Melbourne, 7 Mar 2023 — 25 Mar 2023

35 Derby Street [PO Box 1183], Collingwood 3066

Marking Times
- Hertha Kluge-Pott

“In the south the hills are ringed by the Alps for many a mile. At one point from our city’s bastions, we can see the blue speck of these mountains between the trees and houses. I went there often, gazing at the little blue speck, but didn’t think any more than: those are the Alps.”

–Adalbert Stifter, Nachsommer, 1857 (trans. Wendall Frye)

If a mountain (not least the Alps) can shrink to a ‘blue speck’, can a speck become a mountain? Is a tree not present in its seed? Can close observation reveal this to us? These are questions that might be asked in the humanist novel Nachsommer by Adalbert Stifter (1805- 1868), which Hertha Kluge-Pott studied at high school. The question of scale––the height and breadth of our external and internal world––has been present across her entire career. This same preoccupation with scale makes Kluge-Pott’s recent work extremely significant.

Most of the images in this exhibition are small. Yet there was once a time when Kluge-Pott made the largest prints she could possibly make on her own. These were prints of a size that remains rare in Australia. These earlier images were landscapes, or, more aptly, kingdoms. In addition to their size, they were also inordinately complex. And looking into these large works you would find them composed of minute detail, as Hilary Maddocks lists: “trees and plant forms, lakes, clearings, a cemetery, logs, neighbours houses, the artist’s studio, huge armoured beetles . . .” The large works were actually kingdoms devoted to small, humble observations. Kluge-Pott has never been afraid of smallness. Or rather, she is aware that bigness can be the servant of the small. ‘ – excerpt from ‘Marking Times’ essay by Victoria Perin, 2023

Hertha Kluge-Pott
Printmaker Hertha Kluge-Pott studied at the Braunschweig School of Applied Art and the Berlin Academy …
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