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Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin : DANA SCHUTZ - God Paintings | KATJA STRUNZ - Unfolding Process - 9 Nov 2013 to 7 Dec 2013

Current Exhibition


9 Nov 2013 to 7 Dec 2013
Tue - Sat 10 – 6
CFA
Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin
Am Kupfergraben 10
10117
Berlin
Germany
Europe
T: +49-30-288 787 0
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W: www.cfa-berlin.com











DANA SCHUTZ
GOD PAINTINGS
09 NOVEMBER - 07 DECEMBER, 2013
12


Artists in this exhibition: Dana Schutz, Katja Strunz


DANA SCHUTZ
GOD PAINTINGS

09 NOVEMBER - 07 DECEMBER, 2013

Contemporary Fine Arts is pleased to present the exhibition God Paintings with new works by Dana Schutz (*1976 in Livonia, USA).

Dana Schutz’ expressive and vividly coloured paintings unite reality and fiction, humor and horrors, inventing both imagery and hypothetical situations. In her most recent paintings, Schutz continues to question the ability to represent the impossible by investigating the subject of God; or rather what the form of God might look like without any preconceived connotations or symbolisms. “I’m not particularly religious”, she says, “but I was interested in God as a representational problem. When I was a kid, I thought God was a cross between Bob’s Big Boy—a restaurant chain I used to go to in Michigan where I’m from whose mascot is a chubby character with a pompadour—plus that really horrible Ray Charles–inspired big-head moon character from a 1980s McDonald’s commercial, and probably Liberace, all somehow mixed up in this pop-culture soup. But that’s really what I thought was up there in the sky—in orange, somehow without a perimeter. And maybe that’s the problem with trying to depict a thought: It doesn’t have an edge.“

Schutz describes her painting process as a sort of rehearsal, “where muscle memory is involved. It can almost be like building a house, where the series of marks are laid one on top of the other; if one mark doesn’t sit right, I’ll rebuild the whole thing from the bottom up. Or the process can feel like dancing, where there’s a rhythm – a physical call and a response.”

The God paintings may be read as portraits yet the artist’s approach to them is akin to making an abstract painting, where the construction of the subject is inextricable from the construction of the painting. “In this way the subject takes up much of the space within the canvas, and the painting is treated graphically, as a vertical field in which to act” the artist explains.

Dana Schutz was born 1976 in Livonia, Michigan, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum, the Miami Art Museum, The Neuberger Museum of Art in New York, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and the Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy.

Her most recent exhibition just opened at the Hepworth Wakefield in the United Kingdom. A survey of recent paintings will be presented at the Kestnergesellschaft Hanover next summer.


KATJA STRUNZ
UNFOLDING PROCESS

09 NOVEMBER - 07 DECEMBER, 2013

We are pleased to present Katja Strunz’ third solo exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts entitled Unfolding Process.

With her current exhibition Katja Strunz continues her show, Drehmoment (Viel Zeit, wenig Raum) which was exhibited at the Berlinische Galerie in the summer of 2013. There, she showed a spatial composition dominated by two monumental crumpled up and folded metal sculptures that could be read as a paradox of gravity and movement. These were shown together with the collages Yesterday’s Papers, loose book pages from historic publications on which Katja Strunz printed again, using classic metal type, thus inscribing a new component into the past. The ensemble of new works at Contemporary Fine Arts takes up this approach and is now devoted entirely to paper and books.

In the form of paper collages and metal sculptures, the artist moves a main theme to the fore that had hitherto been present in the background: the shrinking of space and time in the book, i.e., in an artificially constructed world that changes one’s own thinking and transfers the real existing world into a new dimension. In the spirit of Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), who in his essay ‘The Book: A Spiritual Instrument’ declares ‘that everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book’, for Katja Strunz, the book stands for the flow of history into a pure presence.

Mallarmé’s notion of the book as a model of a cosmic textual architecture, which marks the beginning of ‘a new, post-historical time (…) independent of a history that is determined by linearity, causality, and progression – a time without perspective’, correlates to Katja Strunz’ idea of condensing space and time in the act of folding: ‘When the paper is folded, pages are layered on top of one another, get in touch with one another.’

For the current exhibition, Katja Strunz took the illustrated book Hans Memling S¹d Ostateczny | Das jüngste Gericht (Warszawa Auriga, 1973) and treated it. Opening a book and turning the pages means for Katja Strunz also unfolding a space from the past which is given a new presence here. This also happens in her collages with pictorial elements from antiquarian books. With the title Unfolding process, the artist describes her work as ‘part of a process of growing complexity where spaces and times interconnect.’

Katja Strunz became well known for her engagement with the geometrically reduced shapes of the classical avant-garde, which she translated into a new formal vocabulary of her own. Her work is informed by the themes of space, time, and history, themes that she explores with sculptures, reliefs, and paper collages reminiscent of constructivism, which simultaneously time bear traces of formation and decay, inertia and dynamism, smoothness and injury. The phenomenon of folding is always present as a temporal process that has become material. Linked to this is the notion of the world intruding and being folded in, its condensation in an independent space.


For any press inquires, please contact Carolin Leistenschneider: carolin@cfa-berlin.de

Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin






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