Following the format of ancient friezes, Lothar Hempel’s figures play out scenes of high drama from their stiff and stylised positions. In Kindl, Hempel paints a statuesque woman, a prototype heroine resplendid in diva-esque fashion. Hempel’s simply rendered background is suggestive of minimal theatre sets and allows homely formalism to give way to urban mystery. Drawn in hieroglyphic profile, Hempel humorously focuses on her eye; the only vivid indicator of explicit action, he paints it with the dramatic trepidation of crime film posters.

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