until 20.01. | #4092ARTatBerlin | Taubert Contemporary shows from 10. November 2023 the exhibition friends & others by the artist Joachim Grommek.
Why does someone take the trouble and imitate pressboard? Painting, and on a chipboard that itself has a fine grain. Even though Joachim Grommek has long been able to create the illusion of wooden surfaces with both virtuosity and efficiency, his consistent will to visually recreate them is astonishing. It does not remain with the one illusion. Both, the color surfaces and the precise horizontals and verticals of his paintings seem industrially produced. One searches in vain for an individual gesture in his new series “friends & others”; on the contrary, smoothness and perfection characterize Grommek’s artistic practice. And he reinforces this impression of the use of prefabricated foils and adhesive strips through the plastic qualities of his painting: even the transparent strips that imitate adhesive tape and appear to fix the pictorial elements arranged on the chipboard seem to be glued on. The fact that there are always visitors in his exhibitions who want to pull off a piece of it underscores the illusionary qualities of these contemporary trompe l’œils.
They short-circuit the banal, the supposedly concise use of everyday materials, with art history and create irritating moments. Despite the clarity of their compositions, the paintings send contradictory signals. It is obvious that Joachim Grommek is at the same time declining the painterly language of the avant-garde. The Constructivism of Kasimir Malewitsch appears in the compositions, as well as the strict grid and geometries filled with primary colors of Piet Mondrian or the more recent Minimal Art. Questions of Appropriation Art arise, from the appropriation of foreign works to complete adaptation. Finally, the artistic practice of the ready-made is recalled: Grommek also favors the objet trouvé, but at the same time distinguishes himself from Marcel Duchamp by reconstructing the situation with the means of painting.
In his current exhibition, the artist dedicates two “blueprints” to Mondrian, which copy the neoplasticist’s works using a method that has been overtaken by time – painted, of course. He also adopts the simple, slightly washed-out quality of this method, placing his work once again in the vacuum between the museum model and a handcrafted process. Finally, Grommek takes a similar approach in the series of works entitled “color copies“. Here he draws on his own older works, remixing and doubling them. According to the technique, plane after-images are created, in which individual color fields are varied in the process of creation. Grommek achieves a more intense colorfulness that characterizes almost all of his new work.
untitled (cymk 1), 2023, enamel, acrylic, oil, primer, chipboard | 50 x 38 cm | 19.7 x 15.0 inches
With such calculated errors, the work once again emphasizes the difference between model and copy, original and fake, reality and allegation. These are the modernist questions about the meaning of pictorial space and thus of art in the 21st century. The end of painting may be postulated again and again – a look at Joachim Grommek’s conceptual paintings makes it clear that these questions remain relevant.
He does not give any answers either. The principle of his art is to work out the contradictions. Sensitive, highly reflexive, with ironic understatement and a faible for aesthetics. In an interview with the artist Damien Hirst, he said that he was more interested in the “idea of wood” than in the concrete material. He found the effort Grommek puts into his painting rather complicated. A copy, he said, is much easier to make. “I take the mundane and make it interesting,” Grommek replied. But of course, he creates much more in his work.
– Christiane Meixner
Joachim Grommek *1957 born in Wolfsburg, Germany, lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Opening: Friday, 10 November 2023, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition dates: Friday, 10 November 2023 – Saturday, 20 January 2024To the gallery
Image caption: #257 (copy/remix von #152, 2011), 2023, enamel, acrylic, oil, primer, chipboard | 50 x 50 cm | 19.7 x 19.7 inches
Exhibition Joachim Grommek – Taubert Contemporary | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin