Mona von Wittlage

Mona von Wittlage

Berlin, Germany

About Mona von Wittlage

In her paintings Mona von Wittlage offers the beholder both more and less to look at than other artists. The viewpoint, incisive spatial separation and the active involvement of the viewer, are central to her work.No other organ represents the interface with the perceptible world as the eye does. Its impressions are even the arbiter of what is considered real. No other human sense has developed so many prostheses since the middle of the nineteenth century as the eye, with its multiplicity of optical apparatus: cameras, microscopes, telescopes, digital and electronic recording devices and monitors, and most recently even a scholarly discipline called imaging science dedicated to a critical investigation of the modes of representation in computer images.All of these devices and methods of investigation, it is believed, will help us to see more and, particularly, more precisely and correctly. But all of them merely supplement or continue in detail what the eye already does: forming segments and investing them with meaning. Or, in the words of Jacques Lacan, "... as our relationship to things develops by means of seeing and is arranged in the figures of representation, something slides, drifts past, is passed on from stage to stage, only to be left out to a certain degree - it is precisely that which is referred to as the gaze."The gaze rests - this too can be concluded from the psychical economy of seeing - on recognition, not cognition. It appears that the brain has a storehouse of images, of patterns. We would like to recapture these images in order to compensate for a fundamental absence, yet not without being in a position to perceive pleasurably the deviations from those patterns. Thus the gaze seeks a maximum of differences by means of the eye. It attempts a surgical procedure: to penetrate a topic, to get behind something, in order - analogously - to invest something unknown with significance by inventing names for it.All forms of cuts assist her painting in this process of perceiving things: passing images (movements in particular), blurred images, dream images (the psychical), superimposed images - moments in everyday life that the mind registers by means of the eye, but usually does not stock in its memory, are given special significance in my work. She takes full advantage of the fact that these perceptions are an illusion of the mind (since often, remembering a higher amount of information can only entail concealment) by using re/presentation in the etymological sense of the return of what used to be.In her reproductive painting, she makes visible something that has already taken place and thus has already been represented, but nonetheless must be reinvented by the mind. Even if the choice of images - the realistic fiction of my paintings - made available to the eye is greatly increased, the degree of truth and knowledge does not increase. The relationship between the image and the expectation of the viewer will always remain an illusion.

M.-K. Wagner, Berlin
(c) Mona von Wittlage


Mona von Wittlage was born in Ostercappeln (Lower Saxony, West Germany) and raised in Wittlage, a small village in the northwest of Germany.
Studies in Cologne, Aix-en-Provence, London, Brussels, Saint-Petersburg, Paris.
3 European university degrees, French Masters Degree, High school degree in fine arts (pupil of R. Wake), studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
Extensive travel and prolonged stays in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, North America, Europe, the Middle East, North and South Africa.
Among other activities, she worked as a barmaid, journalist, cleaning woman, rewriter, secretary, sales representative, art book editor, oriental carpet seller, advertising assistant, translator and, lately, as a conference interpreter.
In fact, she would like to do just one thing in her life: be an artist.
At present, she lives and works in Berlin and Paris.
1994 Settles in Paris, France
1999-2000 Studio at Kunsthaus Rhenania in Cologne, Germany.
Since 2009 Lives and works in Berlin.


2012 L’Origine du Monde – Art Space, Berlin, Germany (solo show)
2011 ST'ART, European fair for contemporary art in Strasburg, France,
Galerie Kahn Paris
2008 ST'ART, European fair for contemporary art in Strasburg, France,
Galerie Kahn Paris
2007 ST'ART, European fair for contemporary art in Strasburg,France,
Galerie Kahn Paris
Salon de Montrouge, 52nd Fair of Contemporary Art, Paris, France
2006 Art auction by Cornette de Saint-Cyr in Montrouge / Paris, France
ST'ART, European fair for contemporary art in Strasburg, France,
Galerie Kahn Paris
Frieze Art Fair, London, UK, Galerie Apnee
2005 Galerie GC85, Berlin, Germany (solo show)
Une Nuit, street art intervention project in the streets of Paris, France
Palais de Tokyo, site de création d'art contemporain, Paris, France
(performance and group show)
2004 Artevent, Lille, France, Galerie Kahn Paris
2002 Arte de Portas abertas, art project and exhibition, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (group show)
ArtSquat Festival, Palais de Tokyo, site de création d'art contemporain,
Paris, France (group show)
2001 Bratlien Gallery, San Francisco, USA (solo show)
2000 Galerie Esplanade, Cologne, Germany (solo show)
Bratlien-Rivieccio Gallery, San Francisco, USA (group show)