Karl Goerlich

German, born 1981

Karl Goerlich

German, born 1981

Karl Goerlich’s layered drawings contain palimpsests of their own creation, retaining evidence of their facture and the artist’s hand. “No attempt is made to keep the image as clean as possible, but to document each stage of the processing as possible,” Goerlich explains. His oil pastel drawings on paper combine swaths of gestural marks, color fields, careful naturalistic imagery, and dense patterning, often with one element interrupting others. Triumph (2010) prominently features a soldier from a famous Soviet war memorial located in the former East Berlin; he towers over a frieze of interlocking diamonds, with wreaths extending backwards into the sunset. Two girls kissing in their underwear are seen alongside the soldier, evoking the kind of sexual imagery that appears in contemporary advertising. These collisions of naturalism, symbolic imagery, history, and abstraction create dynamic formal and conceptual networks for the viewer to dissect and mine.

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