24 November 2014


Robin von Einsiedel, Yogi beige, 2014, 207cm x 161cm, Spray Paint and Bitumen on Canvas. Courtesy Oscar Proctor Robin von Einsiedel, Zoo Köln, 2014. Exhibition view (6). Courtesy Oscar Proctor Robin von Einsiedel, Zoo Köln. Exhibition detail, Matron, 2014, Jesmonite. Courtesy Oscar Proctor all images: ZOO KÖLN by Robin von Einsiedel at Bosse&Baum (24.10-14.12), Courtesy Oscar Proctor, © Robin von Einsiedel

For the first and hopefully the last time in my life I have mistaken the torso of Diego Velasquez for the shape of a sausage. But luckily this embarrassing error did not happen at the Prado in Madrid, but instead while looking at a painting by British artist Robin von Einsiedel, trying to make sense of his peculiar compositions and motifs. Odd, cartoonish characters from kids' series and comics appear on abstract, sometimes even minimalist backgrounds, which seem to secretly play the lead role in the works. Robin concerns himself with materials – their manipulation and inherent relation between solid existence and cosmic emergence. Now, after recently graduating from RCA, the 1988-born artist shows his newest works in the exhibition ZOO KÖLN at Bosse & Baum, a young Peckham-based gallery that established its permanent space only this October. I asked Robin a few questions about his practice and about why Yogi-Bear and company keep on occupying the paintings and sculptures that he makes.

17 November 2014


markus_hoffmann_encounter_artfridge markus_hoffmann_memory_artfridge1 markus_hoffmann_memory_artfridge2All works by Markus Hoffmann / from the top: (1) "ENCOUNTER" (2014), (2+3) "MEMORY" (2014) / Courtesy and © Markus Hoffmann

Driven by a fascination for natural processes, Markus Hoffmann enables spectators to experience natural phenomena that are usually withdrawn from our perception through the experience of his art. The 1982-born installation artist concerns himself with a range of highly ambivalent materials – such as fungi, exhaust fume or radioactive artefacts –, negotiating not only their controversial position in today's society, but also the paradox of their appearance's significance in an aesthetic, as opposed to an ethical context. The materials are attributed with a calm and strange beauty, a peculiar sublimity, forcing the perception to reconsider anticipated and precast sentiments. Markus' works thus pose urgent questions to society's consciousness and to art's fictive and supposedly innocent framework, offering a space of intense experience. Equipped with a distinct aesthetic language and with a high political potential, it doesn't come as a surprise that although Markus just completed his studies in the class of Olafur Eliasson at UDK Berlin, both his own and cooperative works (created with the collective DAS NUMEN) are already represented in international museums and other art institutions. I met Markus in Berlin, where he lives and works, and talked to him about his choice of materials, about art and politics and about spectatorship.