018  “Kunstanaloges Coaching” MSH Hamburg
  • 1997—98 Art in Context, Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste)
  • 1993—94 Painting, Academy of Arts Düsseldorf (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf)
  • 1988—93 Visual Communication with an emphasis on Painting University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Düsseldorf) Degree in Design (Diplom)
  • 1987—88 Architecture, University of Hannover (Universität Hannover)
  • Solo Exhibitions (Selected)
  • 2018 Malerei, Advent Zachäus Gemeinde (Berlin)
  • Werkschau im Nervenzentrum Potsdam (Potsdam)
  • 2016 Impuls und Verwandlung, Grundbuchhalle des Ziviljustizgebäudes (Hamburg)
  • 2014 Nachtschutz –Galerie Kunst Krämer (Berlin)
  • 2012 Frei-Zeit-Frei-Fahrt-Frei-Spiel - Galerie Katja Krämer (Berlin)
  • Alles andere als Graubeige - Ärztehaus Hannover (Hannover)
  • Maigrün bis Korallrot -  Gemeinschaftspraxis fera (Berlin)
  • Group Exhibitions (Selected)
  • 2019 Gehag Forum, 4 zeichnerische Positionen
  • 2018 Soweit das Auge reicht- Landschaft heute, VBK (Berlin)
  • Ausstellung Schloss Cammin, mit Susanne Schierdewahn, Jakob Roepke u.a.
  • Lange Nacht und Tag in den Gerichtshöfen (Berlin)
  • Art A 10 (Kunstblitz)  (Wildau)(K)
  • Aktionale Das nackte SEIN,VBK (Berlin)(K)
  • 2017 72 Stunden, Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin)
  • Kunstverein Troisdorf  (Bonn)
  • Ausstellung Schloss Cammin, mit Susanne Schierdewahn
  • EAF – Berlin Artist Exhibition, Multipolster Leipziger Strasse, (Berlin)
  • update 2017, Verein Berliner Künstler
  • 2016 Spur & Gefüge, als Gäste der Galerie Jens Goethel (HH) (Berlin)
  • Berlinkolorit, Galerie Kunstzimmer  (Hamburg Eppendorf)
  • PRESENCE an exhibition about mindful and physical attendance through painting, with Jakob Roepke, Catherine Bourdon, Sven Ochsenreither (Berlin)  
  • Awards
  • Kunstamt Reinickendorf/ Kunstamt Münster/ Welde Kunstpreis, Ausstellung 30 Beste (Mannheim 2008)/ Kunstamt Osnabrück
  • Collections:
  • EAF (Enter Art Foundation)
  • Graphothek Kunstamt Reickendorf (Berlin)
  • Private Collections:
  • Tesching (Münster), H. Marquard (Osnabrück, Bremen), M. Pantke (Berlin), Westerkamp (Berlin)
  • Artist in Residence
  • April 2017, Schloss Cammin

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