“The theory of my art is based on empathy,” LGBT artist Henning Haupt says. “It’s not about reading text or seeing a narrative. It’s more about feeling and sensing tension.”
Color, abstraction, spatial composition and architecture heavily influence the German born and raised artist. He keeps a well-organized and tidy studio just outside Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village.
His new show “Drawing Lines – Making Space,” at the Coral Springs Museum of Art opens on Thursday, March 27. The new works feature oil paintings filled with repetitive, gestural lines — a squiggly display of thoughts onto canvas. The lines move along like a dialogue that speaks to the viewer in both subtlety and complexity. Each painting is treated with vivid colors — yellow, red and fuchsia contrasted with grey, white and black lines.
“Color is very subjective,” he says. “We perceive color with our eyes, but it’s perceived with emotion. And color is often associated with something unspeakable.”
That unspeakable idea is left to the viewer to decide according to the tall and handsome artist. The pieces in “Drawing Lines” do not have names because they don’t convey a specific narrative. Titles such as “White on Red,” serve to describe the basic aesthetic elements, leaving viewers left to observe their own story.
Overall, the exhibition explores the relationship between visual and spatial compositions, which play into Haupt’s architectural background. He earned a Ph.D. in the field from the Technical University Braunschweig of Germany. And he is an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University’s School of Architecture. He teaches courses on color, material and space and architectural design and how these subjects can interplay.
Throughout his artistic career, Haupt has straddled the worlds of architecture and painting. At times, he was more involved in the latter than the former and vice-versa. But he admits that picking one was a constant life struggle, so he’s devoted to both in his own way.
“My last paper in my academic work at FAU was about the romance between painting and architecture,” he says. “Sometimes there is love making and other times things do not go as well.”
He ponders deeply about color and space, so much so that he sometimes works as a color consultant.
As part of the show, an installation consisting of eight paintings hung-up from the ceiling and mounted back-to-back create a room for viewers to enter and feel encompassed by the lines and art.
Also, he has hung-up paper paintings from the ceiling to the floor that dangle into half-circle forms. A feeling of walking through the paintings occurs.
An artist reception will occur on Thursday, March 27, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Accompanying Haupt’s show, artist Craig Carlisle will showcase “Big Heads & The Peaceful Valley Paintings,” and Sylvia Tarshis will present “Florals.”
Haupt will give an artist talk at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 at the museum.
Drawing Lines — Making Space runs March 27 through May 17, 2014, at Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, in Coral Springs. Call 954-340-5000 or visit coralspringsmuseum.org. General admission is $6; museum members are free.