DUVE Berlin is pleased to present *PHASE*, a duo exhibition of paintings and sculptural works by artists Drew Englander and Leo Orta.

In *Phase*, New York-based Drew Englander continues his exploration of genres such as still life, cityscapes, home interiors and everyday objects. Always get inspired by music, skateboarding and film, while reading or just observing everyday situations. Presented in *PHASE*, these new works feature colourful, light-filled scenes distilled through Englander's meticulous attention to the sensual pleasures of everyday life. Raised in rural New Mexico and now based in the concrete jungle of New York, the artist uses a mix of digital and analogue techniques. Like David Hockney, Englander draws on an iPad before adapting his acrylic and airbrush techniques. distorted, wavy brushstrokes are used as a path to capture and represent space and time.

The artists' iconic shaky brushstrokes create scenes from contemporary life and the past, and the result is a collection of memories that are like water and seem to be constantly changing in their movement. In fact, water is a new element present in this latest work. Englander wants water to serve as a gentle reminder that nothing is fixed but fluid, emphasizing that life is in constant flux. Light and space artist James Turrell has been quoted as saying, "We live in this reality that we create, and we are unaware of how we create reality." Englander is interested in the fluidity of reality and the constant transformation of things, which we assume to be concrete, even (and especially) in our minds, memories and thoughts. The artist likes to emphasize in his works that things are constantly changing.

This pronounced sense of contemplating and exploring one's own environment is also very present in Leo Orta's work.
For *PHASE*, Orta presents two mural works with two different energies: one focuses on a sunset on planet Earth and the other on a late night on planet Mars. Together they represent cold and warm energies, on which lie two artifacts - a human couple and a tree. This could be taken as a simple vision by people wishing to find life on Mars. While some believe we should invest and conquer this new planet, others argue that the focus should be on saving the same tree on planet earth by finding renewable and sustainable ways to continue living here. The work focuses on themes and concepts of environmental concerns; however, it is not intended to provide a solution or answer, rather, the artist wants to present the viewer with a perspective from numerous possibilities. Maybe this scenario isn't even a night on Mars, but a morning on Earth? Chaos,

Orta has also created two stools for the exhibition that follow the energy found in the colored skies. Her legs represent a moving membrane, a merging atom, or a furry cloud. Its abstract form becomes onomatopoeia.

Speaking of abstraction, “From the back of my Mind”, an armchair that does not necessarily connect conceptually with the other four works created for the exhibition, but rather explores the intuition and physicality of the depiction of the creatures hidden within the artist's mind. There is a direct connection to the work of Henry Moore, to which Orta refers in terms of his admiration for the artist and his ability to abstract bodies through shapes and circular cavities. In fact, Orta sets out to further push the boundaries of the mind as he sees these voids as a way to extract faces, mouths, shadows and body parts that further create hybrid life. We all wonder what they are: creatures? People? animals?

Ultimately, *PHASE* is an exhibition that is the result of a powerful duo presentation by two contemporary artists, inviting us all to become more aware of the world we live in, to take a moment to look around and to think, to think about these things are not written in stone and to try to think creatively around the concept of community on earth and beyond.

Text by Angeliki Kim Perfetti