Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin : GEORG BASELITZ | ANSELM REYLE | ROSY KEYSER - 1 Oct 2015 to 23 Dec 2015
SIGMUNDS HöHLE / SIGMUND'S CAVE
01 OCTOBER - 23 DECEMBER, 2015
Contemporary Fine Arts is pleased to present their fourth solo exhibition with Georg Baselitz (*1938, Deutschbaselitz).
"When Georg Baselitz paints dogs or other animals, they belong first of all, just like landscapes, still lifes, nudes, and portraits, to the conventional, “banal” themes that are supposed to distract as little as possible from painting as such. The series of dog paintings that Georg Baselitz painted in the winter and spring of 1999/2000, is fundamentally different compared to his older dog paintings. The reduction of the palette to black and white, the brushstroke that seems more like drawn rather than painted, the strictly symmetrical composition, the stereotypical representation of always the same dog, standing on its head, as a motionless and expressionless frontal bust, and the integration of writing lend the series an emblematic and pointedly distanced character. That the Name “Sigmund” is placed prominently in large letters above the dogs makes clear that these are not just mere dog portraits, but rather masks and codes of the Freudian universe, and that the beholder should be prepared for numerous hidden allusions as well as suppressed and repressed things. Cool, ironical, and enthusiastically playing with words, Baselitz, as it were, brings out his inner Duchampian dog, but the sometimes monumental formats of up to 250 x 200 cm and the multi-layered application of paint demonstrate that the visual is by no means sacrificed to the conceptual. (...)
That Baselitz becomes similar to his subject is first of all not unusual. “Everything is a self-portrait, whether it is a tree or a nude. Everything you perceive is a reflection of yourself”, he said in conversation with Michael Auping, three years before he painted the dog pictures. But here, identification goes much further. It is well-known that Baselitz (like before him Jackson Pollock) always paints his works on the floor, leaning forwards and turning all the time, like children do when they draw. In the larger formats of his dog series, we can see the painter’s shoe prints, they are like the “paw traces” indices of a horizontal activity, facing the floor. The painter needs to bend down, crouch down next to or on the painting, kneel or crawl on it on all fours like a dog. “Feet are my grounding, and grounding is more important to me than broadcasting”, he says about this. “Funnily enough, I paint crouching, I walk across the paintings.” Doggy-style painting, as it were. In the body-fixated 1990s, which Baselitz ends with his dog series, there is an increase of artists identifying with dogs, and the work of artists like Jackson Pollock is reinterpreted from a psychoanalytical perspective that emphasizes the cynic-materialist aspect: away from the visual, idealistic, and vertical, in favour of the anal and horizontal, of the dog perspective. Generally, we can relate Baselitz’s rebellion against abstract painting, which dominated art well into the 1960s and which he at the time countered with very physical, ugly paintings, to Diogenes’ revolt against the “fraud of idealistic abstractions and the schizoid dullness of cerebral thinking” informed by Platonic philosophy. It is tempting to view the turning of the paintings by 180 degrees, which he started in 1969, not just as a mere distraction from content and a desire to direct attention to pure painting, but to also identify it with a Nietzschean “transvaluation of values,” which Diogenes calls “recoining the coin”, which brings to the top that which had been suppressed. The reversal of motifs gains such a meaning at the latest with the dog series."
Excerpt from the text “Painting doggystyle, as it were” by Anselm Wagner, from the catalogue “Sigmund’s Cave”, published by Snoeck on the occasion of the exhibition.
STREIFENBILDER / STRIPE PAINTINGS 2003 - 2013
01 OCTOBER - 14 NOVEMBER, 2015
Contemporary Fine Arts is pleased to present the exhibition “Stripe Paintings”, showcasing works from the series between 2004 until 2012 by Anselm Reyle (*1970, Tübingen).
"Anselm Reyle starts out by following Andy Warhol’s recipe for success: give the people what they want. He uses it as a source of test samples for his artistic experiments, aimed at discovering hidden genealogies within and cultural imprints upon pictorial representation.
With his emphasis upon surface and effect, Reyle appears to be an artist who doesn’t really paint!?! In fact, every aspect of his work—formally and in individual cases also technically—traces back to painting. He combines painting, however, with an expansion of the concept of the readymade to include forms, colors, materials, styles, and painterly approaches. Reyle’s works are largely created with a team of studio assistants, but at the same time he insists on the use of painting techniques as an anachronistic stance toward the belief in progress and modern media. He smuggles painting in through the back door, as it were, and simultaneously frees it from narcissistic self-reflection. While the creation of an auratic artwork is an important element of Reyle’s practice, he exposes the process of creating the aura by extending the painterly aspect to include the displays that form part of the works. Reyle uses painting not to indicate the singularity of an artwork but to uncover buried pictorial or art-historical traces; as a participating observer, he digs these out like an archeologist looking for relics of the past, using painterly means and an artistic approach that involves emphatic mimesis as well as cool, ironic detachment.
Reyle’s use of surfaces and finishes that appear to have been industrially produced and recall minimal art objects above all enables him to zoom in on the modernist celebration of industrialization and highlight what lies right beside the legitimate art-historical strands of modern art, also including minimal art."
Excerpt from the text “Stripe Paintings” by Anna-Catharina Gebbers, from the catalogue of the same name, published by Snoeck on the occasion of the exhibition.
WE SING SIN
21 NOVEMBER - 23 DECEMBER, 2015
Contemporary Fine Arts is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Germany with Rosy Keyser (*1974, Baltimore, USA).
Keyser’s paintings deviate from the main road. They mine the sideroads and the edges of our minds and return to what consciousness has dropped. The pictorial is indivisiable from the material, yet all the while maintains a playful and deviant relationship.
Like poetry, in which a single word or line becomes a matrix, for the proliferation of thought and form, the bodies of Keyser’s paintings become scaffolds for intervention and expansion.
„Paintings are tools, but they have been made strange, and that is the source of their power.“ (Alva Nöe)
Gallery exhibitions with Peter Blum and from 2014, with Maccarone, New York.
Museum exhibition participation in „Painter Painter“ at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, „Painting from the Zabludowicz Collection: Part II“ at the Zabludowicz Collection, London, as well as „Pink Caviar“ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, whose collections also house works by the artist.