11 June – 18 December 2022
On Saturday June 11 2022, FOUGARO ARTCENTER opens in its BLUE2 space an interesting painting exhibition entitled “Endangered Portraits” by the German artist Brigitte Hofherr.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of FOUGARO, which is housed in a former tomato canning factory, we invited Brigitte Hofherr, a specialist in botanical illustrations, to create a series of works about tomatoes, which used to be widely cultivated in the plains of Argolis. The artist has been visiting the Peloponnese for years and has gathered images and data about tomato varieties from the broader region of Eastern Europe which are no longer grown in quantity and have become endangered species.
Based on this material, she produced a series of paintings depicting fruits from endangered varieties. The works are scaled so as to highlight the distinctive traits of each variety, on the basis of the firm belief that a place’s wealth is its biodiversity. By enabling plants to speak for themselves, we hope to raise awareness against the troubling prospect of losing historical and primordial varieties of plants. As Brigitte Hofherr herself says, “we have to acknowledge that the only way to protect something is to get to know and love it”.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of the exhibited works will go towards
the creation of the Seed Bank of the “Peliti” Community – peliti.gr.
Tuesday to Sunday 12pm until late
Born in Mannheim, Germany, Brigitte Hofherr grew up in Ladenburg, a small village surrounded by fields and small gardens. She was drawn to nature and art, and has been painting since childhood. Self-taught in art, she had her first exhibition at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg in 1996.
As her work became known, she was invited to a vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa and was commissioned to make four botanical paintings. During her stay there she visited the Kirstenbosch botanical garden in Cape Town. Later, she started to travel to various countries every year, such as Greece, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland and France, in search of new plants and subjects for her art.
It is crucial for her to feel drawn to the object she is to paint. Working with oil on canvas, she usually makes large-scale works. Based on her own photographs, she focuses on the morphology of the plants and tries to arrive at a composition which leaves viewers with a lasting aesthetic impact. She is also interested in channeling the viewer’s attention to the plants themselves, the environment and the protection of biodiversity.
She has spent over four years on the project of ”historical apple varieties“. Research has brought her in contact with apple growers, fruit-grove owners and scientists throughout Europe. The paintings from this series are scheduled to be exhibited at the Gartenbaumuseum Erfurt / (Germany) in March 2023.
She has exhibited her work at many galleries in Germany and Europe, and her paintings can be found in several private and public collections. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), the Botanical Art Forum of Thüngersheim (Germany), the Vahle Cultural institute of Darmstadt (Germany) and GEDOK Mannheim / Ludwigshafen (Germany).