For this year’s Berlin Art Week Galerie Thomas Schulte presents Jonas Weichsel’s first solo show. The Frankfurt-based artist has created an installation especially for the gallery space that reacts to complex questions on the perception and impact of painting. Using a unique systematic painting technique that combines digital techniques and hand-painted elements with one another, the artist explores the possibilities and limits of painting between immateriality and concrete material presence, simplification and complexity.
The installation consists of various elements that are subject to a more or less controllable process of transformation during the course of the exhibition: a picture from Weichsel’s continuing series of “TC-Bilder”(Two Color Paintings) is mounted especially for the window of the gallery space and is illuminated around the edges by a spotlight.
The glass painting serves literally as a support for the “TC painting”, which is changed at irregular intervals. At the same time, it fulfils the function of a semi-transparent membrane between the gallery’s inside and outside that dissolves the clarity of the spatial installation. The narrowly arranged, vertical lines of color on the glass were applied with the help of a falling spraying device created especially for this purpose. The spray nozzle, like an ink jet printer, moves horizontally and vertically across the surface. The spread of the lines on the glass, however, depends on various factors: the make up of the paint, outdoor and indoor temperatures, the distance of the nozzle from the glass, and the speed and air pressure of the apparatus. Despite meticulous planning and precision in programming, the occasionally wafting und blurry-edged lines recall the lines produced in scanning processes that have gone awry or traces of color left on the paper by a faulty printer.
Weichsel’s combination of mechanically produced glass painting with the “TC paintings” created by the artist result in questions about authorship, artistic autonomy, and perfection at the intersection between human being and machine. Ultimately the technique and aesthetic of the glass painting corresponds with the feel and the process of creating behind his “TC paintings”, for which Weichsel pulls a special overly-wide brush from top to bottom across the picture’s surface in a minute and patient process, applying several layers of paint. In both cases, his main interest is in a decelerated form of visual creation as a conscious expression of an object-bound understanding of painting that, in contrast to the purely digital image, never exists independent of space and time. This becomes clear when, depending on the mood of the moment and the way the daylight shines on the window, a constantly changing shadow of color falls on the exhibition space that places the individual visual elements in relation to one another in various ways.
Jonas Weichsel, born 1982 in Darmstadt, Germany, first studied in Mainz and Düsseldorf before completing his Meisterschüler at Städelschule Frankfurt. In 2016, he was awarded a residency at the Villa Romana in Florence, Italy. In 2012, he won the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium after having been awarded the Dies Academicus—the Prize of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz—alongside a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include the Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop (2018), Museum Wiesbaden (2016), and Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt a.M. (2013). Important group exhibitions include the MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt a. M. (2018; 2017; 2011), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2017), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2016), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2016), Villa Romana, Florence, Italy (2016), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2015), Kunsthalle Wiesbaden (2015), Kunsthalle Mainz (2015; 2010), Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin (2015), Salondergegenwart, Hamburg (2013), Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden (2012), Heidelberger Kunstverein (2011), Wilhelm Hack Museum (2010), and Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden (2010). Jonas Weichsel lives and works in Frankfurt a.M.