Klemm’s Christmas Special 2020
We have put together a small list of available works by some of our artists, hoping that this might help some present making decisions, or inspire you to treat yourself! Shall you find anything that struck your interest, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
In his work, Thomas Arnolds explores a fundamental interest in examining the possibilities and conditions of painting in ever new ways. In the process, he develops a complex and yet coherently rigorous position that negotiates central issues pertaining to the media in a logical balance of what initially seem to be contrary approaches: abstraction vs. figuration, minimal vs. gestural, space vs. image, surface vs. matter, hard-edged vs. flow and free drawing. The essence of his images inheres in their surprising and yet always concise combination.
This creative vocabulary manifests itself in ways that are as various as they are consistent: interior spaces, fragments of tools, and banal everyday objects encounter bonsai arrangements, architectural forms, or the iconography of ancient column arrangements. The correct rendering of the visual content chosen is of secondary importance, instead the motifs serve as placeholders or a simple “occasion” to step before the canvas at all. Arnolds always works serially, but consciously avoids developing his oeuvre linearly in clearly defined work groups. Based on an initial, conceptual saturation, things already introduced in the process are mixed and confronted with a new technique or altered painterly approach. What remains constant is the foundational importance of the material paint, which Thomas knows how to use compellingly in its deep quality between materiality and volume, symbolism and metaphysical aspects.
Thomas Arnolds has developed a range of tools that is as precise as it is variably applicable, a “free set of rules” between intellect and gut feeling, reflection and anarchy with which he advances his oeuvre as a radical form of painting.
Fascinated by the printed word, concrete poetry, and the beauty of language permeating our daily lives, the American artist Erica Baum could be best described as a “poet-photo-grapher”.
She has become internationally known for her photographic practice based on found texts and images. With her reflected, nonchalant use of strategies akin to the work of the Pictures Gene-ration, conceptual art, and minimalism, Erica Baum has developed a unique and truly authentic visual language. For two decades now, her enigmatic close- ups of books, newspapers, and other printed matter have been investigating the nature, traditions, and essences of the photographic, steadily „re-materializing“ its visual, haptic and thematic qualities.
Erica Baum‘s works are “photographic” in a very specific fashion: alongside the fleeting and ephemeral quality of the constant flow of images on our displays, she places an object-like presence and a precise interest in the material context of photography.
By developing her series of pictures in direct close-ups, focused on surprising details with a shallow depth of field, she evokes a poetic power: indexically precise and at the same time abstract and trans-temporal like a collage, fragmentary and yet possessing a narrative power; seemingly everyday, trivial, and at the same time charged. Baum’s pictures are emotional in a special sense, they have a soul and demand most careful attention.
They question and confirm in very fundamental ways: text, image, writing – their mes- sage, significance and use — an understanding of the essence of our culture.
Erica Baum (born in New York, 1961) received a BA in anthropology from Barnard in 1984 and an MFA from Yale University in 1994. Recent museum exhibitions include Face à face, frac île de france, Campus de Villetaneuse; Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY ; The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Lever le voile, Frac île-de-france, Paris; Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include A Long Dress, Bureau, New York; Naked Eye Nature Morte, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris; AAa:Quien, Erica Baum & Libby Rothfeld, Bureau, New York; The Following Information, Bureau, New York; Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris. Selected biennials include; AGORA 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, 2013 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012.Her work is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Gug- genheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; FRAC Ile de France, Paris; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
What do images communicate without any indication of the source, location, or the motivation behind what has been captured in them? Viktoria Binschtok achieves just such a situation in her current body of work ‚Cluster‘ by confronting us with a wild mix of decontextualized components that construct a reality all its own immanent to the image and leaving the rest to our cognitive abilities.
Sometimes loudly, sometimes quietly, these visual clusters demonstrate their uncanny affinity based on the calculations of a machine and the incalculability of an artistic gesture. Her precisely re-staged photographs, which always refer to already existing images, refuse to be easily classified in standard genres by their artificial appearance — cuts, overlappings of several visual layers, and elements that go beyond visual borders take up our screenbased habits of vision and move them to an offline space. Still life or snapshot, professional or amateur photograph, private or public: all filters are turned off.
Networked visual information distracts us for a moment from our linear thinking in favor of a pleasurable engagement with a medium that for a long time now has not only been instrumentalized politically, but has become a yardstick for all of us in our culture of instant evaluation. It is the currency in the attention business, always rising in value, yet its subtext is an old one: it could all be this way, but it could also be entirely different.
The work of Viktoria Binschtok has been shown extensively in recent years a.o.: Museum Folkwang, Essen; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Fondazione Prada, IT; Pinakothek der Moderne, München; C/O-Berlin; KW Institute for Contempora-ry Art, Berlin; Centre de la Photographie Gene ve, CH; Pier 24, San Francisco, USA; Schirn Kunsthalle FFM; Centre Pompidou, Metz, FR; Les Rencontres d‘Arles, FR; Kunstverein Bregenz, AT; Bergen Kunsthall, NO; Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, HU. It is part of several public collections e.g. Spren-gel Museum Hannover; Collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Museum Folkwang, Essen; MUDAM Luxembourg; DZ Bank Art Collection; the Albright-Knox, USA; Federal Collection of Germany; Zabludowicz Art Trust; Berlinische Galerie; Collection Helga de Alvear, Madrid; ES; Fondazione Prada, IT.
