Esther Zahel

Zahel esther passfoto gregor hildebrandt muenchen
In experimenting with colours, shapes and materials and how they fit into space, Esther Zahel seeks answers to how the future of painting will feel.
Zahel esther portrait gregor hildebrandt muenchen 2

Esther Zahel working in her studio.

In a moment when the traditional arts take a somewhat shy posture, Esther Zahel is investigating how painting, as a classic medium, can draw tangibly into space. This not only refers to the myriad objects and materials that form the subjects of her works but also the train of thought that brought them there and the process of their creation. In experimenting with colours, shapes and materials and how they fit into space, Zahel seeks answers to how the future of painting will feel.

Zahel has an intimate knowledge of mathematics, where abstract answers reveal themselves from the mechanical thought processes which produce them. Mathematics is about process, as is Zahel’s work. The artist asks that every painting embraces the great dichotomy between the rational process and the irrational outcome. For ‘mathematics’ reputation is farcical. Like art, at its abstracted limit, it can ask the same questions about the human psyche, the universe and experience. Zahel is pushing imaginations to consider this realm which has been created from her process, a method of formality and structure that never forgets the moment of existential wonder. Indeed, Zahel chooses neither the reputation of art nor mathematics but pursues her own path between, extracting elements from each to create enthralling works that engage the mind and the eye.

The starting point for each painting is drawing. From this, Zahel begins to play with paint on the canvas, using deep colour and illustrative brush work. Whilst she is working, new ideas and compositions emerge, each one flowing through her brush to concretize on the canvas. Once the painting is finished, then Zahel names each one after its revelation, an important moment in the life of any painting.

Enter Zahel’s world and walk the fine line between reason and idealism, method and unlearning and meet yourself in the space and learn how you fit in and around the works.

Many of Zahel’s works invite a novel perception of the space they occupy. For the exhibition «Kommst du noch mit zu mir?» (engl. «Are you coming to my place?»), the artist installed the works in such a way that an otherwise empty room became furnished with pictures, each one sharing a horizon to create a new floor and a surreal perspective within the space. The result of this is a series of paintings which work together; a telephone and its plug socket, a cat sitting in an air vent, a vase and a book. All sit together perfectly much like the chair you could almost recline on.

The separate canvases remain independent, each one methodically produced as an individual but each one a coherent part of any room of Zahel’s imagining. The viewer becomes physically immersed in the artist’s works, observing an installation in painting in creation. This is another of Zahel’s methods to open up the genre of painting, to sample other techniques into her works and remain open to the expansive possibilities of what happens when you visit a place between mind and observation, where everything is uncanny and yet utterly familiar. Enter Zahel’s world and walk the fine line between reason and idealism, method and unlearning and meet yourself in the space and learn how you fit in and around the works.

Text by Constance Chester

Art not only offers me the opportunity to ask questions but also to find answers and make suggestions beyond a scientific field.

Esther Zahel

Biography Esther Zahel


born 1988 in Hanau, Germany


Education

2013-2019 Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich / Painting, Class Prof. Günther Förg; Visiting Professor Matthias Dornfeld; Class Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt

2018 Master Scholar («Meisterschülerin») of Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt


Exhibitions (selection)

2021
Supermarkt Frische Lieferung, Group Show, Rewe Premium Munich, Germany

2020
Der River, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig, Germany
meine drei lyrischen ich, Gasteig, Munich, Germany
Exposition d’art contemporaine, Kunstarkaden, Munich, Germany

2019
Der Traum vom Raum, Galerie Empfangshalle, Munich, Germany (SOLO)
Grzegorzkis Seven, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim, Germany
L’artiste devant sa toile, Kunstverein Marburg, Marburg, Germany
Zimmer frei, Hotel Mariandel, Munich, Germany

2018
Hausarbeiten, Färberei, Munich, Germany (SOLO)
Wir schwimmen alle im gleichen Wasser, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany

2017
Go to Paradise, Kunstarkaden, Munich, Germany

2016
Kommst du noch mit zu mir?, Raum 49, München (SOLO)


Scholarships & Prizes

2019 Leonard and Ida Wolf Memorial Prize (Leonhard und Ida Wolf-Gedächtnispreis)

Neustart Kultur Scholarship of the Stiftung Kunstfonds (Neustart Kultur Stipendium der Stiftung Kunstfonds)


Collections

Stadtmuseum München, Munich, Germany
Hildegard Collection, Berlin, Germany

Zahel esther portrait gregor hildebrandt muenchen 6
Work in progress in Esther Zahel's studio.

