Artists who have participated in exhibitions at Griffin Gallery are featured below.

Wieland Payer

The Gentleman Explorer is a species which has become scarce today. Georg Forster and Alexander von Humboldt were among their first representatives; dauntless explorers, sophisticated intellectuals and artists at the same time. They had the ability to discover new territories and to describe and present them vividly to their contemporaries. They occupied the imagination of entire nations and created ranges of ideas which lasted for decades. Wieland Payer is a revenant of this visionary and adventurous type of human. His brilliant prints and drawings represent remote landscapes with weird cultures.

His first expedition led him to the Caucasus Mountains; further journeys disclosed more secluded territory of which the plausibility increases as the work of the young artist is developing. Some of the continents visited by Payer seem to already have been sighted from afar and drafted by Georg Forster. Payer aims ‘to see and amaze, to observe but primarily to collect and to measure’ as his tutor Uwe Pfeiffer states.

Payer’s series Bondasca deals with the ‘Zone’, that mysterious and extraterrestrial area which is swarmed with marvellous artefacts and deadly traps. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky described this landscape in their book Roadside Picnic, with his movie Stalker Andrei Tarkovsky erected a cinematic memorial in its honour in 1978.

Wieland Payer now transposes the mesmeric motifs of the Russian master director to the Engadin and Bergell, the setting of the earliest high mountain paintings in Art History by the pre-Romanticist Caspar Wolf (1735-83).

Payer’s synthesis of Science Fiction and Romantic perception isn’t a coincidence: his MA thesis deals with German Romanticism. The atmospheric density and perfection of his Bondasca series refer to Carl Blechen, its metaphysical quality to Caspar David Friedrich. The Romantic irony isn’t missed out either: ‘pioneers’, preposterous crop creatures which seemingly emanated from psychedelic visions by lunatic illustrators populate the barren rocky landscape of the Swiss Alps.

Exhibiting at Griffin Gallery in The Tragedy of Landscape in February 2015.


1981 Erfurt, Thuringia 


2009 – 2011 MA Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK

2006 – 2007 Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome, Italy

2002 – 2009 Diploma Fine Art, HKD Burg Giebichenstein, Halle/S., Germany

(Last updated 02.02.2015)