Figure Up Exhibition at BcmA: Exploring Figurative Art

The group exhibition ‘Figure Up’ features the work of Witte Wartena & Ali Fitzgerald, two members of the Berlin Drawing Room community.

Text by Heidy Weingartner

Curated by Witte Wartena, one of our dear alumni BDR instructors, and Euan Gray, the Figure Up exhibition at BcmA Gallery. Figure Up is one of many shows put together by Perennial Art, a group of contemporary artists that curate exhibitions within temporary spaces.

Figurative art is the common thread among the works in this exhibition. Ranging from cartoons to realistic drawings, the main goal here is to engage the viewer in observing to which extent popular culture prevails in contemporary figurative drawing.  

“The drawings are representational, descriptive and the emphasis is on the figure. Referencing film, novels, popular music, fashion, cartoons, and contemporary forms of social media…” 

Euan Gray & Witte Wartena, exhibition curators

“The human form has inspired artists for centuries. It can be extremely intimate or broadly universal and it is central to how we understand aspects of identity such as gender, sexuality, and race.”

Euan Gray & Witte Wartena, ‘figure up’ curators
Ali Fitzgerald

The exhibition also features works from Ali Fitzgerald, award-winning graphic novelist, comic artist, and writer. Ali has contributed to The New Yorker since 2016 and teaches Visual Story Telling at the Berlin Drawing Room. In her most recent book “Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from a New Europe” Ali addresses the pains of personal displacement and politics of immigration after teaching art classes in Berlin to displaced people who traveled from war-torn countries.

12 different artists from all over the world are featured in Figure Up. After its first show in Berlin, the exhibition will then be transplanted to the artists’ different countries of residence.  The exhibition will also exist online.

The featured Artists are Marc Brandenburg, Laura Bruce, Upsidogi Son Sea, Ali Fitzgerald, Andrew Gilbert, Euan Gray, Marie Harnett, Helena Hernandez, Paul McDevitt, David Shrigley, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, and Witte Wartena.

If the human form is also a subject of your interest, then why not give it a go at the BDR’s Figurative Drawing and Painting Workshop Series? Learn drawing skills and gain in-depth knowledge of how to draw and paint the human figure. The Series is taught by G Caruso, a wonderful artist and instructor with more than 20 years of experience in exploring the human anatomy and figure.

Due to Covid-19, the exhibition was on show in Berlin only for a limited time, but you can still check out Witte Wartena’s virtual guided tour here