13 February 2013

COLOGNE: UNIQUE PATTERNS

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from the top: (1) installation view, (2-3) sculptures by Philip Seibel, (4) installation view, (5-7) photographs by Johanna von Monkiewitsch, (8) installation view, (9-10) Andri Bischoff, (11) installation view; images by artfridge and Chaplini Gallery

Since decades, people have tried to demonstrate a uniqueness in their style, however knowing that their appearance is always shaped by trends. We are cut from the same cloth - its the small details that elevate a style to be unique. But how does this work for contemporary art? The current group show at Chaplini Gallery in Cologne approaches questions on the ambivalent relationship of uniqueness and repetition, by exhibiting three young positions, whose works explicitly manipulate repetitive patterns into a unique art piece with only a small artistic intervention. 

Johanna von Monkwitsch (*1979) folds and grooves simple paper, photographs it and then grooves the photograph along the same lines. Giving the pieces a doubled materiality - a second layer - von Monkietwitsch frames the photographs loosely, without a glass protection. Her minimalist, bright and somewhat female interpretation interacts with Philip Seibel's (*1980) dark and masculine wooden sculptures. His intervention is even more restrained: glueing slim veneers on top of mdf plates, Seibel treats the corners with a dark layer of glossy airbrush paint  and covers the surface with a clear piano lacquer. Here, as in von Monkiewtisch's pieces, the small change of the material's appearance and its presentation does not only sabotage the art-historian and conservative value of raw materials, but it also generates a new value. A value that shifts between fake and original, visual illusion and real value. Veneers appear as expensive wood, paper turns into a sculpture.

Andri Bischoff (*1982), the third artist of the show, shows recontextualised velours carpets and paintings. He employs a simple - almost primitive - stencil method, highlighting the roughness and reproducibility of his screaming green pictures. Repetition and unique brushstrokes oppose each other - again, playing with the borders of being inimitable. At first, I thought his paintings were disturbing the perfect balance between the other two artists' pieces. And in fact, they are! But its a healthy disturbance: an irritation, similar to the not so obvious irritation in the veneers or the folded paper. After all, a good style needs some irritation, some imbalances, it needs - as they call it nowadays in the fashion world - a 'statement piece'.  


Andri Bischoff, Johanna von Monkiewitsch, Philip Seibel
19th January – 2nd March 2013

Chaplini Galerie
Bismarckstrasse 60
50672 Köln
Opening Hours: Wed – Fri 13–18h, Sat 12–16h

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