Gwenneth Boelens takes the precise observation and analysis of photography as point of departure and de- velops it into three-dimensional installations, collages, performances, photography and video projections.
In her works different methods of scientific fields, like archeology and philosophy, mix with an artist’s approach, retaining a certain openness. She illustrates, for example, the dialectic relation between culture and nature, the relationship of the human body to space or the fragmentary character of memory and recognition.
With a subtle pictorial language, without big gestures or ostentatious narration, she illuminates her objective very precisely. Assembling images, rooms and situations from memory is inevitably linked to the aspect of failure that Boelens retains in all her works.
She approaches the world as if it still has to be discovered, analyzed and comprehended while being aware of the doubts and possible mistakes that might occur. Here, the human presence is either equal to objects or subordinate to them. Slightly off-centered, yet clearly perceptible, the human is observer and catalyst at the same time for Boelens’ situations and arrangements.
Gwenneth Boelens work has been part of several solo and group exhibitions in recent yeras a.o. at MIT List Centre for Contemporary Art USA; KW Kunstwerke Berlin; Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotter-dam, NL ; Ludwig Forum Aachen, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL ; FOAM Museum Amsterdam, NL ; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne AUS and Spren- gelmuseum Hannover. It is part of several public collections e.g. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen; KPN Art Collection; Coll-ection W. Schürmann; MIT List Collection; Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf; Collection of Museo Centro 2 Mayo, Madrid, Spain and CGAG Museum, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
In her artistic work, Peggy Buth limits herself neither to a specific medium, nor to a narrow understanding of art. Rather, she examines the representational systems of art, literature, politics, history and the sciences in relation to what gets repressed, as well as what unintentionally comes to light in them. She works with photography and video; uses tar, shellac or carpets for her pictures; works with found materials, language and sound; produces objects, sculptures and installations.
The work “Forest in Late Autumn after Caspar David Friedrich” is part of Buth’s multimedia work cycle “Desire in Representation”, whose starting point was the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren (near Brussels), opened in 1907. It combines photographic documentation of the museum representation of Central Africa and its colonization with a narrative, consisting of quotations from travel reports, archive images, and historical documents from the Belgian and German colonial periods. She thematises the colonizer’s desire, which becomes apparent in their self-portrayal and their ideas projected onto the ‘other’. The two works in the exhibition form a contrasting pair – while Buth’s photograph of a monument questions forms of production of meaning and historicity, the landscape image made of tar initiates a process of decomposition.
Peggy Buth is a German filmmaker, visual artist and author. She works conceptually and process-related, often based on long term research. She uses a variety of media including photo- graphy, video, sound collage, performance, assemblage, layered and complex installations. Her principal topics of interest are the analysis of the construction of knowledge, the circulation of images, the analysis of the representation of history or historical events and narratives. Within her main bodies of work: Desire in Representation and the Politics of Selection – Vom Nutzen der Angst Buth investigated the links between the creation of identities, the racial prejudice and media and capitalist appropriation of space.
Peggy Buth graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany in 2002 and was a Fellow at the Jan van Eyck Academie Maastricht, Netherlands. Exhibitions of her work have been held at Cameria Austria, Graz, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Ruhrtriennale, Bauhaus Dessau, the Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool John Moores University, the Centre d’art contemporain, Parc Saint Léger, France, the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany, the Weltkulturen Mu- seum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, K21 Düsseldorf, Germany; Bétonsalon, Paris and the Brussels Biennial.
Ferris’s paintings need no theme, context, or network in order to develop their force and meaning. They reveal their influences and are independent, reconceived and freely conceived. Functioning according to a logic of their own, they capture on canvas the plethora of information and visuals, the overload, the pressure, and “all that jazz” surrounding us, asserting it all with the subtle use of the familiar. This is painting for painting’s sake; it develops its depth and objective “critical potential” emphatically and without naiveté. Self-confident and sans detachment or facile coolness, they offer potential access to the current state of our times and the human condition, affirming in intriguing ways the significance that the artist’s perspective and attitude can take.
Ferris is known for her expressive geometric color fields that synthesize an array of schools of painting, ranging from early modernist schools, to Abstract Expressionism, to street art and graffiti on her large signature canvases and in her recent “body prints” on paper. With a specific oil-based, air- brush technique and marks from other tools such as palette knives, the artist constructs her abstract language and layers of distinct, rich textures on her paintings, simultaneously inscribing and removing her own presence on canvas.
