until 09.06. | #1981ARTatBerlin | Daniel Marzona shows from 27th April 2018 the exhibition “Schablone und Fragment” by the artist Magnus Plessen.
Daniel Marzona is pleased to announce the exhibition “Stencil and Fragment” with new works by Magnus Plessen. The exhibition shows pieces from his series “1914”, on which Plessen worked for the last four years and that is devoted to fundamental questions of the happiness and transience of human existence. The works thereby relate trenchantly to the history of the war invalids of World War I.
The starting point for Magnus Plessen’s “1914” series is the book “War Against War” (1924) by the German pacifist Ernst Friedrichs – a trailblazing publication that assembled photographic material on maimed soldiers and for the first time after World War I clearly showed the devastating consequences of automated war waging. Plessen’s works show the human individual so radically broken and torn from his context that the result is an often disorienting composition that contradicts traditional forms of representation. Turning the canvases several times during the work process produces multiple perspectives. On the surface of the canvas, what is depicted oscillates between two- and three-dimensionality; and in Plessen’s painterly approach, the dissolution of the figure-ground relationship lets the familiar illusionistic pictorial spatiality melt away, so that the viewer is as if cast into an almost dreamlike, obscured dimension of perception.
In his new works, Plessen contrasts recurring, stenciled pictorial elements with areas that are only sparsely elaborated and initially seem unfinished. His paintings thus unite seemingly free-floating body fragments, like heads, arms, legs, and hands, with everyday objects that merge in disconcerting depictions of fragmented corporeality in contrasting tones of, for example, deep black, gray, beige, and fleshy pink. Where the early pictures from the “1914” series sought to undermine traditional forms of representation, the new works intensify this approach by dissolving the figure-ground relationship. The canvas substrate and the forms appearing on it fuse radically together – doubled faces, limbs, and everyday objects find no assigned and spatially defined spot of their own on the picture surfaces, but appear as if they were set in the picture surface like inlays. The painting “Untitled (47)” takes the idea of the coinciding figure and ground to the extreme. A half-elaborated torso that with strange awkwardness holds a skull melts into the hint of a background that, in turn, is arranged on the same level as the otherwise unprocessed canvas. An over-dimensioned hat-like structure denies the viewer any glimpse of the figure’s head. Although nothing here seems in its proper place, perspectives seem broken, and the pictorial space is forced onto the surface, the depiction takes on an almost perverse intensity and urgency that takes up the thread of certain forms of pictures from Surrealism. Overall, Plessen’s new works evoke a both actual and metaphorical flatness, seeming like dressmaking patterns whose wholes were cobbled together from disparate parts and that suggest an almost theatrical, simultaneous event with widely divergent aspects on the picture surface. That the works nonetheless succeed in lending an enormous presence to the fragmentary, broken corporeality and in transposing them into an emotionally and intellectually touching space of resonance testifies to the real quality of Magnus Plessen’s new pictorial experiments.
Vernissage: Friday 27th April 2018, 06:00 – 09:00 p.m.
Ausstellungsdaten: Friday 27th April to Saturday, 9th June 2018Zu Daniel Marzona
Image caption: Magnus Plessen, Untitled (45), 2018, 138 x 116,5 cm, Oil and charcoal on canvas, Courtesy the artist & Daniel Marzona, Berlin.
Exhibition Magnus Plessen – Daniel Marzona | Zeitgenössische Kunst | Contemporary Art | Kunst in Berlin | ART at Berlin