In this year's final edition of 12 Rooms, KEWENIG welcomes Berlin based artist Lovro Artuković (b. 1959 in Zagreb, Croatia) with an installation of six charcoal drawings entitled Underworld Party (2019-2020). Each drawing depicts a scene from Greek mythology's 'Underworld', meticulously copied from well known masterpieces such as Titian's Sisyphus (1549) from the Prado collection in Madrid or Rembrandt's The Rape of Proserpine (1631) located in Berlin's Gemäldegalerie.
Having the theme of a mystical party in mind, Artuković conceived these works to be displayed in ultraviolet light, letting the white spots on the paper glow in an artificial blue. The artist states: 'I visualised how the party guests, all dressed in black and white according to the mandatory dress code, wandered around the studio through a fog of cigarette smoke. In itself it would be a trivial club or disco scene, but I liked to think it could bear something mystical nonetheless. (...) The production of copies true to the original turned out to be so time consuming that the date for the party was postponed into an indefinite future. Also my wish to give a party in the first place slowly decreased. But I continued the work although I felt I was doing something utterly absurd. Why in Gods name would I want to waste my time with some copies? To be nicknamed 'Rembrand' by someone? And would the concept stay preserved if the party was cancelled? (...) But while I was working on the copies, a certain joy started to grow inside me about the lack of purpose and sense of this whole venture. Apart from that, I did not want to waive the pleasure: firstly of working with charcoal and secondly of the gradual 'entering' into the original which I took as my master copy. Eventually this experience became a descend into the underworld itself–if not as a glamorous party, then still as a kind of conversation with those who do not roam our world anymore.'
Press release courtesy KEWENIG.