In her solo exhibition at Pilar Corrias Gallery, Mercy, Sabine Moritz will present a selection of paintings, works on paper and, for the first time, photographs,encapsulating the full-range of the artist's practice. Collectively, the works in the show reflectupon and respond to the unprecedented political, economic and environmental shifts of thelast 12 months, which, compounded by an incessant, global news cycle, threaten tooverwhelm the individual. An urge for respite has been awakened en masse: the desire for amiracle, grace–Mercy.
In 2020, Moritz made significant developments in her approach to abstraction. For each of the twelve large paintings in the exhibition, Moritz elected to use square canvases, a format whichshe has employed exclusively for her abstract works since the beginning of her career. Thisshape–the evenness of which lends Moritz's paintings a fundamental order and symmetry–is deliberately chosen by the artist as it is free from cultural visual norms, which assign thelandscape format to scenery and the vertical format to portraiture. Crucially, however, whilethe square, with its ordered regularity, is essentially a human construct, the paintings are oftentitled after natural phenomena: as in Clouds I and II ; Flow I and IV.
Series and image sequences are a fundamental aspect of Moritz's oeuvre. The view from her studio window, for example, is a leitmotif that has constantly supported the artist's search forsubject matter over the years, beginning with her early drawings _Bismarckstraße_ (2000–2002)and seen here in photographs taken last year. The inclusion of dates in each title brings thepast into the present, as a memory and as a benchmark for our current place in time.
The dynamics of memory–how it is constituted, and the way in which it is subject to a continual process of deformation and reformation–is an enduring concern for the artist.Described by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2013 as 'memories made visual–the fleeting impulses ofthe past rendered concrete in art', Moritz's paintings, works on paper and photographs, byturns abstract and figurative, activate an awareness of time. They are records of specific,highly personal experiences that open out onto the general horizon of a collective history,from the artist's childhood in the East German town of Jena, to the abstract notions oftransience, decay and seriality. Mortiz's work may be interpreted, above all, as a protestagainst forgetting, while also stating in no uncertain terms the inherent fragility, mutability andimmateriality of memory.
'Painting in an abstract or figurative way respectively is always a different form of work. If progress can't be made in an abstract manner or I realise that I require distance to a work forme to wait and understand what I have actually done, it is always relaxing to work onsomething figurative, representational for which one has to subordinate one's mind.' (SabineMoritz, 11.01.2021)
Moritz (b. 1969) started her studies at Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach (from 1989 to 1991) and completed her studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (graduated 1994). Moritz has been widely exhibited in group and soloexhibitions in Düsseldorf, Brussels, Paris and London. Selected solo exhibitions of Moritz's work include: Sterneund Granit, Kunsthalle, Rostock (2019); Eden, König Galereie, Berlin (2018); Neuland, Kunstverein Bremerhaven(2017); Dawn, Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris (2016); Blumen, Masken, Schädel, Galerie Haas, Zürich (2016);Harvest, Pilar Corrias, London (2015), Schiffe und Wasser, Felix Ringel Galerie, Düsseldorf (2015); Sabine Moritz,Von der Heydt Kunsthalle, Wuppertal (2014); Concrete and Dust, Foundation de 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg (2013);Lobeda, Kunsthaus sans titre, Potsdam (2011). Selected group exhibitions include: Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11,Imperial War Museum, London (2017); Faber-Castell International Drawing Award 2012, Neues Museum – Staatl.Museum für Kunst und Design, Nuremberg (2012); and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, CultuurcentrumMechelen, Mechelen (2010). Forthcoming exhibitions include Mercy, Pilar Corrias, London (2021); Lagune, FelixRingel Galerie, Düsseldorf (2021); and Passages, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne (2021).
Press release courtesy Pilar Corrias.