We are very pleased to welcome Clemens Krauss as a new artist of our program and to show new works by him for the first time at our gallery. The exhibition is entitled "Human Noise" and will be presented on two floors. It runs from 13 September to 8 October 2016.
In mostly light-monochrome, partly architectural-looking backgrounds, Clemens Krauss creates images which are not only representing bodies but actually are bodies: in rough, impasto-like streaks, thickly applied oil paint accentuate the canvas and create sculptural reliefs of human figures, which continuing three-dimensionally into the space.
On a closer look, the paintings reach a level of abstraction that refers to the artistic techniques of classical modernism: the mimetic becomes abstract. The characters, mostly male, are arranged on the canvas in performative and random constellations which we see from above. The figures stay faceless but develop an uncanny spatial presence at the same time by the massive-pasty sculptural application of paint and also by the intense smell of oil paint which is ever-present while looking at the paintings. For Krauss, the material and its usage is a dichotomy of paint and painting. Based on chronographic concepts of the Ancient Greek culture, in which "Chronos" (Time) and "Kairos" (the right time) are depending on and complementing each other, painting and color are also interlocked by the visual stimulation of the retina, set up by the color, and by the material and the structural organic quality of the painted body. The paintings become a "substantive correspondence of the human body".
Clemens Krauss reflects the positions and the objectives of the human body, both in terms of the individual location in space as well as in social, political and cultural contexts. He relies not only on the illustrative-investigative, narrative medium of painting, but implies additional spheres of knowledge about human beings. He uses his education as a doctor and psychoanalyst, which he completed alongside his art studies, to examine the complex effects of social and political contexts on the collective and individual body. He determines the position of the individual in a dramatically changing society, the ways of social interaction between isolated and politically effected bodies, especially the importance and relevance of gestures - both literally and metaphorically. He repeatedly explores the constitution of the human identity – “especially if you subtract it from its shell”.
The certain spacial perspective the artists uses allows us to observe the figures from an elevated point of view. It refers to modern monitoring techniques as well as to social hierarchies, repressive societies and their effects on an “universal body”. But even though the viewer is put in the position of the observer, he is not able to identify the figures as they always look downwards. Press footage of protesters ad rebels are mainly used as reference. On the white canvas, their actions and movements are segregated from their contexts and thereby remain enigmatic to the viewer.
In his work, Krauss incorporates the space and its context as well as the triangular function of the viewer and formulates an attempt to verbalize the question of the role of the individual in the political, cultural and social context. This is also emphasized by his approach to read the human gesture as a kind of an enigmatic model code of universal phenomena. The figures on his paintings become lonely actors of a social structure that at the same time consist of their individual biographies and actions.
Although he is only 34 years old, Clemens Krauss can already look back on an impressive number of institutional solo and group exhibitions around the world, including China, Japan, Brazil, the UK and the USA. In Germany, his paintings, videos and installations had been recently exhibited in solo shows at MARTa Herford, Berlinische Galerie and at Haus am Waldsee, Berlin.