Horst - Review

A review of Nikola Irmer's 'Horst'; Apartment's current show can be found on 'INTERFACE' a-n's platform for critical writing, an excerpt from which is below:

Horst is a sixty year old 18 stone drag queen whose idiosyncratic response to Nikola Irmer’s habit of advertising for models in the personal column of the local paper initiated a three year collaboration. The resulting paintings depict Horst’s creation of a spectacular drag persona; the domestic context of Apartment facilitating an intriguing intimacy to this encounter with a series of works that delves into a usually elusive transformative process.

The cosiness of an art show taking place in the domestic setting of Apartment is of course somewhat disingenuous and deceptive; the gallery and its location always complicit in its playful ambiguity and sense of the absurd, and in this show in particular the traditional 'frame' of paint and canvas adds to the queerness and confusion often accompanying a visit to the tower block. A 60’s modernist design, it has the feel of a clean white cube but is also a fully functioning home, and one too cramped, too snug to be either an impersonal temple to art or the festival circuit’s fashionably industrial temporary ‘unlikely space’. Its proportions are simply too tight for the customary ‘long view’, a convention imposed to appreciate displayed work in the prescribed tradition with which we are encouraged to look at Art; from afar and with due reverence. At Apartment art is almost uncomfortably close; we cannot escape it or the cosy ephemera that disturbs and confronts our contemplation." Read on:


Nikola Irmer ~ Horst

Nikola Irmer ~ Horst


Thursday January 17th 2008 - 6pm – 8pm

Exihibtion Jan 18th - Feb 29th

Veiw by Appointment

Apartment is delighted to announce Horst the first UK solo exhibition of German artist Nikola Irmer. Irmer studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art and at Hunter College, New York. She now lives in and works in Berlin. Her practice investigates the complexities and revelations of the artist/model relationship; Irmer seeks out her models through the distribution of flyers, and the placement of advertisements in the personal columns of local newspapers. What begins as a simple exchange has the potential to develop into a collaborative relationship which creates sensitive and revealing portraits of unexpected subjects.

Horst is a sixty year old, 18 stone, drag queen whose unusual response to one of Nikola’s advertisements initiated a three year collaboration. A series of these paintings will be shown at Apartment. The paintings depict Horst’s creation of a spectacular drag persona; the domestic context of Apartment facilitates an interesting intimacy to the experience of the work that delves into this private transformative process.

Nikola Irmer

Above one of Nikola Irmer's paintings in Apartment along with a selection of five paintings in the bedroom. The show consists of a series of paintings that depict Horst's transformation into a drag persona. Also included in the show is a collage that reveals a creative dialogue between artist and model; Horst uses sketches and images of the work created during their sessions to create new imagery that celebrates the relationship that the artist and model have developed over a the years. Postcards and collages sent to Irmer by Horst extend the creative process beyond the studio, Irmer's willingness to include these images in this exhibition reveal the value she places on her subjects as model and in this case as collaborator.

Apartment opening....

Here are some images from the opening on Thursday, (above Paul Harfleet, Hilary Jack and Nikola Irmer, below some other visitors). In other news Apartment has just started a group on Facebook; do join for more images and to offer opinion and comment on our program and to easily hear of updates: