|1975||born in Leipzig, raised in Suhl|
|1997-2002||studied painting in the class of Prof. Sighard Gille, Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig|
|lives and works in Leipzig|
No doubt, Paule Hammer is a painter. Yet often, the two dimensions of a sheet of paper or canvas are insufficient to express his idiosyncratically enigmatic designs of the world. If that is the case, he makes use of space: a wooden shack is packed with portraits of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash, Hannelore Kohl, the protagonists from Planet of The Apes. It is covered with the jackets and trousers awarded to honour glam-rockers and with mutant hub cap shields. Conceived as a gigantic 3-dimensional painting, Hammer called this installation Walhalla (2002). Although lacking gold leaf, it radiated with the power of religious icon painting.
Laden für Nichts, a self-contained gallery of manageable proportions, which now exists only as a flat-pack replica of the original space, seems to lend itself perfectly to the needs of Hammer’s installations. His work seeks to embrace, warm and surround the observer. Sometimes his installations resemble altars decorated with devotional objects culled from Pop culture. They urge the viewer to attend worship whilst delivering a critique of idolatry at the same time.
Occasionally, Hammer consciously seeks the outrageous, almost pornographic, bloody and brutal: Pin-up girls juxtaposed with quaint pictures of posies hang alongside a crucified Donald Duck next to the calligraphic caption Get me out of here, Mum! – the title of the work included in the show Rund ums Bild at Kunstraum B/2 in 2003. Wanderlust and a thirst for adventure are perennial themes throughout Hammer’s work. In Edle Einfalt – Stille Größe (noble inanity – silent magnitude) for instance, an installation realised at Laden für Nichts, a portrait of Captain Hammer peers down at the visitor through a lifebuoy – indeed, to one day become a sailor was a childhood dream.
Recently, the artist has devoted himself to experiments with more abstract compositions, as in Die meisten Menschen sind nicht O.K. (most people are not okay) shown at the 2003 Leipziger Jahresausstellung. Similarly, Hammer’s most recent show titled Ahab, included surprisingly minimalist and abstract works. Ahab was centred around a radiant, large tondo, a cosmic image reminiscent of a NASA satellite photo. The picture was inspired by Melville’s Moby Dick – more than anyone else aboard, Captain Ahab thinks about the situation on board the Pequod. Although he is fully aware that he can choose to act otherwise, he is compelled to take revenge on inanimate nature. Ahab must do what Ahab must.