Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present a curated show entitled Return to Form featuring work by Tal R, Thomas Kiesewetter, Gert & Uwe Tobias and Thomas Scheibitz.
This exhibition brings together the work of four very distinct artists who use simplicity of form and purity of color in a way that relates to early or mid 20th century art. Despite the differences in their work, each are exploring techniques and principles that recall Post-Impressionist, Cubist, Constructivist or Modernist innovations. By eschewing the more recent and common tropes of Pop, Minimalism, or Post-Modernism, the work in this exhibition allows us to consider a new idea: that perhaps the formal and material tendencies of pre-1960 painting and sculpture were discarded prematurely, before the ideas and forms themselves were exhausted. These works evoke the past in ways that are new and continue a dialogue that trailed off long ago.
Tal R was born in Israel in 1967, but was raised in Denmark and lives and works in Copenhagen. He has shown widely, including solo shows at Gallery Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. On view in this exhibition are a selection of woodblock prints made in 2005, which -though quite different from the large, mixed-media paintings which bring together a wide array of artistic influences- reveal the influence of Mattisse, Gauguin and the Naifs in his composition and rendering of the form.
Thomas Kiesewetter was born in 1964 in Kassel, Germany. His most recent solo exhibitions include: Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles in March 2007; Jack Tilton Gallery, New York in February 2007; and continues to show in Germany with Galerie Neu, Berlin. Working in both cast bronze as well as the additive, assemblage works exhibited here, Kiesewetter’s sculpture renders volume and action in three dimensions by balancing subtle changes in scale and weight in order to achieve a sense of tension or dynamism. This, combined with the use of industrial materials or surfaces cardboard, metal, foam- remarks on the history of 20th century sculpture, and the influences of the Constructivists, as well as the Cubist sculptor Julio Gonzalez.
Gert & Uwe Tobias are twin brothers who were born in Brasov, Romania in 1973 and currently live and work in Cologne, Germany. Having shown in numerous museums and galleries worldwide, including a solo show at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles September 2006 – January 2007, and currently at the Kunstverein Heilbronn, they will be featured in an upcoming project room show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2008. The Tobias Brothers use the traditional process of the linocut or woodblock print to create large paintings that juxtapose simple forms with gestural markings. Often dealing with issues of mortality, war, and struggle as they reference the histories as myths of their native Transylvania, the works recall a variety of historic works from Goya’s Atrocities of War prints to Picasso’s Guernica yet refrain from any direct overtures in their work, thus bringing new ideas and energy to major issues in the history of painting.
Thomas Scheibitz was born in Radeburg, Germany in 1968 and studied painting at the HfBK Dresden from 1991-98. In 2005, he represented Germany in the Venice Biennale and has had solo museum shows at the Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco, as well as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The paintings are often non-literal representations of familiar forms or ideas flowers, houses, suburban landscapes- that are pushed to a point of near-abstraction while retaining discrete identities for the subject matter. In this way, the work is often described as Post-Cubist, as the push-and-pull between pictorial abstraction and figurative gestures are quite reminiscent of Picasso; however, the palette and stacking or blocks in the work resemble contemporary virtual spaces, like the pixilated views of architecture and nature seen in digital media.