The Berlin-based artist Isa Melsheimer (*1968) explores urban living spaces and the prerequisites for their design and change. She is as much interested in the formal vocabulary of modern architecture as in urban-planning scenarios and the dynamics of social tension. Responding to specific sites of her exhibitions, Melsheimer creates complex spatial installations with surprising leaps in scale, changes of perspective and material contrasts. Along with sculptures in concrete, glass or ceramic, her model-like set-ups also include embroidered curtains, arrangements of collected objects or ensembles of living plants.
The sculptural work is accompanied by gouaches in which quotations from art, architecture, design and pop culture overlap and interfuse.
Isa Melsheimer has taken the title of her exhibition from a text published in 1960 by the architect of the Ernst Barlach Haus, Werner Kallmorgen. His plea for a 'need for contrast' in the design, observation and experience of buildings is the starting point for Melsheimer's artistic excursions into the architectural and urban culture of Hamburg. Apart from the Ernst Barlach Haus, which opened in 1962, Isa Melsheimer wittily trains her sights on more of Kallmorgen's striking buildings, sounding out their functional architecture and sometimes dysfunctional history. Her motto for the exhibition tour: 'Back to the future – correcitve action'.