In visual terms, Johannes Nagel's objects can be located somewhere between vessels, coral and octopus. The textured surfaces are like the pixellated skin of squid, a miracle of transformation. The tubular structures are reminiscent of coral skeletons, while the protruding lips are akin to the living part of the coral. We are observing an arrested biomorphic process. Dead skeletal material is constantly overgrown with living tissue. In Nagel's most recent works, the tubes and vase-like vaults display fascinating, shimmering colours, as if the zooxanthellae in the coral have taken on the colours of plastic garbage. The colours flow into each other and pulse across the undulating surfaces. Every now and then, the smooth surfaces are punctuated by sharp edges and lines, in search of individual accents. Looking at Johannes Nagel's objects, we are immersed in an underwater world, inhabited by bizarre sea creatures with spiky outgrowths, fascinating surfaces and forms that float somewhere between beauty and ugliness. Like curious fish, we, the viewers, swim around the strange creatures, opening up an imaginary world in which boundaries become fluid.
Press release courtesy Brutto Gusto. Text: Joerg Johnen.