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Christoph Kern cubic worlds

Fillip Rosbach Galerie

1. Mai bis 28. Mai 2008


Christoph Kern cubic worlds

Fillip Rosbach Galerie

1. Mai bis 28. Mai 2008


Committed to spatial illusion. Nicola Irmer

Christoph Kern uses old master knowledge of the material of painting with almost scientific obsessiveness to‚ breed cubes’. In his investigations he follows various tracks: cubes imploding in space, gyrating in science – fiction – like structures that evoke connotations like Star Wars or Kubrick’s 2001. Or monolithic cubes that seem to all but eliminate pictorial space in their attempt to push towards and flow over the edges. And, most recently, a focus on futuristic landscapes that appear to have been generated by the cubes themselves, yet in which the cubes tend more towards dissolution. Kern’s paintings are an accumulated history of their own making. They are built up of many layers, beginning with the initial scenario under investigation, setting the scene. With each progressive layer, the cubes’ evolutions, their growth, colour, position and movement in space as well as their relationship towards each other is traced, the positions at which they arrive are tested and pushed towards a point at which the image can rest. This stage is documented before the painting process continues. Pentimenti and animated films show the different stages of one painting’s transformation and are a way for the viewer to share in its evolution. In ‘Pica’ (p.12) cubes crowd their way into the painting and cluster around a bird’s – eye view of a plane in the distance that has asserted itself against an all but obliterated progenitor of the remaining hovering cubes. Yet traces of this ‘ancestor’ remain, making for another ambiguous play with the illusionistic potential of the painting: The erased cube’s top shows the sky’s reflection that seems to come from and announce an entirely different climate-zone. The crisp blue in this ambiguous field is so unlike the polluted atmosphere glimpsed in the background to the far right that one begins to understand

that Kern not only confounds our expectations of coherence of space but also those of time. The seductiveness of that bit of sky oscillates between lending itself to be perceived as reflection or as ‘actual’ sky, a further opening-out, another window onto a different world. As though it were tempting us –like the Russian dolls principle -to yet another place. As in a picture puzzle this play with positive and negative space makes for an ambiguity that is inherently connected to Kern’s attempt to negotiate between the opposing forces of Baroque space and the Modernist representative of the rational-the cube. This is also the dialectical game played by the ‘windows’ (e.g. in ‘Binh’and’WYB’, p.7 and 14), the reflective and transparent surfaces (‘BurCr’, ‘Beog’, p.14 and 15), mirrorings and interpenetrations of cubes and space. They draw our attention to painting’s main conflict: the tension between its essence (in the Greenbergian sense) of being a two-dimensional flat object and its potential into three dimensions. In his work, Christoph Kern confidently asserts the idea of the painting as a window to the world, the notion modernism worked hard to dispense with. When the cubes infiltrate the baroque stage–like landscapes, as representatives of the abstract and rational, the controversy over space is sustained and mediated by Kern during the painting process, thereby pitting the modernist tenet against a knowledge of the long history of painting that has gone before. For him the main challenge is not to ‘people space with cubes, but to push the painting towards a point when the cubes will have created their own environment’ and these two divergent ideas that were deemed to be incompatible will have undergone a transformation that has made for a world that as a painting is a believable, convincing entity.


Spinalis, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

Jos, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


2005, 50 x 40 cm (19.7x15.7 in), charcoal on paper

Krui, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


NeXt, 2007, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

Kara, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


constr. set I+II, 2007, each 50 x 40 cm (19.7x15.7 in), watercolor on paper

WYB, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


Installation View, Gallery filipp Rosbach


Kafue, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder, egg tempera on muslin

Kara, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


Oaxa, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

Sialko, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder, egg tempera on muslin


Gadam, 2005, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

construction drawing, pencil, paper, 2006


CoT, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

BabuL, 2007, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder/eggtempera on muslin


Pica, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

Installation View, Gallery filipp Rosbach


BinH, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

Luv, 2007, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder/egg tempera on muslin


BurCr, 2006, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin

BeoG, 2007, 150 x 180 cm (4.92 x 5.90 ft), acrylic binder on muslin


Biography

1960 Born in Munich. 1979-81 Studies in Philosophy and History, LMU, Munich. 1981-88 Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. BFA, MFA. 1994-96 Instructor for Design at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Potsdam 1997 Postgraduate scholarship, State of Bavaria, Department of Science and Culture, Munich: -Lecturer/Visiting artist at SMFA, Boston, MA. -Visiting artist and presentation at the M.I.T. Media Lab and CAVS directed by Prof. Steve Benton. -Visiting Artist and presentation at Hunter College, NYC. -Presentation of „The Imagery Kit“ at the 7th Annnual International Conference of The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1999/08 Visiting Professor/Instructor at the University GH Paderborn, (Focus: Interface analogue/digital media) since 1989 in Berlin

Solo Exhibitions (Selection) 2008 Cubic Worlds, Fillipp Rosbach Gallery, Berlin 2008 The Diversity of the Painted Cube, Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery, Athens; Gallery Heufelder, Munich 2007/02 Ulysses Gallery, Vienna; John Sailer and Gabriele Wimmer

2004 2003 2001 2000 1998 1997 1996 1996 1989 1990

The Evolution of the Painted Cube, KERN Prod. (DVD) U.I.G. Gallery, Berlin Würfelspiel, Stühler Gallery Artenvielfalt, GBW, Munich (Catalogue) The Uncertainty of the Cube, focus mediport, Berlin Storage, The Funeral Home, Boston, MA Bildsystem Bildbausatz, Neue Galerie Dachau (DVD+Catalogue) HART&weich, Städtische Galerie Neuburg (with W. Ellenrieder) (Catalogue) Mit mir verglichen bin ich normal Kunstverein DAH (Catalogue) Stiegen, Galerie am Maxwehr, Landshut, (Catalogue)

Group Exhibitions (Selection) 2008 Obsession, Neue Galerie, Landshut 2008/05 The DVD-Project, München, Breda, Vlissingen, Madrid,www.dvdproject.org 2005 In Deep, Transcending Genre barriers – Project 1999 Bildwuchs, Kunstverein Ulm 1997 The Staff Shaft Show, SMFA, Boston, MA 1995 Toys, Edition, Gallery Hohenthal und Bergen Köln, Tine Nehler art Consulting

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Filipp Rosbach Galerie GbR Josef Filipp, künstlerische Leitung Geschäftsführer: Michaela Rosbach, Jörg Rosbach Spinnereistraße 7, Halle 20. D, PF 508 D-04179 Leipzig Telefon: +49 (0)341. 241 94 62 E-Mail: info@filipprosbach.com

CUBIC WORLDS  

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