Multilayered, and informed by spheres outside the classical realm of painting, referencing sculpture, media, and even performance, Ferris‘s works can be understood as deliberately hybrid in nature. On display is an energetic and confident move away from the indistinct hues of her earlier work and toward a new sense of plasticity and expressive gestures in a turn toward sculptural elements and the provision of new order are even more pronounced and contextualized by the artist’s framing of the paintings. The “protective frame” underscores the sculptural/object-like character of the work, while at the same time, with its unexpected appearance in these large formats, it can serve as a potentially critical citation of, or reference to, escapism and the tendencies to retreat that dominate much of our current social discourse.
Ferris is a painter who, alongside her virtuosity, possesses an absolute eye for the peculiarities and psychological constraints of our time. The tension between the furtive flickers of contemporaneity apparent in these paintings and their almost classical transcendental and physical aspects evokes something that seems to have been nearly lost today: the desire to take one’s time and to re-learn how to recognize one‘s own sensibilities. In this way Keltie Ferris provides an exciting and emphatic proposal as to how painting can function these days, while also remaining relevant.
Keltie Ferris (b.1977), lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in 2006 from the Yale School of Art and her BFA in 2004 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Recent solo exhibitions include (F(U(T( )U)R)E) at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY; Exclamation Mark at Klemm‘s, Berlin; Body Prints and Paintings at the University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, New York; M/A/R/ C/H at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY; Doomsday Boogie at the Santa Monica Museum of Art; Body Prints at Chapter NY, New York; and ManEaters at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Texas; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis. The Academy of Arts and Letters recently awarded her the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting. Upcoming solo shows include *O*P*E*N* at the Speed Museum, Kentucky, in fall 2018; and MORAN-MORAN in Los Angeles in early 2019 and at Kadel-Willborn, Düsseldorf in late 2019.
Gestalt consists in total of 62 photographs that were produced in a period from 2010-2018 and from which Ulrich Gebert presents a selection at the gallery. The number of photographs correlates with the number of photographs that renowned photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch – who was associated with “New Objectivity” – used for his late body of work called “Gestein”, published as a book in 1966.
Whilst Renger’s focus after the war was to look for primary things – besides his commercial output he mainly photographed trees and just stones – Gestalt is the attempt of a contemporary take on stones as a photographic theme that is not concerned by the primary or endmost things. On the contrary, the work seeks its actuality in picturing factitiousness, in the form of artificial stones.
In today’s event culture those man-made landscapes are part of a popular narrative of deception, found in zoological gardens as well as in amusement parks. The central point of Gestalt is not the use of photographic trickery to perfect the intended illusion, but rather to carve out its intrinsic aesthetic value, which can be found in the precise failure of this “minor mimesis”.
What unifies Renger’s and Gebert’s approach is the soberness of photographic language as well as the abstinence of colour. Whereas Renger saw his approach being “indebted to the thing”, Gebert sees the use of black and white as a multiplier to the transformational potential of photography. In a time where the term “fake” trumps the term “fact”, Gestalt reminds us of the constructive nature of the things we are surrounded by, where no stone is found untouched.
Ulrich Gebert (born 1976 in Munich, DE) studied Photography at Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany where he received his Meisterschüler in 2005 in the class of Professor Timm Rautert and finished his MA studies in Photography at the Royal College of Art, London in 2006. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhi- bitions at Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Fondazione Mast, Bologna, Kunstverein Kassel, DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, Folkwang Museum Essen, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, MACRO, Rome, Frankfurter Kunst- verein, Kunstverein Hannover, Museum für Bildende Künste, Leipzig, 176 / Zabludo- wicz Collection, London, Berlinische Galerie, Foto Colectania Foundation, Barcelo- na, Biennale internationationale de la photographie et des arts visuels de Liège.
The work of Jan Groover (1943-2012) is very well known in her native United States. In 1979, the magazine Artforum International chose one of her still lifes as its first-ever photography cover. In 1987, the Museum of Modern Art New York staged a solo exhibition of her work and her oeuvre can be found in the collections of major U.S. museums. She also influenced generations of artists in her role as a professor of photography at State University, New York. She is especially admired by a younger generation of photographers as an important source of inspiration (a.o. A. Kelm, L. Blalock, E. Lazry, W.Tillmans, V. Binschtok or Sara Cwynar).
Before Jan Groover dedicated herself to photography, she was a painter. Born in 1943 in Plainfield, New Jersey, Groover turned away from abstract painting in the early 1970s to experiment with the medium of photography — a medium that seemed more open than the restrictive and male-dominated painting of the time.
Her approach to photography, however, remained ‘abstract’ in a certain sense. Her works remind less of the supposed authenticity of the observed moment associated with the medium but rather show a consciously staged image. Color and form dominate, perspective is vague, spatial ambiguousness is constructed, and light becomes an object in itself. Jan Groover was interested in photographic images that seemed precisely planned and made, rather than discovered and captured by the camera.
In the course of her artistic development, she eliminated the documentary elements from her works little by little and chal- lenged the limits of the medium, investigating the relationship between the elements of an image — the aesthetic effect of structure and form — instead. Everything became form. Not just in her well known still lifes, for which she made her kitchen sink the site for formal-aesthetic experiments, but also in the early movement studies, the intimate figure photographs and the late, almost scenographic-looking arranged ensembles.
