Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...
Under the artistic direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
The Art of Overcoming: The Unthinkable in the Thinkable
Traces of Memory between the Fragment and Totality
Polanszky sees his treatment of materials that in our economic system are usually seen as cheap, damaged goods from the hardware store as a refinement. His works thus seem like a parody of 'refined' materials, while at the same time the formerly utilitarian materials are now free of use. The artist literally frees them from their previously intended relations of constraint and use. Polanszky thus seeks a value-free resistance to the adaptive. The artist creates assemblages in both a pictorial and a sculptural format that always bear the traces of the past of the materials used. The traces of everyday life, use, and wear and tear always link Polanszky's works to the history of the object-like materials used that he transforms into something new, a 'pseudo-geometric arrangement,'1 and that reflects the aesthetics of use. In the process, he transforms traces of histories into a new field of association and a new construction of meaning for these apparently artistically worthless materials. The creation of nature remains in the form of its traces, for example the leaves or other natural materials that are seemingly integrated by chance, lending the works a rather coincidental character. They also represent a contrast to the synthetic materials like Plexiglas, Styrofoam, foils, or foam rubber that form the main ingredients of Polanszky's art.[...]
In Polanszky's works, the past always survives in the now as a trace of memory. Both in his assemblages, that attest to the lasting quality of endurance with the maintenance of weathered surfaces and broken materials and maintain the memory of how things once were, as well as in his sculptures and spaces in which the traces of the past are never deleted, but always preserved. Duration is preserved by Polanszky to continue memory and individual consciousness and to preserve it in a present with freed material. He considers the accidentally found, apparently worthless material and its form and texture as the material that culminates in his and our memory. The artist then brings together freed materials 'that do not go together at all.'2 In his artistic practice, he combines these "quasi random elements," but he emphasises, 'There is no design aspect involved to make it a little better.'3 In other words, he not only frees the material from its corset of use, but also liberates art from its traditional constraints.
1 A conversation with Rudolf Polanszky. February 11, 2015.
2 'Late Bloomer: A Discussion between Rudolf Polanszky and Hans Ulrich Obrist,"'in: Art Basel Miami Magazine (December 2018), 184-185
3 Ibid., 186.
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