Robin Mason

Constellation : Konstellation, 2.02 – 2.03.2018

 

_MG_9050Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view. Image courtesy of Johannes Wende.

 

_MG_9044Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view. Image courtesy of Johannes Wende.

 

4Robin Mason, Over the Border, 2017, velvet robe, acrylic on wood, 38 x 300 cm

 

9Robin Mason, Collection, 2018, acrylic on paper, approx. 650 x 320 cm

 

10Robin Mason, Collection, 2018, acrylic on paper, approx. 650 x 320 cm

 

3 (2)Robin Mason, Threshold, 2017, acrylic on paper, 175 x 240 cm (detail)

 

13Robin Mason, Threshold, 2017, acrylic on paper, 175 x 240 cm

 

14Robin Mason, Black Forest Lake, 2017, acrylic on paper, four wineglasses, 65 x 42 x 15 cm

 

15Robin Mason, After Elsenheimer, 2018, acrylic on wood, acrylic on paper mirror, 40 x 30 cm and Constellation, 2017, acrylic on wood, 30 cm in diameter

 

17Robin Mason, After Elsenheimer, 2018, acrylic on wood, acrylic on paper mirror, 40 x 30 cm and Constellation, 2017, acrylic on wood, 30 cm in diameter

 

19Robin Mason, Constellation, 2017, acrylic on wood, 30 cm in diameter

Robin Mason

Constellation : Konstellation, 2.02 – 2.03.2018

 

5Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view

 

6Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view

 

_MG_9017Robin Mason, Collection, acrylic on paper, approx. 650 x 320 cm. Photo courtesy of Johannes Wende.

 

_MG_9034Robin Mason, Threshold, 2017, acrylic on paper, 175 x 240 cm and Black Forest Lake, 2017, acrylic on paper, four wineglasses, 65 x 42 x 15 cm. Photo courtesy of Johannes Wende.

 

4 (2)Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view

 

3 (1)Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view

 

2 (1)Robin Mason, Constellation : Konstellation, 2018, installation view

 

As so often with Robin Mason’s work, what first strikes the unaware visitor is its sheer exuberance. The busy installation of works on paper, drawings, paintings and sculpture that is made specifically for GiG Munich, is no different. We enter to a riot of colour, where vibrant oranges, acid yellows, baby pinks and sky blues all vie for our attention. Where there is no colour, a mass of lines takes over, forming waves and swirly patterns – dots and dashes cover any spare surface. Anthropomorphic forms rise up from the ground and grow through and between other forms, twisting around open books or vignettes that give us little views to somewhere else, tree covered landscapes, doorways, windows, more flowers and plants. Pierced by arrows or covered by cloth these forms have an erotic language of their own, some phallic, some clearly female in their appearance. Just when it seems we are able to find some familiar ground, the scale shifts suddenly. Large forms become small and things far away, close by. We find the night sky, reduced in its vastness, low down on the floor, its image only visible from behind and in a mirror.

The work’s exuberance is combined with so many references that it is easy to lose track. Some of these, like those to kitschy Bavarian souvenirs or to the Isenheim Alterpiece, would be familiar to a German audience, others are known to the artist only. Speaking to Mason one hears stories of earlier trips to Germany, of towns visited because of a book once read, of the disappointment of finding the Black Forest, not black but green, and of glasses, all four from a set, that belonged to his parents. The direct reference for the show is the 1609 painting Flight to Egypt by Adam Elsheimer, considered to be the first accurate depiction of the night sky in the Renaissance period.

Hovering above the exhibition is what could be seen as the eye of God and this is perhaps our entry point into the work. For God here, despite the numerous references to North European Christianity, is a Dionysian God, presiding over a world of the will to power, a world of forces and affects, and of the various powers that make up Life. That libidinal drives, both positive and negative, are at work in Mason’s practice is a fact acknowledged by other commentators, who noted that the pleasure apparent in Mason’s paintings tends to give way to feelings of anxiety and dread. I would say that in this exhibition, we enter a sphere in which each element casts influence on another, again positive and negative.   But the trick that Mason conveys so well is of affirmation. As Spinoza, Nietzsche and Deleuze have shown, to affirm brings joy and joy brings us closer to God. In this way, the “constellation” of the title stands for as much the night sky as for the crown of stars, the Corona Borealis, which Dionysus gifted Ariadne and tossed into the heavens.