The astonishing thing is that Jan Groover’s works never stayed locked in strict and dry formalism. Instead, whatever she photographed was leant — in an always striking fashion and in wonderful balance — a certain depth and an unprecedented charm.
John Szarkowski, art historian, curator, and at the time director of photography at MoMA, who presented a large solo exhibition of Jan Groover in 1987, put it this way: “Good to look at, good to think about.”
Jan Groover’s images don’t just resonate as a subtle record of feminism and the acceptance of photography as art, but also as extraordinary aesthetic investigations of a ‘fiction’ that is inseparably bound with the ‘factual’ conventions of the medium. Her work is still influencing successive generations of artists and, especially in light of current digital conventions and procedural image creation, seems fresh and timeless at the same time.
Jan Groover (born 1943 in Plainfield, USA; died 2012 in Montpon-Ménestérol, France) studied at the Pratt Institute and at Ohio State University. She has been represented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad. Her work was the focus of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1987, and the subject of solo exhibitions at, among others, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, in Rochester, New York. Jan Groover‘s work is part of numerous public collections all over the world, a.o. The Museum of Modern Art New York; SF Moma; The Metropolitan Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Recent group-presentations include the Sprengel-Museum, Hannover, Kunsthaus Wien and GAK, Bremen. In September 2019 the Museé Elysee in Lausanne staged Groover‘s major first retrospective in Europe, accompanied by a catalogue raisonée.
Falk Haberkorn examines the border between image and language, formation and formulation, photography and text. The question of how the artist can inscribe himself into the world, into history as well as into the present is crucial to and often reflected in his work. However, he does not see this artist-author as creator ex nihilo but rather as someone who stands in a certain tradition and who sustains something in a critical manner. Dealing with memory and tradition, preservation and era- sure, conferment and loss is the basis on which he elaborates his scripture-images and performative site-specific works.
Falk Haberkorn (born 1974 in Berlin, DE) studied Photography at Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Ger- many where he received his Meisterschüler in 2002 in the class of Professor Timm Rautert. His work has been exhibited at, among others, the Museum der Bildenen Künste Leipzig, Kunstraum Potsdam, Pochen Biennale Chemnitz, Hans-Arp-Museum, Remagen, 176/Zabludowicz Collection, London, Ber- linische Galerie, Berlin, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, divin Collection, Espacio 1414, PR and Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg.
He has furthermore received several prominent stipends such as the working stipend of the Kunst- fonds Bonn, of the State of Saxony, the residency stipend at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles, Ars Lipsiensis Award. Falk Haberkorn was also the winner of the competition to design the windows of the new Propstei church St. Trinitatis in Leipzig, the largest newly built church in East Germany after WII.
With her sculptures, ceramic objects, and installations, Elizabeth Jaeger (*San Francisco in 1988, lives in New York) succeeds in exploring the relationship between corporeality, perception, and consciousness, between sensation and emotion. Often beginning with the feel of a personal experience, something consciously lived through or an observation of a situation, her works conjure a “bigger picture” with a phenomenological quality. Her materials are simple, but haptic and auratically charged: clay, ceramics, plaster, steel, silk and glass show and “preserve” the “im-print” that the artist considers elementary and manual.
If earlier series by the artist focused on a direct engagement with the representation and (socio) cultural gaze on the female body and figuration, Elizabeth Jaeger has recently been working with an ambivalent formal language all her own. Borrowed from amorphous shapes and fantasy, abstract forms based on flora and fauna are combined with strictly geometric steel constructions and thus given a psychological dimension: they are physical objects and at the same time vessels for the “soul” and the world of thoughts. In this way, Jaeger opens a gaze on complex structures between organic objects made with the human hand and questions material and ideational binaries. Her sculptures become organic, viscerally treated “material,” existential intellectual games on thingly truths and the possibility of embodying an emphatic and critical spirit.
Jaeger’s objects and sculptures rely on the one hand on the dynamism of their materialities and the play between familiar form and abstract refraction on the other. In the process, they openly express their political content and their emotional urgency. Their special quality lies in this very immediacy.
Elizabeth Jaeger (born in 1988) attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and École Nationale Supérieur des Arts in Nancy. Her most recent exhibitions include the solo show Hours (2019), Pommel (2017) and Six Thirty (2014) at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, 8:30 (2015) at And Now, Dallas, and Music Stand at Eli Ping in New York. Her works have also been on view in numerous group shows, such as Mirror Cells at the Whitney Musuem of American Art, Greater New York at MoMA’s PS1, Practice: Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New at Sculp-ture Center, NY, Zombies: Pay Attention! at Aspen Art Museum, and most recently Dreamers Awake at White Cube, London , Sticky Fingers, Arsenal Contemporary, and the Sun and the Rainfall II, Galleria Zero, Milan, and per- so-nae, Klemm‘s, Berlin. Her works have been featured in the following publications: Vitamin C: Clay and Ceramics in Contem-porary Art (Phaidon, 2017), Dreamers Awake (White Cube, 2017), Eros C’Est La Vie (Totem, 2013) and How Other People See Me (Publication Studio, 2011). Elizabeth Jaeger is the cofounder of Peradam, a publisher of artists’s books, together with Sam Cate-Gumpert.
