“Painting After Painting II” featuring the emerging painters Claudia Barthoi, Felix Becker, Fabian Hub, Artjom Chepovetskyy, is developed as part of an ongoing concern of our gallery with the state of painting inside contemporary developments in art. Since the beginning of the 20th century, both artist and art critics have declared over and over again the death of painting. But although painting does not have the same historical primacy it once did and photography, video, and other forms of mechanical and digital reproduction have dominated the art of 21st century, neither has painting become a marginalized medium. Indeed, all this contemporary pluralism has liberated painting from all forms of modernist self-absorption resituating it directly in the heart of contemporary art discourse.
The current “Painting After Painting II” is an investigation about the practice of four German emerging painters who approach the medium with both awareness for its contemporary and historical state. The first “Painting After Painting” exhibition at our gallery traces back in 2013.
Claudia Barthoi (born 1971 in Munich) studied graphic design and after her graduation she worked successfully in the advertising industry until she decided to concentrate exclusively on her artistic development. After her time as a guest student in Berlin and Hamburg, she studied fine arts in New York. She lives and works in Berlin. Her art practice is strongly based in a mutual relationship between materials, surfaces, structures and lines. Using paper and linen, needle and thread and adhesive techniques, she creates works that depict her obsession over connections between the shapes, surfaces and corners of her everyday surroundings. In her development as an artist, Claudia overpassed initial drawing-like strokes, replacing them with the presence of surface and drawn, sewn and painted strokes as her strongest means of expression. Structures overlay each other, re-closing previously opened surfaces and creating new levels of layers. Shapes remain reduced and abstracted, as the artist consciously produces failure by merging incompatible materials such as delicate papers which she collages on linen using oil and solvent, or threads.
Felix Becker (born 1987 in Frankfurt/Main) studied art education, philosophy, politics and media science at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Since 2015 he studies painting with Prof. Favre and Prof. Zipp at University of Arts, Berlin. Felix Becker’s paintings feature geometrical divisions and purported monochrome color fields combined with rough surfaces of three-dimensional debris. As a result of his interest in process of subtraction, he works with tools of erasure and cleaning, like thinner, knifes, scrapers, scrubbers, sandpaper, tea towels and sponges. He is not interested in undoing a step, but in utilizing new methods for the stages of painting. His way of painting is the repetition of addition and removal with a preference for the aspect of intentional failure. It has become an essential part of his paintings, not only to work with a large volume of paint in terms of color, but also as a body. Therefore Becker understands the process of erasing and evolving failures as a reversal that open up space for spontaneous results. Painting for him is a process of emancipation, in which the work and the artist become related, but finally end up being independent from each other.
Fabian Hub (1988 born in Mainz) began his studies in visual arts at Academy of Visual Arts Mainz with Professor Friedemann Hahn. Since 2015, he studied at University of Arts Berlin with Professor Thomas Zipp and graduated in 2019 as „Meisterschüler“. In 2018/19 he spent 3 months as artist in residence in Christoph Schlingensief’s Operndorf (Burkina Faso). Fabian Hub works mainly with oil on canvas, can be understood as a mapping of one's own perception and the questioning of personal reality. Habits of seeing, the direct environment, everyday activities, personal and trivial issues, the space in which we move, are negotiated within his paintings and set the content framework of his work. The painterly position in the present and also in relation to other positions in the context of their time (for example Rauschenberg, Thek, Rothko, Twombly, etc) are aspects of his artistic exploration. In an interplay between the direct implementation of thoughts, subjects, links, compositional decisions and complexity reductions, a dialogue is created, that becomes visible in many layers and structures. Even without a concrete representation of space, a sense of light and depth is evoked. Within this “room” there are traces of the whole process, such as text fragment compositions, that can be gesture, placeholder, comment, quote or purely formal element.
Artjom Chepovetskyy (born 1984 in Odessa) studied philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University and Fine Arts at the Kunsthochschule Mainz from 2007 to 2016, among others Prof. Klaus Vogelsang, Prof. Andrea Büttner and Prof. Anne Berning. Patterns and forms of objects of urban space are the sources of inspiration in the work of Chepovetskyy. A cross-media exploration of the issues of painting, the experimental approach of materials and the exploration of the limits of the medium fuel his artistic process. The questions of depth and transparency are central starting points of his artistic exploration, which are achieved through a playful approach. In Chepovetskyy‘s work, the image becomes an object which, in an experimental transfer of color form a language, from the field of two dimensional painting, gradually merges into a vast extension of the questions of painting, taking on a new form of expression.