Magdalena Wisniowska 2018

Constellation Saaltext1

Robin Mason

Constellation : Konstellation, 2.02.2018

 

Constellation front

 

Eröffnung: Freitag 2. Februar, 18- 21 Uhr

Ausstellungsdauer: 2. Februar – 2. März 2018

Öffnungszeiten: Dienstag – Donnerstag, 15 – 18 Uhr

Bitte nach Vereinbarung unter contact@gig-munich.com

Finissage: Freitag 2. März 2018, 19 – 21 Uhr

 


 

GiG is delighted to be the first gallery in Munich to present the work of British painter, Robin Mason.

Robin Mason (br. 1958, Porthcawl, Wales) is best known for his transcriptive work, with unyielding obsession centred on a few key art historical pieces, most notably by Böcklin and Grünewald. Over the course of his long career he continually revisited these works, spurred on by the intensity of his first encounter with them. His painting practice can be understood as a response to the conflicting impulses he discovered when meditating on their allure, a secret place where religion is bound with erotic iconographic symbols, and pleasure with anxiety and dread. In his own paintings, so exuberant in their attention to detail and graphic design, the humour and charm of the imagery is kept in check by the darkness of their references. Stylistically, his paintings owe as much to Carol Durham as to Magritte.

For his show at GiG Munich Robin Mason has produced a new body of work. In his painting installation Constellation : Konstellation, he seeks to reclaim the fear and excitement of his 1968 childhood trip across Germany. The motive for this particular journey into past experiences is the night sky with its constellation of stars, first accurately depicted in 1609 by Adam Elsheimer in his painting, Flight to Egypt.

Lou Jaworski

 “Nothing” work list

 

fullsizeoutput_1c5cLou Jaworski, Hyper Figure standing, 2017, ferrite magnet, dimensions variable

 

fullsizeoutput_1c5dLou Jaworski, Hyper Figure lying, 2017, ferrite magnet, dimensions variable

 

fullsizeoutput_1c5eLou Jaworski, Untitled, 2017, iron meteorite, brass pencil. 14 x 0,8 x 0,8 cm

 

fullsizeoutput_1c5fLou Jaworski, Untitled, 2017, iron meteorite, brass pencil. 14 x 0,8 x 0,8 cm (detail)

 

fullsizeoutput_1c60Lou Jaworski, Untitled, 2017, sewing needle, gold 7 cm

 

lou2
Lou Jaworski, Presence (silent version) 2017, vinyl 12 inch, edition of 2+1 AP

 

All images courtesy of the artist.

Lou Jaworski

“Nothing” exhibition text

 

The work Lou Jaworski shows at GiG Munich operates in a context, which could be understood in Speculative Realist terms. The “Nothing” of the exhibition title refers not so much to the sparse, almost minimal quality of the work, nor to the commonplace understanding of nihilism as the questioning of the worth of existence, but rather to the definition given by Ray Brassier. He presents nothing as a consequence of the realist conviction that there is a reality independent from us, oblivious to the values and meanings we ascribe to it. In Jaworski’s work, “nothing” is taken as a speculative opportunity, to show thinking has other interests than those circling ceaselessly around man.

For the exhibition Jaworski presents a number of small objects, all of which refer to the otherworldly – to something outside the bounds of human experience. The human hand is absent from the magnet sculpture, which has formed from its own accord. A pencil has filling made of meteorite dust, first formed together with our solar system, well before the beginning of man. These objects act as indexes for the non-relational, in that they contain elements, which we, as the thinking human subject, cannot experience. Quentin Meillassoux would describe these as “arche-fossils,” in that they contain traces, not of past life forms, but of a time prior to the emergence of life.

