Whistle and I'll Come to You
At regular intervals Galerie der Stadt Schwaz presents an exhibition curated by an artist. This year it is Innsbruck-born Matthias Noggler, who has invited Birke Gorm and Nora Kapfer to exhibit together with him. Through the means of painting, the young artists devote themselves to exploring possible forms of expression in the face of the present condition of the world. These means must always be considered in relation to competing pictorial forms such as photography or cinema which circulate at a massive scale, shared and duplicated.
The three artists each engage very rigorously and at the same time very differently with the medium. Their placidity in navigating the completely overwhelming possibilities offered by art history is characteristic of painting today, where all concepts have already been implemented; ideological boundaries (for example between abstraction and figuration) are no longer relevant; all forms of expression, strategies, contradictions and intensities need merely be discharged. But precisely for this reason it is all the more important to rigorously engage in the respective context, to be constantly aware of the instability of these connections.
Instead of abandoning painting, the artists in Schwaz directly and deliberately help themselves to the technical, narrative and iconic arsenals of painting in order to expand the resonance of their imagery. Without further ado, they switch back and forth between representational and abstract registers; observe backgrounds against which figures emerge; set up relationships between autonomous individual images and series; between gestures, impressions and lines; and open up further contexts through the use of unusual materials.
Birke Gorm works not with paint and brush on canvas, but rather with needle and (jute) thread, that she sources partially from unraveled sacks. Her hybrid works are inspired by decorative handicrafts and amateur art as well as by the iconography of ancient to contemporary painting history, which literally and figuratively shimmer through several layers of dense fabric.
Nora Kapfer applies bitumen to medium-sized canvases. Bitumen is a viscous, naturally occurring or petroleum-derived raw material, a tar-like asphalt - mineral tar - which was used as a substance and pigment in ancient times. In her work, it forms a never-fully-dry, dark, shiny surface, out of which simple, recognizable forms appear to emerge from the depths. The reduced motifs of her vocabulary addresses the observer in a more direct, corporeal way than the more detail-focussed compositions of Matthias Noggler.
Noggler employs numerous painterly styles and techniques which he variegates or brings into relation according to the exhibition context. In Schwaz he shows a series of abstract constellations of figures in front of a black background, which evoke structures from the amorphous to the architectural in sequential order, becoming schematic, ornamental social bodies.
Click here for the text of Niklas Lichti