Fock's vibrant brushstrokes and linear hatchings can be associated with the tradition of informal and gestural art of the postwar era. In every new composition Per Kirkebys protégé blends motifs sampled from popular culture, politics and history within the context of classical landscape, whereas he is less fascinated by the latter as a subject by itself. Nervous, exploding color structures are only seemingly a casual gesture, but instead materialise as a conceptual strategy that transcends into the narrative Fock's focus is neither materiality nor objectivity, but rather the extrapolation of the spiritual in painting. As art critic Sebastian Preuss states: ”Fock actually managed to lead the stale Arte informale into a super cool, through and through present form.”
In addition to three new drawings and a large format painting, Crone Vienna shows 14 over-paintings, after which the exhibition was named. They are the result of a sojourn in Hollywood, Los Angeles, at fashion designer Bernhard Wilhelms’, with whom Carsten Fock entertains a longstanding artistic cooperation. For this over-painting series Fock used sheets that he tore from vintage Life magazines. Originally published in the era of the Cold War, these issues include pages with product presentations, that correspond with Fock's interest in the temptations of the western world of consumption. Covered with touch-up pencil and oil pen, the sheets present themselves as colourful, independent application at first. Only at second glance there are indistinct subtleties to be found, through which the artist responds to the original designs and compositions.
Fock paints drawings and draws paintings. The nature and the means of his image and color compositions lend his process-oriented painting something unique. Culture and style influencing symbols and silhouettes, as well as quotational typography, are an indication of Fock’s confrontation with the tradition of formalism. While picking up the thread of western art history, his work displays an underlying distrust against any pathos and rejects the primacy of the narrative or contemporaneity. A delicately coloured gesture meets punky aggression to provoke intensive aesthetic experiences.
"Carsten Fock lets the signs crash into one another and looks at the accident site of ideology: The real despair in pop culture interests him just as much as the false promises in politics, he is skeptic by means of biography - grew up in the former contortion state GDR, fled, never arrived because he really wanted so much farther than into this new Germany, which felt new for a little while, only to slowly reveal how narrow and conventional, how complacent and oblivious it really was.“ (Georg Diez on Carsten Fock, 2013)
Carsten Fock, who was born in Thuringia (Weida) in 1968, lives and works in Berlin and Munich. After fleeing into the BRD he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel, then at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. There he continued his studies with Georg Herold, and later as protégé of Per Kirkeby. His work has been in solo and group exhibitions at Kunstverein Bregenz, in the Kunsthalle zu Kiel, in the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, in Kunsthalle Andratx and Museum Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg. Currently works by Carsten Fock are on display at the Neue Museum Nürnberg and the Salzburger Kunstverein. His installation "Cosmos of Fear" will be shown in the MMK Collection Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt in June.