How Swiss Duo Linus Bill and Adrien Horni Are Reversing the Analog-to-Digital Process
Swiss artists Linus Bill and Adrien Horni share a studio and work in tandem to produce collaborative works in a variety of media. United by a bold visual language based on color relationships, abstract forms, and fluid compositions, their practice shows a consistent concern with versatility and the communication and realization of ideas.
The artists, who each have individual practices as well, undertake a multi-step process that rejects the intuitive build-up of individual art pieces for a considered and planned body of work that functions holistically. For the works in “Linus Bill + Adrien Horni” at Nathalie Karg in New York, which runs concurrently with an ongoing survey of the artists’ publications at Printed Matter, Bill and Horni began by developing small-scale collages through digital and manual techniques. Selections of these were combined into a catalogue, and from this grouping they created physical, painted works, which are on display in the gallery space.
The resulting compositions are large-scale and rooted in printmaking, collage, and traditional painting techniques—analog processes that mirror those of the original combines. Employing a wide range of media including inkjet paper, fabric, UV printing inks, and paint, the works feature visible Ben-day dots, as in NY P. 6 BR, or shadows as in NY P. 5 BL (both 2014); these oversized abstractions may remind viewers of a view through a microscope. The works’ presence is only enhanced by the dialogue created between the original collage, its presentation as part of the catalogue, and the final large-scale painting.
Bill and Horni’s detail-oriented operation runs against the intuitive nature of much of today’s process-based art and parallels the emphasis on organization and standardized production of designers and architects. The works themselves echo an undercurrent of primitivist-influenced, color-based art by artist-designers including Jordy van den Nieuwendijk and Atelier Bingo, fellow Europeans who work in the mode of hard-edged abstraction and produce compositions that mimic collage techniques, simultaneously using digital technology as a resource and returning to the physicality of material.
“Linus Bill + Adrien Horni” is on view at Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, Dec. 11, 2014–Jan. 24, 2015.