Sprüth Magers London will present an exhibition of new work by acclaimed German artist Andreas Schulze. In his second solo show at the London gallery, the artist will present two ceramic sculptures alongside a selection of paintings, depicting landscapes inspired by the artist’s recent expedition to the island of Sicily.
Andreas Schulze first came to prominence in the early 1980’s, as a pivotal figure in the explosive flourishing of creativity which centred around Monika Sprüth’s gallery in Cologne. Schulze has since been recognised as an inventor of new pictorial worlds, having developed an autonomous and unmistakable visual language with which to explore various interior views of society. A fundamental theme in the artist’s work is the power of painting to create illusion, giving multifaceted treatment to the theme of the interplay b etween being and appearance, reality and staging in the medium of painting.
The exhibition will showcase a series of paintings depicting the landscape of Sicily, where Schulze, following the tradition of old master painters who would partake in artistic pilgrimages across Europe, recently visited. The works on paper are made up of strangely dimensioned forms, rendered in perspective and executed with a vivid palette, bringing hidden layers of consciousness and underlying emotions to mind. These illusionistic landscapes, which privilege psychological depth over flatness, correspond to the Surrealist preference for mysterious, enigmatic stage sets. By fo lding together the genres of interiors and landscapes, and exploring notions of inner and outer space, the compositions convey coziness and menace, familiarity and strangeness, playfulness and melancholy and calm and discomfort, ultimately evoking the dislocated and fragmented nature of contemporary experience.
Juxtaposed against the uncanny melancholy of Schulze’s paintings will be two of the artist’s playfully anthropomorphic ceramic sculptures. These sculptures take the familiar, everyday shape of vases or jugs, ador ned with the facial features of the artist himself. Each unique ceramic has been hand crafted, alluding to a sense of homely tradition which Schulze has sought to challenge and complicate in other aspects of his work. The sculptures tap into a vein of Schulze’s practice that is replete with, and almost fetishizes, bourgeois décor and ornamentation, which is symptomatic of Schulze’s fascination with modern yearnings for contentment.
Andreas Schulze – Sprüth Magers London – 28 June – 17 August 2013