Johne‘s works playfully act on the accustomed manner of representation and readability. By combining takings of spheric simplicity with sober and report like narratives he implements fictional elements in his works, taking their meaning beyond the purely documentary. Hereby he generates space for associations that are quintessential in fulfilling his aim: creating metaphors of being and conceiving alternative myths in times when global change and its impacts are penetrating the life of every individual.
In his intermedial game, alternating between fiction, narration, and documentation, Johne approaches general and highly subjective topics of our time with humor and subversiveness: the question of self- optimization, specific fear of exclusion and failure, the search for individual fulfillment and the promise of a better, fairer world.
Johne‘s interest lies in the individual stories beyond the historic: personal fate, local events or moments of stepping out of order are getting attention and — like a mosaic of details – enable a reflection of our times.
For many years now, the multifaceted field of documentary photography and its interlinkage with texts, information, stories and history has taken center stage in Sven Johne’s photographic practice. In his works — often based on research on site — he systematically deals with the relationship between what can be experienced and known and what can be shown and communicated about it. In the process, it becomes clear time and again that documentary images are not exclusively an element of the visible but that a fundamental dependence on words and knowledge is inscribed in them—that a shift in the status of the images, an uncertainty with regard to their possibilities of producing meaning is the result.
For his first extensive solo presentation in Austria, the artist combines a selection of works from recent years with new projects which pinpoint this precarious, controversial and increasingly questioned space of “documentality” (Hito Steyerl) of the visual in the world of today. In this respect, the exhibition project focuses on the specific practices and methods in which Sven Johne involves the photographic image in different projects in different places: the claim for reportage, the interest in marginal events, the missing of representation, the gap between text and image—whereby the artist outlines an essential contribution to the current debate circling around the documentary.
Sven Johne’s work has recently been shown at a.o.: Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Riga, LVA (2018), Triennial of Photography Hamburg, Hamburg, DE (2018) and at the Hamburger Kunstverein (2018).„Field of Codes“, PiK, Köln, DE (2018,„Fotogra erte Ferne“, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, DE (2017),„Biennale für aktuelle Fotogra e – Farewell Photography“, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg, DE (2017), „Naturgeschichten / Natural Histories“, mumok, Vienna, AT (2017), „Sven Johne: Window of the World“, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, JP (2016) (solo), „Reset. Outskirts / Randlagen“, Pinakothek der Moderne, München, DE (2016), „History is a Warm Gun“, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK), Berlin, DE (2015), „Jeden Morgen ein Lächeln’ – Anomalien des frühen 21. Jahr- hunderts / Einige Fallbeispiele“, Arbeiterkammer, Wien, AT (2015) (solo), „Welcome to the Jungle“, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE (2015). Soon his work will be on view with a solo-presentation in the collection at the Folkwang Museum Essen.
Public Collections include a.o.: Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Folkwang, Essen; MUDAM, Luxem- bourg; Pinakothek der Moderne, München; The Ingvield Götz Collection, Munich; MDBK Leipzig; Alberti- num States Collection, Dresden; The Zabludowicz Collection, London; Kunsthalle Kiel; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; DZ Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt.
One can approach the work by Fiona Mackay best by envisioning a possibly but not necessarily connected sequence of ‘events with painterly means’. These undertakings evolve in the realm of an exhibition or in relation to a given place or space. The beginnings lie between personal narration and the commonly used sign-systems or associative terms, words and objects as ‘roots’. In a blunt gesture, without a sketch but intuitively Mackay applies directly onto the canvas individual cycles between figuration and abstraction. The artist develops syntactic bodies of work that reverberate in the exhibition space like sound waves – being radically open to subjective perception. The works, intense and luminescent, reveal an uncommon marriage of solidity and fluidity, monumentality and domesticity, the earnest and the whimsical, achieving a maximum impact with limited means.
Fiona Mackay’s fluid, colour thirsty paintings comprise a visual lexicon of dense patterns, organic materials, bodies and animals often moving ambiguously between abstraction and figuration, composed by the artist in series and conjured from associative meaning produced by everyday words, phrases and idioms. Some painted objects, or loosely outlined subjects, are more often discernible than others.
Everyone tells stories. Humanity tells itself stories about itself and its place through science, history, philosophy etc.. When these stories are completed we can say with some conviction ‚these are facts‘. But what about the stories we as individuals tell ourselves to interpret our reality and our place? Are these stories completable?… When we examine our private stories do we nd facts? Or do Identities emerge by the recognition of a process which mediates between stories, always uctuating due to our own fallibility and proximity to the subject?….