Works by Esther Zahel

  • Zahel esther lampen zeichnung gregor hildebrandt muenchen youngartistsold

    Lampen

    Ink on paper / 24 x 19 cm / 9.4 x 7.5 in (framed) / €350

  • Zahel esther die reise zeichnung gregor hildebrandt muenchen youngartist

    Die Reise

    Ink on paper / 42 x 28 cm / 16.5 x 11.0 in (framed) / €550

  • Zahel esther die katze im lueftungsschacht gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Die Katze im Lüftungsschacht

    Oil and charcoal on canvas / 120 x 135 cm / 47.2 x 53.1 in / €3,150

  • Zahel esther hier amt was beliebt II gregor hildebrandt muenchensold

    Hier Amt was beliebt? II

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €1,300

  • Zahel esther wie tief und dunkel ist der tann doch mich treibt ein versprechen an und meilen noch bis ich endlich schlafen kann gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Wie tief und dunkel ist der Tann, doch mich treibt ein Versprechen an, und Meilen noch, bis ich endlich schlafen kann

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €1,300

  • Zahel esther die kleine leiter mit roten fuesschen gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Die kleine Leiter mit roten Füßchen

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 70 x 100 cm / 27.6 x 39.4 in / €2,100

  • Zahel esther blumen gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Blumen

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 80 x 60 cm / 31.5 x 23.6 in / €1,700

  • Zahel esther die dusche gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Die Dusche

    Oil, acrylic, chalk and wool threads on canvas / 220 x 120 cm / 86.6 x 47.2 in / €4,250

  • Zahel esther katze auf stuhl neben pflanze vor glaswand hinter klo gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Katze auf Stuhl neben Pflanze vor Glaswand hinter Klo

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 100 x 130 cm / 39.4 x 51.2 in / €2,950

  • Zahel esther kannst du bitte das licht anlassen gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Kannst du bitte das Licht anlassen?

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 200 x 80 cm / 78.7 x 31.5 in / €3,000

  • Zahel esther rucksack gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Rucksack

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 100 x 55 cm / 39.4 x 21.7 in / €1,900

  • Zahel esther es koennte regnen gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Es könnte regnen

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 120 x 80 cm / 47.2 x 31.5 in / €2,550

  • Zahel esther a wie artischocke collage gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    A wie Artischocke

    Acrylic and paper on canvas / 45 x 60 cm / 17.7 x 23.6 in / €1,090

  • Zahel esther blumen in roter vase gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Blumen in roter Vase

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 47 x 30 cm / 18.5 x 11.8 in / €990

  • Zahel esther loch vorbei gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Loch (vorbei)

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 40 x 40 cm / 15.7 x 15.7 in / €1,010

  • Zahel esther blumen in vase gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Blumen in Vase

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 60 x 30 cm / 23.6 x 11.8 in / €1,010

  • Zahel esther loch rein gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Loch (rein)

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 40 x 40 cm / 15.7 x 15.7 in / €1,010

  • Zahel esther die sonne ist aus kupfer gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Die Sonne ist aus Kupfer

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €1,300

  • Zahel esther die ewige wiederkehr gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Die ewige Wiederkehr

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 60 x 55 cm / 23.6 x 21.7 in / €1,500

  • Zahel esther o t gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    O.T.

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 100 x 70 cm / 39.4 x 27.6 in / €2,150

  • Zahel esther o t gross gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    O.T.

    Acrylic and charcoal on canvas / 135 x 105 cm / 53.1 x 41.3 in / €3,050