until 23.01. | #2937ARTatBerlin | Semjon Contemporary presents from 12th December 2020 the exhibition SEMI COLLAPSE with works by the artist Dave Grossmann and an accrochage.
Dance of the shavings – The order of things
Thoughts on the exhibition SEMI COLLAPSE by Dave Grossmann
Chaos is a fertile breeding ground for the emergence of new things. Most people, however, are suspicious of it because it threatens their own habits, a self-created set of rules. But chaos is not just chaos: it always requires the point of view of the observer, but above all openness and curiosity. Because chaos carries within itself the forces for new orders and is also – freely described – a universe of undeciphered order(s). Applied mathematics and mathematical physics approach exactly this fact – and have not yet reached an all-encompassing formula for understanding.
When Dave Grossmann, born in 1989, deals intensively with the material of the OSB board, which has so far not been particularly conspicuous in art, one of the reasons for this is that chaos and order are apparently very close together here, a fact that fascinates him as a curious artist. Apart from the beauty of wood as a material with its brittle, but also very difficult grains and haptic qualities, as a representative of the world around us, of fauna and flora, the work product OSB is a man-made thing, a cultural artefact.
The manufacture of this product itself is an exciting undertaking, developed only in 1963 by Armin Elmendorf in the USA: OSB means Oriented Strand Board (i.e. oriented strand board). Compared to chipboard, which was developed in the 1930s by the German Max Himmelheber, OSB is characterised by the recognisability of the individual chips, which are between 1 and 2 mm thick and approx. 10-20 cm long. And this is also where Dave Grossmann sees the exciting things happening in the production process, which materialises in the appearance of OSB: In three layers, the coarse glue-impregnated chips are shaken and blown in different directions onto the oversized conveyor belt before being pressed into the board. The chips are directed in their ‘flow’. However, individual chips are positioned crosswise and change their direction, e.g. because they tilt in the dynamic process, and become a (random?) structural and optical disturbance factor.
Contrary to the production process, in which the theoretically infinitely long panel is cut into transportable sizes of over 3 m in length while still on the conveyor belt, Dave Grossmann restricts himself to the maximum dimension of 125 cm edge length, as otherwise, in the current series of works, the ratio of the chips to the size of the picture becomes disproportionate.
The artist does not choose the ‘best’ plates, but rather gets involved with the constellations of chips that await him. A visual and mental scanning of the individual plate (e.g. in the cut size of 45 x 33 cm) is the basis for his decisions as to which of the innumerable shavings he would like to work out visually to form clusters. The irrelevant chips are covered with plaster and as a surface form the foundation for further layers of colour. As irregular geometric surfaces they correspond to the shapes of the uncovered shavings, lead their dynamic space into the surface and suggest the character of an all over, i.e. the continuation into infinity beyond the material pictorial space. A process of continuous dialogue is created in the creative process. The shavings, once exposed, acquire an optical depth through the darkening of certain areas, so that a front and back is suggested, i.e. shadow areas are created. Every decision for a coloured area requires an answer with another coloured area until the picture is right, until a balance is found. It is at the same time energetic through the dynamically interlocking surfaces, some of which have sensitive colour gradients, thus suggesting a perspective orientation within a surface. In the interplay of colour spaces (mostly in blue and grey, but also in black and pink shades) it is difficult to define what lies in front and what lies behind. A confusion par excellence. The exposed individual wood chips follow their own logic from the production process of the OSB board.
In addition, dynamised and apparently staggered in depth by the sensitively breathed shadow zones, they create a bright firework of concentrated power, a compression or expansion. The suspended state, the frozen state of the dance of shavings suggests energy and contemplation at the same time. SEMI COLLAPSE.
The dance draws the gaze into the picture so that the eye, in a constant back and forth, scans the haptic qualities of the individual shavings, as well as the accompanying, counteracting, but also embedding and image-stabilizing moment of the lacquer surfaces, then rests on the bare wall surface to dive into the picture again.
Dave Grossmann’s sovereign image finding is an autonomous response to his wealth of experience, which he acquired and refined in four issues (intelligent and sensual at the same time!) as founder, thinker, editor and designer of the outstandingly designed magazine KWER. One could also say that these instructive years also served him as self-study to deepen and refine his artistic approach.*
But also his ‘first life’ as an urban-contemporary dancer, who learned early in his youth to measure space dynamically and compositionally and to create exciting movement figures. Here, too, there was already the interplay between extroverted energy and introverted contemplation. SEMI COLLAPSE can be read as the aesthetic subtotal of his still young (life) experience. A convincing materialised state of suspension that directs and concentrates the energy, points forward without denying yesterday.
Semjon H. N. Semjon
* The first three issues were a joint effort of Dave Grossmann and Hartmut Friedrich
Exhibition period: Friday, 11th December 2020 to Saturday, 23rd January 2020
Semjon Contemporary is open for you from 11 – 23 December from Tue – Sat from 1 – 7 pm and by appointment.
3rd & 4th Advent: Additionally open on 3rd and 4th Advent from 2 – 5 pm.
Safety: When visiting, please observe the hygiene regulations: mask and safety distance, also in front of the gallery.
The exhibitions open in the new year from 5 January 2021 and end on 23 January. Due to the currently unsafe situation, please inform yourself on our gallery homepage before your visit.To the Gallery
Exhibition Dave Grossmann – Semjon Contemporary | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin – Contemporary Art – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries – ART at Berlin