by Clare Ros, Anna Russ, studio photos by Clare Ros
Philipp Hennevogl, a German artist, has lived and worked in Berlin for eight years. An established print-maker, Hennevogl creates highly detailed and often large-scale linocuts. Subject matter for his work ranges from cityscapes to landscapes, and includes both still lifes and portraits.
As a student of painting at the University Gesamthochschule Kassel, Hennevogl briefly studied under Martin Kippenberger in the 1990s. The most impactful message he recalled from the late great German painter was to, “Find what you love, and do it all the time. Focus on nothing else.” Taking this message to heart, Hennevogl has since devoted his artistic practice to making prints, and currently concentrates on linocuts.
As a self-taught printmaker, Hennevogl learned the different techniques of linocut through an ongoing process of experimentation, cutting and printing. He is inspired by the manual and highly detailed techniques of Albrecht Dürer and also Japanese printers, such as Hokusai.
Hennevogl described his fascination with the challenges posed by each new work, and the innumerable possibilities of variation. His creative process is often initiated by taking photographs. Fascinated by the banal objects of everyday life, the artist is drawn to things the public might normally walk by and perceive as uninteresting – be it a scaffold on a construction site, bundles of cables behind a mixing board in a music studio or plastic sheets hung from shop windows during renovations. By transforming such mundane scenes into large-scale, often photorealistic linoprints, Hennevogl creates extraordinary and beautiful works of art.
His print ‘Wasserfall’ falls somewhere between realism and abstraction. In this work, the image reveals thousands of detailed water droplets rushing down a waterfall. However, the piece quickly dissolves into an abstract pattern through its absence of frame. A similar feeling is created by ‘Diagonale Stelle’, an abstract print of bright white specks, scratches and splatters contrasting against a black background. This work was actually printed directly off of the linoleum floor at a local bar – eternalizing the traces of discarded cigarette butts and long bar nights.
This year, he won the ‘Mainzer Stadtdrucker’ for his achievements in the advancement of Media Linocut.
“I’m interested in today, the modernity, the present. This is what I always try to depict in my pictures. At the same time, I express myself within the classical subjects like portrait, landscape, cityscape or still lifes.”