'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
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...
One Four Gallery is pleased to present Formerly Known As, a solo exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles based artist Christopher Kuhn. The exhibition will be on view from Aug 10th to Oct 12th.
Formerly Known As is set with the foundation of turning a previously made painting into something else. There are paintings underneath Kuhn's works. Some years old, others more recent. Some half-finished, set aside halfway through and forgotten about.
By painting over the previous version with brushmarks in a solid monochrome color, Kuhn rests the composition and creates a whole new body of work. Painting over the solid parts with an off-white color that matches the hue of the raw canvas, Kuhn creates a thin silhouette outline of the brushmark. The top layer becomes flat, framing windows where one can see marks and colors from the earlier paintings peeking through underneath.
In certain cases, Kuhn has painted over the brush marks with a gradient, flowing from white to blue or white to the color of the raw linen. Meticulously rendered in bands blended together, the gradient both flattens the surface and creates the illusion of a metallic quality, recalling the way light reflects off of the screens on our phones and computers.
The result is a painting that references modern technology while maintaining the materials and techniques of traditional painting. Like a city where one can experience layers of history coexisting together - a modern skyscraper standing tall among an ancient palace of temple complex - the surface of these paintings is comprised of the present and the past. There are paintings underneath these paintings.
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