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Group show ‘Local Paintings’ at Markus Winter in Berlin

04-08-2009 08:26 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Bianca Limbach

Flyer ‘Local Paintings’

Flyer ‘Local Paintings’

‘Local Paintings’ is questioning the concept of the ‘international style’ in modernist art. Apart from being often associated with an individual relationship to the artwork or the focus on personal expression, the title evokes a connection between the painting and the world outside the gallery/studio walls, a relationship repressed by modernist art theory.

The show confronts the work of four painters, of different nationalities, with different educational, professional and social backgrounds and contradictory attitudes towards art and art history. The only notion that the artists have in common is the medium itself. The places they come from determine their work and influence the development of a site-specific, personal and finally: ‘local’ dictionary of visual forms. Abstraction as an analytic, self-referential, mathematical, independent and universal pictorial language is confronted with the variable socio- geographic conditions.

Martin Reyna is an Argentinian painter living and working in Paris. He proposes a work based on a very direct and expressionist approach. He started his career as a painter at the moment when Argentina was torn between brutal dictatorship and a ceaseless fight for freedom. Reyna is not concerned with depicting reality, rather he tries to create a visual representation of a purifying experience of emotional catharsis what connects his artwork with Jackson Pollock’s art practice and working methods.

In comparison with Martin Reyna’s expressionistic work, Jean Baptiste Bouvier, represents a rather analytical and conceptual standpoint. The French artist will present a series of small oil paintings on aluminium. Referring to the great aesthetic standards drawn from art history, he recreates them, adding to the rigid rules of abstract composition elements related to the French romantic tradition. Although every painting is done with an almost obsessive concern with the details and manual precision, the depicted objects seem to fade, to remain merely a sign, a souvenir, an idea.

In Dominic Steiner’s work there is no storytelling involved, there is only a dialogue with art history and especially, the heritage of abstract expressionist American painters. Steiner works on an un- stretched canvas, which he gradually folds and covers with ink of various intensity. His work is intuitive and dependant on the innere Notwentigkeit, drastically altering the rigorous rules of geometry.

When financial problems occur, gold, often associated with beauty, glamour, order, and elegance, is usually thought to be the best possible investment. Joshua Abelow’s (born in Frederic , Maryland, USA, lives and works in Berlin) abstract paintings are a humorous response to the current economical crisis. Abelow enhances the material aspects of the painting, turning it into a modern trompe l’oeil and therefore stressing the painting’s status as a commodity fetish. Abstraction as a mode of artistic expression, independent from the outside world has been once again questioned.

3. April 2009 - 9. Mai 2009

Local Paintings

Joshua Abelow

Jean-Baptiste Bouvier

Martin Reyna

Dominik Steiner

Located in former East Berlin, Germany, Galerie Markus Winter was founded in October 2005.

The gallery focuses on international contemporary painting, sculpture, photography and video art with a keen interest in conceptualism and progressive media. Therefore, the exhibition space is designed to accommodate each artist’s project without compromise (allowing for the flexible alteration of the overall architectural structure), and hence provides each artist with a highly individual forum. The yearly gallery program consists of eight to ten exhibitions, including solo exhibitions, as well as curated group shows.

Since our first exhibition, which featured an installation by the acclaimed German video artist Marion Schebesta, we have supported progressive young and mid-career artists from Europe, Asia, and the United States, working in all media. These include: François Boué, Jean-Baptiste Bouvier, Jim Lee, Bryan Osburn and Matthew Abbott.

In addition, we represent members of the Düsseldorf-based artist collective "Konsortium", such as Lars Breuer, Julio Ernesto Herrera Flores.

Markus Winter, Chausseestraße 104, D- 10115 Berlin - GERMANY
Tel. +49 (0) 30 97 00 46 57 Fax +49 (0)30 97 00 46 76

For press: Bianca Limbach,
Gallery hours: Wed – Sat 2 pm – 6 pm and by appointment

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