From March 3 to May 20, 2016 Galerie Andrea Caratsch is pleased to present a selection of recent soap bubble paintings by the Czech-born artist Dokoupil.
Jiri Georg Dokoupil has forged a wildly successful career out of being unclassifiable, constantly switching up his technique and creating processes that run counter to the whims of art-market fashion, Dokoupil has risen to international fame since the early ‘80s largely though his embrace of a truly avant-garde sensibility.
As a young artist in the late ‘70s, Dokoupil founded a group called ‘Mülheimer Freiheit’ largely in opposition to the minimalist and conceptual artists of the time; in the intervening years he came to be known as a uniquely post-modern painter. He has painted with mother’s milk placed in the oven until caramelized, created marks using a whip, and run pigment-soaked tires over canvases. In a moment of reflection on the era of Mülheimer Freiheit, Dokoupil remarked that what they were doing was ‘analogous to punk’ in its rejection of formal technique and fashionable aesthetics. Today he is well regarded for just that sort of rebellious –at times counter-intuitive work.
In the last two decades Dokoupil has perfected a certain kind of inventive, analytical practice utilizing chemical processes to create images that are at once organic and tightly controlled. For the well-known soap bubble series, the painter has mixed his soap-lye with metallic pigments and diamond dust, allowing the bubbles to burst on the canvas and leave wispy, luminous afterimages in carefully selected jewel tones. Despite their clear-cut origins, the resulting works recall smoke and sea creatures, neon lights and precious metals.
Born in 1954 in Krnov (in former Czechoslovakia), Dokoupil and his family emigrated via Austria to Germany in 1968. He studied Art in Cologne, Frankfurt, and at the Cooper Union in New York. Dokoupil now resides and works in Berlin, Madrid, Prague and Rio de Janeiro. His conceptual oeuvre includes a multiplicity of diverse picture series incorporating newly devised techniques and iconographies.