As such, the work welds the same power the arche-fossil has, in that it questions the kind of correlationist thinking characteristic of critical philosophy, where reality is considered never in-itself, but always in relation to us. To begin thinking reality in-itself Meillassoux proposes the principle of absolute contingency, meaning, the arbitrary and radically unpredictable of transformation of things from one moment to the next. Likewise, all the objects in the exhibition feature this radical sense of transformation. What is ever slightly so wondrous about Jaworski’s work is that one does not know where it might lead. Beyond the human, yes, but also beyond what can be expected. The gleaming structure of a display unit is disrupted by spilt water; a pencil contains traces of the early universe; gold can be found in the eye of a needle. Contingency is approaching an object and not knowing where it might take you.

Magdalena Wisniowska 2017

 

Tim Bennett

Beletage – 15th September – 27th October

 

Beletageinstalltionview1Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view. Photo: Johannes Wende

 

Beletageinstallation3Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view. Photo: Johannes Wende

 

StillStandingTim Bennett, Still Standing, 2017,185 x 55 x 55 cm, plaster, steel and lacquer. Photo: Johannes Wende

 

VielGeldTim Bennett, Untitled (Viel Geld und kleines Glied, kauf er sich doch ‘ne Glockenbachsuite), 2017, 246 x 246 x 80cm, plasterboard, plaster, wooden frame and steel. Photo: Johannes Wende

Tim Bennett

Beletage – images and text 15th September – 27th October

 

fullsizeoutput_1c51Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c52Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c40Tim Bennett, Still Standing, 2017,185 x 55 x 55 cm, plaster, steel and lacquer.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c43Tim Bennett, Untitled (Viel Geld und kleines Glied, kauf er sich doch ne’ Glockenbachsuite), 2017, 246 x 246 x 80 cm, plaster, plasterboard, wooden frame and  steel.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c49Tim Bennett, Untitled (Wir wollen euch nicht ihr huhren Kinder), 2017, 50 x 50 cm, plaster, plasterboard, wooden frame.

 

For his solo exhibition at GiG Munich, Tim Bennett (b. 1973, Rochdale) has created a new body of work, consisting of one large freestanding panel, Untitled (Viel Geld und kleines Glied, kauf’ er sich doch ne Glockenbachsuite), one small type painting, Untitled (Wir wollen euch nicht ihr huhren kinder) and one column-like structure resting on tangled steel, Standing Still. The starting point for the work was the process of gentrification, especially visible in the surrounding Glockenbach area. The plasterboard panels incorporate graffiti slogans, including one seen recently on the side of the newly built Glockenbachsuiten; Standing Still resembles a re-enforced concrete column, as found on a building site, toppled over during a rampage.

Despite its political aspects, the work is not intended to be a critique of the capitalist system of which gentrification is only a symptom. It is neither the kind of critical political art found many cultural institutions, nor a provocative gesture along the lines of urban artists such as Banksy. Instead, by acknowledging the all-subsuming nature of capitalism, Tim Bennett works from within. He takes a graffiti slogan and quite literally, by carefully remaking it in plaster, gentrifies it.

His work engages with the structure of disavowal characteristic of corporate anti-capitalism. Such is the time in which we live that most if not all anti-capitalist gestures have been incorporated within the capitalist system, alternative cultures given space in the mainstream. Graffiti slogans are a particularly ineffectual kind of protest, precisely because they offer us the space for rebelliousness – who doesn’t find these slogans a little bit funny? – while leaving us free to participate in capital exchange without guilt or shame. Their kind of protest leaves our status as consumers intact.

By incorporating corporate anti-capitalism structure of disavowal within his work, Tim Bennett’s Beletage demonstrates how we are participants in the process of gentrification we allegedly deplore. He does so however, with humour and good grace.