Emerging from the gaps caused by the connection between purity of intention and the impossibility the work to represent fully that which is incomplete, comes a story which is always tentative, ephemeral and transitive = whimsical. Through obtuse symbolism, line, lines, repetition, layering; these stories are open yet obscured, and perhaps the more illuminated for that.
(Fiona Mackay, 2016 )
Fiona Mackay (1984, Aberdeen, Scotland) lives and works in Brussels and Marseille. She graduated from the Glasgow School of Arts in 2006. Recent solo and two person exhibitions in collaboration with Manuela Gernedel include “Running Away“ at New Joerg, Vienna and “Coma“ at VIS, Hamburg; “Sisters” at Albert Baronian, Brussels and “TOURIST” at Galerie Martin Van Zomeren, Amsterdam, “Syntax” at OUTPOST, Norwich, England and “Ghosts” at S.I.C., Brussels. Her work was a.o. presented in group exhibitions such as “Vensters’ Kunsthal Amersfoort, Netherlands, “Why Painting Now?” at galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, “Wanton Mobility” at Klemm’s, Berlin,“Paradise” at Gallery Conrads, Düsseldorf, “The Ventriloquist, Timothy Taylor, London (UK) and ‘Where Language Stops’, Wilkinson Gallery, London.
Alexej Meschtschanow examines the physical and aesthetic qualities of established social conventions through sculpture and installation. Studying our immediate social environments with an analytic and compassionate eye, he assembles found objects, derelict furniture and archival photographs. With his unique artistic perspective, Meschtschanow focuses on the imaginative potential and psychological depths involved in the construction of identities, compulsion toward self-realization and the socially driven urge for optimization. His sculptural works interlock two communicative modes – the passive and the active. The end effect of his creative output culminates in figures of poetic melancholy, attempting to break out of the vicious cycles of Fordist, totalitarian or fetishist forms of functionalism.
Meschtschanow’s works play on the consequences of miserable socio-political transparency and occasionally they appear to resemble vacuum-packed units of consistency verging on the implosive. The frameworks of welded tubular steel and clamps connect and fasten the individual components to one another to the extent of utter immobility. On the one hand this reflects obstinacy, immovability and conservatism, while serving as an image of autonomy, connectedness and solidarity on the other. (…) Steel, commonly a most rigid and refractory material, is put into potentially proliferative biological forms. Custom-made exoskeletons seem to coil their way around the pieces of furniture and archival image-material in curvy vegetative profusion, transferring the functionalism of the captured item via tautological mimicry into the realm of the bio- morphic. The hijacked objects’ extremities dangle helplessly. As the agents of higher powers and forces, the iron lineations transpose the domestic inventory into a sociological bio-drama of semantic consequence, by which matters of form and the survival of function are negotiated in close combat.
Alexej Meschtschanow (born 1973 in Kiev, UA) studied at Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany where he received his Meister- schüler in 2008. His work has been exhibited at, among others, Spacedout Gut Kerkow, Angermünde, Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Kunstverein Konstanz, Wilhelm- Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Kunstverein Ulm, Bregenzer Kunstverein, Kunstraum Alexander Bürkle, Brigadoon, La Tôlerie, Clermont- Ferrand, Philara Collection, Düsseldorf, Museion, Bolzano, Staatl. Kunstsammlungen Dresden, ARhoS Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen.
Piffaretti’s works and his artistic approach are among the central positions in the multi-faceted field of painting and the constant discourse about the nature, the limitations and options of the medium. Since the late 1980s, Bernard Piffaretti‘s work has been determined by the idiosyncratic principle of duplication, the image double. In doing so, he consistently follows an established pattern: a vertically set, colored line divides the canvas in the middle in two parts and the ‘image’ painted on one side is realized a second time on the other.
This happens with immense formal and com-positional security – without technical aids, a la prima, swift, and confident. In addition to this fundamental element of ‚actively appropriating a second time what was already one’s own’ (J. Asthoff, 2017), Piffaretti relies on the productive tensions that come from the very act of „re-painting“. It is these ever visible slight variances, drippings, errors, and small, formal differences that actually pull together the two halves of the painting, filling their content with life and vivacity – they generate hence the contextual stage, which makes it possible to incorporate a diverse range of painterly ‚contents‘ and to bring it on the canvas. But the question of dissolving questions of content or composition is not the subject here.
Already early on, Piffaretti expressed:
“All my intentions to paint are banalized by the doubling. The idea of the painting is put into equilibrium and thus unfolds its full value.“ and “It wouldn’t have been of any use to have only one single style, I use all kinds of painterly imagery and this allows me to have breaches at the level of painterly expression. One painting is not better than another. They all speak of the same thing. The most important thing is actually the time of transition from side to the other side of a painting.”
(Bernard Piffaretti, 1991)
Bernard Piffaretti (born 1955 in Saint-Etienne, France) has studied at École régionale des Beaux-Arts de Saint-Etienne. He was represented in numerous national and international exhibitions. Most recently with a solo at Marta Cervera Galeria, Madrid, Kate McGarry London, Andrea Rosen, New York and Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, as well as Frank Elbaz, Paris. In addition, his works were exhibited at FRAC Franche-Comté, Besançon; at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes; at FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-lès-Rouen; at Musée d’art moderne de Saint-Etienne as well as at MAMCO, Geneva or at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. A solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris is in planning.
There are several comprehensive publications and monographs about the work by Bernard Piffaretti. His work can be also found in numerous institutional collections.
Pitoiset produces artworks that ‘activate’ a series of characters and fictions through an ongoing narrative that deals with the exhibition as a format, including elements such as film and performance. Her work is infused by figures such as Woolf, Ackerman, Robbe-Grillet, Flaubert, Huysmans and Fassbinder that she mirrors and leads astray into a subtle “eroticisation” of the every day life. She plays with uncanny scenarios that unfold a surrealistic visual grammar that is both enigmatic, ‘noir’ and decadent.
In her work, she analyses episodes of popular culture spanning from the medieval period to today, trying to understand the urgency that exists in times of social, economic and political crises to produce new forms of existence through music and dance. She also delves into the impact of music and club culture, when bodies meet and shapes start shifting, working across several media, from dance and music performances to photography, video and installations.
Her images and sculpted or painted objects often conceal convex narratives summoning the view into a role game whose scenario has not yet been revealed. Everything here is dual and unstable: the exhibition, seemingly immobile, becomes the locus of a scene being played, or already played, in which objects become actors. In a mix of fetishisation and embodiment, these ‘transfer objects’ contain repetitions of past acts and latent scenarios for fictional rituals. In her room-filling installations as well as in each individual work she raises the questions of how we can work with ‘desire’, ‘the mechanism of absence’, the ‘physical unconscious’ and nevertheless the ‘missing act’? And how can we recapture the language of eroticism?
Émilie Pitoiset (b. in Noisy Le Grand in 1980) is an artist, writer, and choreographer. Since 2013, she has been teaching at the IsdaT – institute supérieur des arts de Toulouse where she heads a research seminar in partnership with CNAP – Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Stage Studies on Dance & Choreography and has been collaborating with the masters’ program at ICI-CCN Centre Chorégraphique National of Montpellier and its director Christian Rizzo.
Recent exhibitions include: It took the night to believe, Goethe Pop Up Minneapolis, Minneapolis; In the Spotlight of the Night – Life in the Gloom, Museum Marta Herford, Herford; Trois fois rien, Centre National de la Danse, Pantin; Festival Move, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Rehearsal, Tai Kwun Con- temporary, Hong Kong; The Vanishing Lady, KLEMM‘S, Berlin; An exhibition of a dream, curated by Mathieu Copeland & FM Einheit, Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris; Back to Mulholland Drive, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, La Panacée, Montpellier; happy ending, curated by Florence Derieux, Frac Champagne Ardenne, Reims and The Third Party, Double Feature program, Schirn Museum, Frankfurt.
Renaud Regnery’s works comprehend painting as a field full of tension, which on the one hand evokes the confrontation within the history of the medium and the discussion connected to it, and at the same time holds possibilities of (self-) assertion and allocation. Connected to this is his interest in dealing with inherited, social conventions, their aesthetic manifestations and psychological questions.
The starting point for Regnery‘s work is always a deliberate choice of a ‚grounding‘ material that he extracts form a mass-production context – i.e. wallpaper, wrapping-paper, off-products from various printing- and industrial processes. As a psychological and physical reaction to these ‚first imprints‘ – their specific patterns, aesthetics or materiality – Regnery built the following layers of his paintings. Citing and digitally altering specific details or freely associating ornamental an ‚signal‘-style forms he constructs his canvases by an act of overpainting or -printing – destroying one pattern by establishing a new, authentic one.
In that sense Regnery‘s paintings function as a performance of their own materiality and emergence, and are pictures and transitions at the same time. As such, they dock on to spaces beyond the visual surface, to social relations, to our everyday experiences and our affective habits of vision and desire.
Renaud Regnery presents his work oftentimes by incorporating the exhibition space with at times subtle at times psychologically loaded architectural or visual alterations. Leaving construction and materials visible this mixture between waiting-room, hotel-lobby, american-psycho meets standardized holiday-home will serve as a physical and psychological backdrop for Regnery‘s set of large scale canvases.
In this newest body of work Regnery juxtaposes ornamental wallpaper-patterns from the 1920‘s, 1980‘s and very recent hand-made material with archaic and rudimentary signs executed in thick, pastose strokes employing puffing-ink, carbon-paint, charcoal-oil-paint, gypsum and other ‚painting- materials‘.
Renaud Regnery (b. 1975 in Epinal, FR), lives and works in Berlin. He holds a BFA from the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris and a MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden (HfBK).
