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Frank Mädler

Eintracht, 2004


"Every Saturday a flock of birds flies over the village.  It lasts twenty to thirty minutes.  One can hear the characteristic flapping of wings- in unison, when the doves are flying in a straight formation, and disorderly, when they are following the leading dove into a turn.  The doves are colored so that their breeders can tell them apart in competitions.  The birds have something peaceful, soft, but at the same time vulgar about them.  For the first little while, because of their unusual coloring I believed that I was seeing a flock of parrots, out for their weekly wing stretch."

                                                                                                                                                                                    -Frank Mädler


Eintracht, signifying ‘harmony’ or ‘unity’, is a series of photographs of birds in flight taken in the small town of Cañada Pareja, Spain.  Over a period of three months in early 2003, Mädler took thousands of photographs of birds, tracking their movements with hunter-like precision.  Consisting of grids, pairs and single prints, the series is the product of both sustained looking and of distillation. 


Mädler worked for one year at the Villa Massimo in Rome and by process of selection thousands of images became hundreds, then one hundred, then a final selection and arrangement of the current installation was made, with consideration taken to vary groupings, presentation methods and sizes.  The resulting installation is a balance between the observation or classification of birds and the compositional freedom of capturing birds in flight.  The imposition of grids and the format of the frame itself seem to question the ability to capture such elusive subject matter.  Eintracht speaks to the possible harmony between the inherent freedom of nature and our ongoing obsession with to structuring it.  


Working within the realm of abstract realism, Frank Mädler juxtaposes color, space,
and sense of time in his compositions to blur the lines of reality and illusion. His experimentation with traditional technique conjures an ethereal quality to his work that is both alluring and hauntingly beautiful.  Professor and critic Katharina Menzel wrote, “…his pictures arouse emotions without veering into pathos… He strives to concentrate on something ‘essential’ … and produces an atmosphere that makes the world outside the camera’s frame appear irrelevant to the spectator.” 


Mädler has been written about by several German curators, scholars and critics, including Martina Padberg (2007), Tanja Dückers (2003, 2006), Charlotte Gutmann (2006), Lily Koshitavshvili (2006), Maximillian Keller (2006), and Katharina Menzel (2003).

Born in Torgelow, Germany in 1963, Frank Mädler studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany under the direction of renowned photographer, Astrid Klein.  In 2004, he won a scholarship to the German Academy in Rome at the Villa Massimo, an esteemed German prize for a visual artist.  In 2007, Mädler graduated with his Masters in Fine Art from the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany where he lives and works today.  His work hangs in public and private collections, including the American Bank Collection, the Antoine de Galbert Foundation in Paris, the Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie in Regenburg, Germany and Altana Kulturforum in Sinclair Haus in Bad Hamburg, Germany. In 2016, the Leonhardi Museum in Dresden, Germany will exhibit Mädler’s work.