Carbon 12 is proud to present works by Monika Grabuschnigg (b.1987, Austria) and Philip Mueller (b.1988, Austria), who will show for the first time in the USA as well as together. The booth will present the power of formal techniques to underline the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the human condition – the sublime, a position of beauty and terror where objects, emotions and humanity can be dichotomously awe-inspiring and ominous. The inclusion of the sentient experience may have the effect of ‘undoing’ – be it through brush strokes or the reverberations of violence – but their artworks serve as an honest, if begrudgingly accurate, mirror of humankind.
Mueller will premier his latest series Der Berg. In lieu of incorporating figures depicting his complex narratives based on history, literature and day-to-day life, Mueller now focuses on figureless oil painting tableaux of mountains imbued with the sociological and imaginative concerns, latent desires and superficial societal values that are the through line of his other ongoing series such as Black Flamingo Sad Boys. Instead, the mountains become the figures, embodying the charm of human flaws via realism unperfected with swipes of colour and interventions of random painterly intuition.
Alongside Mueller’s works will be Grabuschnigg’s ongoing series Relics, featuring objects adorned with dripping, splattered paint that reference the consequences of human intention and action. Influenced by the aesthetics of war in the Afghan rug industry since the 1980s, where grenade, tank and airplane forms have taken the place of arabesque or floral patterning, Grabuschnigg’s strong, decorative objects turn demonizing, sweeping the viewer along in their seemingly innocent beauty until the realization dawns that they are just as unsettling as standing atop a perilous peak. While indicating a profound socio-political shift, the commoditization of this reality reveals how humanity undoes itself.
In addition to this presentation, we will also be showing new paintings by Bernhard Buhmann (b.1979, Austria), as he continues his exploration of the fragmentation of our personal identities and the surrender to a changing societal landscape.