In 2019, Regnery was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Recent exhibitions include LOCKVOGEL, Kunstverein Olden- burg, Oldenburg, DE (s); Intoto #7, Kunstverein am Rosa Luxemburg Platz, Berlin, DE; Trust Your Brush, Towards Gallery, Toronto, CA; Interior and Collectors @Floating Worlds – 14th Biennale de Lyon, FR. Regnery presented his first monograph at KLEMM‘S in February 2020.
Adrian Sauer analyses the photography of the digital age. He has received a number of scholarships, including the Casa Baldi scholarship of the German Academy in Rome (2013) and a working scholarship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (2007).
Sauer explores aspects, applications and ways of producing digital images. He poses questions concerning the limits of the image in an age where camera images are increasingly becoming hybrid constructs of light measurement and mathematical calculations. Sauer’s approach revolves around creating new digital compositions on the basis of his own photographs.
In doing so, he gradually covers the existing image, bit by bit, with a new layer of colour. The reality of the photograph is replaced by the processing and reality of the studio where Sauer’s images are re-created. Likewise, he discovers irritating changes that result from the technique of photography.
“While some of his works are dedicated to the semantic and pragmatic dimension of image usage—how images are used and read within a certain context—his main interest lies in the ‘morphology’ of the digital image, his ‘form theory’: How is it constructed at the most minute level? How does the transfer work from a visible, physical reality towards a stored, calculated one? What does the range of new optical instruments have to o er?”
(Florian Ebner, 2014)
Adrian Sauer (b.1976) has shown his work extensively in recent years a.o. Pasquart Biel, CH; Sprengelmuseum, Hanno- ver; Albertinum, Dresden; Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, DZ Bank Art Collection FfM; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Fotomuseum Winterthur, CH; Hermes Foundation, Bern, CH; Les Rencontres d‘Arles and Deichtorhallen Hamburg.
It is part of several public collections e.g. Sammlung des Bundes/Federal State of Germany; MDBK Leipzig; Museum Folkwang; Sammlung d. Freistaates Sachsen, Dresden; Collection Helga de Alvear, Spain; The Albright Knox Collection; Sammlung Philara; Sammlung Olbricht; Zabludowicz Collection London; BES Arte Lissabon; Bank of Spain Collection; DZ Bank Collection; Berlinische Galerie; SAP Art Collection ; Collection Helga de Alvear, Spain.
In Marijn van Kreij’s multifaceted oeuvre, consisting of drawings, paintings, collages, videos and installations, the process of duplication plays a key role. In his work, Van Kreij finds a connection with historical work by artists from the past – the legacy of modernism in particular – as well as with music and visual culture in the broader sense. Reflecting on ideas around repetition and autonomy, his work often forms a response to existing works of art or involves collaborations with other artists, designers, writers or musicians.
Marijn van Kreij has composed a new series of monumental paintings on paper, Picasso Grids, in which the artist carefully chooses details from late paintings of Picasso to serve as a point of departure. Van Kreij copies the fragments meticulously and arranges them into a single repetitive pattern of stacked horizontal rows. These sketchy images, not immediately recognizable, give rise to questions about the meaning of copying itself. The details remain the same and yet are different every time. This conveys a sense of repetition that falls somewhere between obsession and meditation. Marijn van Kreij is an investigative artist who has his own very distinct visual language. In his oeuvre, consisting of drawings, paintings, collages, videos and installations, the process of duplication plays a key role. What is a key character in his work is the artist’s contemporary stance demonstrated in the way he raises ‘non-subjects’ and ordinary details to the level of art, as well as in his manual approach to appropriating images amidst the current age of digital and online visual culture.
A pivotal body of work in van Kreij‘s oeuvre are his small scale drawings: at first sight they might appear to be made from studio leftovers: cut-out bits of texts, images, cartoons, and art world paraphernalia are glued together on coloured paper or combined with drawings. It’s as though Van Kreij put them there as casual sketches—small attempts testing out an artistic intuition that became manifest in the margins of his painting practice. Yet as one looks at these works a little longer, it becomes clear that their simplicity is deceptive. Their haphazard appearance is the careful outcome of a concentrated process of looking, thinking and feeling. They are miniature visual poems that open up a special imaginative space in the mind of the viewer, and what they offer is much more than a visual pun.
Marijn van Kreij (1978, Middelrode) studied at the Akademie voor Kunst en Vormgeving St. Joost in Breda and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.
His work has been shown in various solo exhibitions at, a.o. MARRES, Maastrictht NL; POST, Tokyo, JP; AndriesseEyck Gallery, Amsterdam, NL; Galerie Barbara Seiler, Zürich, CH; museum de hallen, Haarlem, NL; Kunstverien für die Rheinlande&Westphalen, Düsseldof, DE; the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. Group shows include The Line Up, Central Museum, Utrecht; Bonnefantenmuseum, Mastricht, NL; de Paviljoens; NL; A Dutch Landscape, La Casa Encendida; ACG Art Gallery, Athens; Der erweiterte Blick / The extended view Kunstverein Langenhagen.
Work by Marijn van Kreij can be found in major public collections, including that of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Centraal Museum Utrecht and the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht.