Pieter Schoolwerth and the relief of the soul

Pieter Schoolwerth and the relief of the soul

by Elda Oreto

Pieter Schoolwerth twistes the medium of painting, leading it beyond its limit, and into new narrative possibilities, through the virtual world, towards reality.
In his latest artworks, made for Virtual Relief, exhibited from April 26th to July 13th 2019 at the Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler gallery in Berlin, the artist, who lives and works in New York, presented a series of bas-reliefs.

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief – Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery
.

The theatrical scenario of the relief presents a broken up scene: some figures, faceless puppets, stand out on the surface, which melt into the background.
In Personality Settings Retractions (2019) there is an interior of a living room where some shadows, tangled up in one another, to the point that it is difficult to discern, become a unique creature. A formless torso with a thousand ends. A leg and a shoulder emerge from it, three or four heads of different sizes are side by side. It is a unique body that assimilates many others. Everything is very colorful. Blinding.

The technique developed by Schoolwerth to create bas-reliefs follows a complicated process. First of all, the artist takes an image and makes one or more shadows. He often uses himself as a model or his friends. Then he takes a wallpaper from the internet. Synthesizes and superimposes the images like a digital collage that he prints on a foam core (a type of material used to make posters). At this point he executes the painting in oil and acrylic and in this case shapes the bas-relief.

The basic idea of ​​his research is that our body is slowly fading away. Even if our times are dominated by commodification and consumism, the body is getting alienated from its most impure but authentic nature. Loses weight, little by little it thins and slowly evaporates leaving a two-dimensional copy as a trace.
The virtual reality and Internet are just perfect tools for this concept. Above all, Social Networks that sink people into an abyss of isolation instead of connecting them with the world and bringing people together. But let’s be careful, Schoolwerth is not a moralist, he doesn’t hate the Internet, but he translates an ambivalent, deeper feeling. Perhaps it is the body’s resistance to evaporation.

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief – Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery
.

Two of the bas-reliefs on display: Model for Personality Inventory (2018) and Model for Behavioral Surplus Capture (2019) go beyond the relief and in a vortex of shades and colors claim their own independent presence in fact they can be seen on both sides. Like magic doors, these artworks invite us to cross a dimension that leads to a parallel universe where time, memories and emotions merge with images, leaving subtle traces that have more of the mystery of shadows than of the purity of the soul.

In Compromised Personality Inventory (2019) we enter a domestic interior with the jagged but clear outlines, underlined by bright colors. There are two female silhouettes, one sitting on a chair and another is standing in front of her. They are discussing animatedly. Between them, some arms emerge and they mix with other shapes in a monochromatic hint that seems to swallow the first two.
A Hydra hidden in its den.

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief – Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery
.

The tangle of shadows that lives inside the apartment in Privacy Settings 8 (2019) is the ghost that inhabits a haunted house; the anguish of a world that feeds on images. These are projections, echoes of our multiple virtual personalities. These images that define our personality are contradictory. It’s a schizophrenic monster that camouflages with the environment that surrounds it.

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief – Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery
.

Schoolwerth received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts and exhibited at the Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson (2018), the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016), the Center Georges Pompidou, Paris ( 2002) and his works are in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver Art Museum; the Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. In May 2019, his first monograph “Model as Painting” was published by Sequence Press, New York. From 2003 to 2013, Schoolwerth organized and produced concerts and music with Wierd Records and Wierd Party at Home Sweet Home on the Lower East Side of New York.

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief – Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery
.

The artist has the ability to show how anxiety and loss are constantly hiding in our daily life. He does it using the media of painting and the structure of the Internet and Social Networks like Instagram and Facebook. And he does it turning these tools upside down and then turning them around, to reveal the power they have striking our Fantasies.

Every shadow at the end is a self-portrait. In Schoolwerth’s practice, colored ectoplasms are the matrix that generates the painting and the bas-relief. Cast by shadows, as for revenge, the artwork gains a physical presence, becoming a real body of a thousand souls, a body that inhabits space of the gallery, haunting it.

Elda Oreto

The twisted circus of Kathryn Andrews at the König Galerie.

The twisted circus of Kathryn Andrews at the König Galerie.

by Elda Oreto

The circus is the ultimate entertainment for children: the colors and the magic of a suspended world where everything is possible, beyond imagination. But the circus is also ‘fiction par excellence’, the ambiguous place of illusions where clowns, acrobats, actors appear almost doomed to entertain people. Circus Empire is the solo-show of Kathryn Andrews at the König Galerie in Berlin that opened on Friday June 7th and will be on display until August 4th, 2019.

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

A gigantic circus tent, made specifically for the exhibition, is encapsulated in the nave of the former Church of St. Agnes, now the home of the gallery.
Outside the tent, we meet the first work: Picasso trace Buzzer, a sculpture that resembles one of those games that can be seen at an amusement park. The work consists of three elements. The silhouette of a bull, as drawed by Picasso, a high voltage cable with a hook at the end, and behind the bull a large yellow cage in the shape of a light bulb.
The device works like the well-known game for children Operation, where the high-tension hook must draw the shape of the bull without touching the metal tube. If it does, it starts an annoying buzz, the bulb and a neon sign lights up that says: Picasso not Picasso.
The exhibition seems to bring out the rascal child in us, staging an aspect of our society that incites fun at all costs. However the spectator can witness this fun without being an active part of it.

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

Through her artistic practice, Kathryn Andrews (Mobile, Alabama 1973 – lives and works in Los Angeles) investigates the dynamics of power and freedom. Using elements that refer to Pop culture, the entertainment industry and the movie world, mixed with the classical European tradition, from visual arts to archeology, Andrews underlines how culture is a practice of colonization and normalization of forms of control.
Kathryn Andrews, MFA of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and BFA of Duke University in Durham, exhibited in various institutions including the Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (2017) , the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, (2015), The High Line, New York, (2016), and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2013).

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

Inside the tent, the American Claw Game welcomes the visitors, a plexiglass box that simulates the fishing claw machine. But there is no handlebar to drive it or no coin acceptor. There is no way to play, one can only look at it from the outside.
Inside the plexiglas box there are various toys that recall props from Hollywood movies. Among them, entangled in the mechanical claw, there is a mask of Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States. The mask is an imitation of the one used in the movie “Point Break” (1991), in which a group of reckless surfers robbed banks disguised as Presidents.
Walking inside the amusement park, there are five panels with Wheels of Foot in Mouth, another recreational device.

Five rounds panels reproduce diptychs with futuristic masks and of ancient sculptures.
Each mask has a ‘window’ on the mouth and one on the head. As in the wheel of fortune, a mechanism on the back of the panels randomly shows figures on the heads: games, weapons, symbols, flowers; while from the mouth are coming out sentences like: Did you get an invitation? You remind me of my ex, for example, or Oh, was that the end of your story? Your laugh is so boisterous, and again, We’ve already met, Do you dress yourself?
Expressions that belong to formal circumstances but that unveil sarcasm and hostility.
The masks are sphinxes that reproduce an enigma without solution.

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

Looking for John Conner, is the reproduction of Terminator arms attached to a metal tube and supporting another thinner tube. Ar the ends there are uncanny clown miniatures.
At the exit of the arena, the last work is composed of two sculptures, two giant faces, which look into each other’s eyes. Two steel tubes cross the forehead and at the end there are two words: Are you Happy with it? And You sound so nervous.
Like the phrases on the wheels, these statements always hide their true message.
In the background a 4-channel audio installation, Carnival, created by Kathryn Andrews with Scott Benzel, reproduces the atmosphere of the amusement park.

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

Circus Empire shows elements of contemporary society, but has something very ancient in it.
Indeed, it seems almost to go beyond time to connect the past and the present.
In particular, it reminds me that the circus was one of the favorite entertainments of the ancient Romans. In the Satire X, the poet Giovenale writes “at this point, since votes aren’t sold anymore, [the people] have lost all interest; they once cared about everything themselves, powers, legions; now lets everything get away, caring only for two things: bread and circuses (panem et circenses)”.

Kathryn Andrews, Circus Empire, 2019, installation view. Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London.

 
 

For the excessive and enigmatic tones, for the contrasting and strident elements, for all the clamor and the cumbersome installation, which occupies the space, the exhibition made me think about that and also about a comment by Cicero, the Latin writer and politician, about this satire. According to him the problem was not the fun, the circus, but the desire of people to sell their freedom and their rights in exchange for a full belly and excitement, which distracted them from noticing other appetites, the ones that belong to men who never get satisfied.

Elda Oreto

Pieter Schoolwerth at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin

Pieter Schoolwerth at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin

Pieter Schoolwerth, Virtual Relief
Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, Germany
April 26 – July 13, 2019

The wild new model was fresh outa casting and lined up excited for his next big show!!!

HIIIIII models! Ok – SOOOO tonite your all gonna BE exactly what we put on you – your hungry little sponges so suck it up you guys! Some of you are gonna rock the exact same looks but your gonna flip that shit around and tweak it off that wall!

Heres what we need from you for this show – think blank, Blank, BLANK everyone, got it!? – Your EMPTY – NOOOO expression people – We see right through you – yr not even here, you ARE what you WEAR, so WHO TF CARES!?

We’re gonna paint ya’lls faces up all shiny and sexxxy – And you know what they’ll say when they see ya’ll hangin up there on that little flat screen in there lonely sad IRLife…omg there so 3D wtf WOOOW… love it – WHAT A RELIEF!!’

– Pieter Schoolwerth

All images > exhibition view, copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin  

Ritratto d’un capello inquietante at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin

Ritratto d’un capello inquietante at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin

Julien Ceccaldi, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Mathieu Malouf, Heji Shin
Ritratto d’un capello inquietante
Galerie Buchholz, Berlin
7 June – 24 August 2019

Galerie Buchholz presents the group show Ritratto d’un capello inquietante at the gallery’s original location at Neven-DuMont-Straße. It will be the first time the work of Heji Shin, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Julien Ceccaldi and Mathieu Malouf is featured in the same group show in Cologne. The title makes reference to a work by de Chirico, La Musa Inquietante (The Disquieting Muse), a 1975-1980 drawing in which a pile of objects assumes the uncanny likeness of a woman. Ritratto d’un capello inquietante literally means Portrait of a Disquieting Hair. For the artists, it serves as a vehicle through which various anxieties related to bodily and mental decay are funneled. All three works by Julien Ceccaldi feature Stéphane, a character conceived as self-sufficient without any love interest. He was created to appear optimistic about being alone, and set upon achieving his dream of becoming a pop-punk star. In the painting Crack the World’s Shell (2019), he is depicted naked, breaking out of an egg, reaching for something high above. The composition is inspired by a Chester Brown drawing dedicated to his crush in his autobiographical graphic novel I Never Liked You (1994). It is a picture of a skeleton, symbolizing himself, floating in the cosmos and stretching his arm towards a bird that represents the girl he likes. Here, however, the hero is the bird, and his hand reaches for something out of frame.

Like the characters in the anime Utena (1996, dir. Kunihiko Ikuhara), Stéphane destroys the shell of the world, to avoid dying without ever being born. This recurrent image in the anime paraphrases a quote from Hermann Hesse’s bildungsroman Demian. “The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas”. Stéphane’s purpose is also to represent positive experiences of anonymous casual encounters. In the painting The Little Bird in the Pants (2019), he fishes out a small wrinkly pink bird out of a stranger’s boxers briefs. He is startled but nonetheless happy to engage with it. It is a reference to Catherine Breillat’s Romance (1999), in which Marie (Caroline Ducey) is so deeply enamoured with her boyfriend that she thinks of his flaccid penis as a weak bird that she lovingly nurses to life. The shadow of a disturbing figure appears at the door. It sports a single pubic-like hair on top of its bald head. It could be a husband walking in on an affair, or Stéphane’s future self, revisiting this memory. The photographs by Heji Shin are based on the long history of “portrait of the artist’s mother”. Shin’s mother suffers from a psychosis that compells her to cook large quantities of food from the early morning hours until exhaustion every day, which she then packs into unmarked plastic bags to dump them as anonymous offerings in various locations across the city of Berlin – near hospitals, in front of police stations, fire stations, etc. The mother poses next to professional models and performs her habitual duties as a fictional version of herself, putting contrasting representations of the Feminine in relation to each other: the mother and the model, the artist and the child, and on a deeper level, the origins of art and the origins of life.

The pieces titled Eaux Saines (2019) by Nicolas Ceccaldi are at once ready-made floor sculptures and room dividers. Consisting of pillows arranged in a row that extends into the middle of each room, these pieces were originally conceived in an attempt to establish boundaries between two people sharing the same bed. While these sculptures formulate a concrete, modernist solution to body contact, three paintings, A Rose for a Rogue (2018), Only a Duke Would Dare (2018) and Le Temps Retrouvé (2019), treat human embrace through the embellishment of stock images: two impasto oil paintings of youthful couples and the puzzle-piece reconstruction of a serene fishing scene between an elderly man and his grandson. Bracketing the exhibition are Mathieu Malouf’s paintings The Enigma of the Milky Way 1 (2019) and The Enigma of the Milky Way 2 (2019). Both are based on nude photos of the artist taken by Nicolas Ceccaldi, cut up and reconstructed, suggesting multiple simultaneous perspectives and the illusion of limbs breaking through the 4th wall – a process the artist refers to as “body cubism”. The figures are depicted in a state of deep focus characteristic of the virtuoso, with eyes fixated on the viewer wherever they stand. Contrasting with the emotionally neutral faces, bodies are dramatically contorted and unload a powerful blast of raw emotion. Out of their enlarged nipples, breast milk squirts out expressively, recalling tropes of abstract expressionism and action painting, historical art forms long associated with the myth of male self-expression. Casting himself as a nude performer on canvas and allegorically positing the body as a universe in constant expansion, the artist engages in a seductive dance for a gallery audience.

H.S., J.C., N.C., M.M

Bani Abidi, They Died Laughing / Gropius Bau, Berlin

Bani Abidi, They Died Laughing / Gropius Bau, Berlin

Bani Abidi, They Died Laughing
Gropius Bau, Berlin
6 June to 22 September 2019

Bani Abidi is known for her distinctive approach to filmmaking, which derives from the dark absurdities of everyday life. They Died Laughing is an extensive presentation of Abidi’s works, bringing together moving image and print-based works that span two decades. Abidi often uses video as her tool for mnemonic recall while embedding the medium with a poetic function and layers of fiction. Currently based in Berlin and Karachi, she assumes the role of a storyteller and urban archaeologist in telling the stories of cities she has lived in. Fictional narratives traverse individual experiences and ask complex questions on patriotism, framed by the historic power struggles and geopolitical relations between neighbouring nation-states India and Pakistan. Her works spin tales of ambition and failure, while thematising the relationship between state power, patriotism and megalomania.

Bani Abidi. Karachi Series I, 2009 Courtesy: the artist & Experimenter, Kolkata © Bani Abidi

For the exhibition at the Gropius Bau, Bani Abidi developed a new project, The Lost Procession, based on the experiences of the persecuted Hazara community from Quetta, capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan, who have fled to Germany in recent years. While Abidi sketches encounters between these inhabited landscapes, she focuses on themes including expropriation, refuge and captivity. This project is commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, where Bani Abidi will have a solo exhibition in October 2019, curated by Hoor Al-Qasimi and Natasha Ginwala.

Less is More by Herbert Zangs at Blain|Southern Berlin

Less is More by Herbert Zangs at Blain|Southern Berlin

Less is More by Herbert Zangs

Blain|Southern Berlin Potsdamer Straße 77–87

29 September – 17 November 2018

The exhibition features a number of signature works by the artist including Folding Reliefs, Mathematical Signs Collages (PlusMinus) and a group of his celebrated monochromatic Whitenings; all of which demonstrate the artists commitment to an improvised, informal artistic process. A student of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied under Otto Pankok and was friends with fellow student Joseph Beuys, his artistic career began in 50’s Germany, where the impact of the war andthe effects of austerity found artists in various fields engaged in finding new ways of expression. Renownedfor his uncompromising nature, he never formally associated himself with any artistic movement however, his use of monochrome and serial structures could be seen as a precursor to the Zero movement, which emphasised art that was purely about the material and not the artist’s hand.

Zangs began working with found materials and objects early on, using cardboard, paper, wood and jute bags to create collages which often featured white paint applied onto their surfaces. Flying over a country devastated by war and blanketed in snow during pilot training is said to have affected him deeply, and thisis reflected in both the subdued colour and structure of his Whitening paintings. In Strukturelles Farbrelief(1978) – and throughout the series, bright white paint fresh from the tube was eschewed in favour of left- over colour or masonry paint. The intention was not to turn the object into something more beautiful but rather highlight the materiality and structure of an object.

Another key aspect of his practice was the incorporation of mathematical symbols, “x”, “+” and “–“. He used them in different ways, sometimes appearing prominently in the form of collage or cut-outs of wood as in Rechenstück (1950). The symbols function as a geometric and aesthetic repertoire of forms and appear throughout his oeuvre. They can be seen as mere forms, or, on a meta level, the mathematical signs stand for order and logic – a paradoxical element of his practice given his nonconformity. Other reoccurring motifs in Zangs’ work are the folding relief and the grid. The Grid has a special significancein that the artist was interested in its sculptural aspect along with what the grid represents – a rigid,inflexible system, against which the innovative Zangs fought and rebelled against his whole life.

Images > Herbert Zangs, Less is More 2018, Installation View Courtesy The Artist and Blain Southern, Photo: Trevor Good

Philip Loersch: Teaching Stones To Say Friendly Words / FeldbuschWiesnerRudolph, Berlin

Philip Loersch: Teaching Stones To Say Friendly Words / FeldbuschWiesnerRudolph, Berlin

Philip Loersch: Teaching Stones To Say Friendly Words / 

to 7 Jun 2018

Philip Loersch doesn’t just read books. He makes them his own by expertly fashioning them in stone. Drawn trompe l’oeil, the covers invite viewers to read a book that cannot be opened. Reason and logic are just as important for Loersch’s works as is humor; the boundless pleasure in drawing is just as elementary as patience and diligence. FeldbuschWiesnerRudolph presents a selection of the artist’s new drawings, sculptures and installations, which were created as a contiguous narrative for the gallery. Not only paper and pencil, but also soapstone and nylon threads are among the media he works with.

Philip Loersch is interested in making knowledge and knowledge structures visible – as well as in the idea that Michelangelo made visible the figure inside the stone rather than sculpting the stone into a figure. He is not a copyist – such as the protagonist in Nikolai Gogol’s novella, “The Overcoat,” which he counts as one of his inspirations – but a draftsman through and through, who represents his material exactly, who transforms it and who simultaneously has the courage to smash it to pieces thereafter. This is how he creates his quasi-archaeological finds – splinters of Reclam booklets made of stone that outlive their papery predecessors, but that can never be read. The idea of the text, however, immanently preexists in the stone.

 

The stones can now indeed speak. The title of the exhibition comes from one of those graffiti in Pompei that have been able to endure for a long time in the form of signs scratched into stone and that constitute one of the sources for the statements made by the exhibition. In Loersch’s stone sculptures, writing becomes what it is when there is no reading – a sign. An I was here scratched into the wall. Also part of the exhibition: a drawing of his pension statement, idyllically placed inside a North German garden, delicate and accurate, attentively executed down to the smallest leaf of grass and the tiniest letter. An official letter on cheap paper, one of those that habitually makes cultural workers laugh or that brings them to tears, is thus imbued with the penciled version of the kind of emotion and dignity due a beloved person. Philip Loersch calls it a self-portrait: “The Old Garden.” The artist’s special kind of humor immediately attracts viewers who take a closer look, drawing them into his work.

Images © FeldbuschWiesnerRudolph, Berlin


PUBLICATION LISTED IN THE ITALIAN PRESS REGISTER BY THE SASSARI COURT OF LAW WITH REGISTRATION NUMBER 447/2017.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ALICE ZUCCA

LATEST ARTICLE



LATEST INSTAGRAM POST @XIBTMAG
CHECK ALL THE
AND DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

SO YOU WILL BE ALWAYS UP TO DATE WITH OUR LATEST NEWS

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
X