Ambivalences: David Lehmann’s painting is never just painting, because his works are always and very explicitly discourses about art, its histories as well as its content and technical possibilities. David Lehmann dedicates him-self to a broad, but never arbitrary range of subjects for which he skillfully uses various forms of expression and painting techniques in pictures that are intense in color and form, inscribed with deep seriousness and extremely fine, light-footed wit. Skilled painting techniques from the old masters are used here, which sometimes outperform each other through overlays, but which sometimes seem to dismantle themselves.

The result is a pleasurable painting that always - very calculated - flirts a little with ideas of potential failure. In do-ing so, David Lehmann interweaves classic themes and myths of art (history), especial- ly painting, with current so-cio-political and contemporary subjects as well as their cultural reference systems. The boundaries between (sup-posedly) individual and collective narratives of the real as well as the fictional are deliberately blurred and mixed up in the visual worlds that result. David Lehmann nourishes and breaks authenticity projections with which art, especially painters (and paintings) is often confronted, with a good pinch of (self-)irony, so to speak, within a brushstroke. For example, one of Lehmann’s recurring motifs is the painter as a male subject who is aware of the range of artistic and social principles of seduction, who masters, but also distrusts them.

Also shaped by the knowledge of the legendary, deceptive and in a certain way untimely myth of the virile artist figure, David Lehmann lets his supposed alter ego look from the canvas to the world (or vice versa). Sometimes designed as an omniscient, sometimes as a doubter, but always as a bon vivant, this fictional character can nev-er be seen as the painter’s hard and serious work while painting.