Mikhail Haramati’s Alchemy of Sustainability
Environmental Policy Meets Fine Art Painting
25.09.2019 - 28.09.2019
For immediate release
Press Release: painting, video, water, wastewater treatment, sustainability
American Painter Depicts the Alchemy of Wastewater Treatment
WHAT: Alchemy, Exhibition of painting by Mikhail Haramati (US)
WHEN: Opening: Tuesday, September 24, 6-9pm
Duration: September 25-28, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7 and by appointment (free entry)
WHERE: SomoS Art House, Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967 Berlin (U8 – Schönleinstraße)
US artist and policy maker Mikhail Haramati’s solo exhibition at SomoS Berlin demonstrates the alchemy of sustainability.
BERLIN—August 27th 2019–Water has been a bountiful theme for painters for a long time already. While artists such as Turner, Monet, Hokusai, or Hockney concentrated on the picturesque, today’s pressing environmental concerns made Sacramento-based visual artist Mikhail Haramati choose an approach that is both didactic and aesthetic, unafraid of less delicate depictions.
Haramati’s solo exhibition Alchemy at SomoS depicts the transformation of wastewater into clean water as a contemporary example of this chemical-magical process. At the end of her three month artist residency in Berlin, Alchemy presents a series of realist paintings that take the city’s wastewater treatment plants as subject in order to render visible a major unseen process that facilitates modern life.
Drawing from her memory and her own photographs, she uses an artistic vocabulary that brings to mind early 1970’s US realist painting. With an almost classical Modernist enthusiasm for the potential of progressive industrial processes, she brings the viewer’s attention to its practical, but also poetic aspects. Portraying cycles of waste and renewal, she captures fleeting moments of introspection and beauty, bringing to mind Environmental Art and that of Bernd and Hilla Becher.
With Haramati’s background in climate policy and experience with water conservation, Alchemy is intended to stimulate an interdisciplinary discussion between art and environmental policy. Viewing wastewater treatment processes as critical, yet unknown to the majority of urban inhabitants, Haramati’s pieces depict the processes at several of Berliner Wasserbetriebe’s plants processing the waste of Berlin. Not only interested in their technical aspects, Haramati is also inspired by the unexpected beauty of such sites. Step-by-step, her work takes visitors through the stages of treating sewage, depicting its incredible transformation with remarkable attention to detail and artistic invention.
As art collector and retired environmental activist William Barclay observed, “Mikhail’s paintings point to a deep internal synthesis of art and the environment, while falling outside what is usually considered “environmental art”. Taking a sewage plant as an unlikely subject, Mikhail successfully re-imagines its colors, forms and functions into engaging visual landscapes which ultimately seduce viewers into deeper consideration of the technological interfaces between our shared human environment and the natural world. Mikhail’s shimmering paintings surprise and excite with possibility.”
On Tuesday, September 24 at 7pm, there will be a panel discussion featuring Mikhail Haramati in conversation with Carsten Luedicke and Ulrike Franzke of Berliner Wasserbetriebe. It will be moderated by Federico Hewson, a speaker on the nexus of art and environmental concerns.
About Mikhail Haramati:
Mikhail Haramati (b.1982) is an American painter based in Sacramento, CA, USA. In 2006, She obtained her BA from Mills College, Oakland (CA). She presented her work in solo exhibitions in Sacramento, Petaluma and San Francisco, and participated in group shows in Oakland, Santa Rosa, and San Francisco.
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From #wastewater to fine #art #painting: US visual artist and policy maker Mikhail Haramati’s #Berlin solo #exhibition at @SomoS_Berlin demonstrates the alchemy of #sustainability. https://somos.media/4
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SomoS Art House provides space and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. Its mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, exhibitions, education and creative cooperation.