MLF l Marie-Laure Fleisch is pleased to announce the group show Traces Ecrites. Reuniting nine artists with varied backgrounds and practices, the exhibition valorizes the potential of an often-overlooked material – paper. Arguably the most accessible artistic support, from an early age we experiment with drawing on it, painting on it, and even cutting it up to create collages or forms such as chains or snowflakes. The versatility of the material also extends to printed matter and even photography. Despite the fact that paper was often condemned to a secondary role in art, used for preparatory drawings and sketches, many artists now work with paper as a primary material.
Upon entering the gallery, works by Rebecca Horn, Arnulf Rainer and Bernardí Roig explore anatomy and the historical representation of the human figure. Arnulf Rainer uses photographs with details from paintings by Fra Angelico, Simone Martini and Andrea Mategna, drawing over them and distorting the original image. Bernardí Roig’s aristocratic figures, reminding the viewer of portraiture by Spanish masters such as Velazquez and Goya, are disfigured by thick charcoal lines, blurring the vision of the represented figures or transforming them into memento mori. Rebecca Horn’s works are linked to the artist’s body through her own performative movements, in which the resulting abstract forms represent the physicality of her gestures.
Giuseppe Stampone works exclusively with BIC pen and graphite, reproducing images found online in a hyperrealistic manner. Using only BIC pen forces him to work slowly, as a protest to the ever-increasing rapidity that our society demands. He changes the original meaning of the image by juxtaposing words with the original image or by inserting new imagery into classical masterpieces, forcing the viewer to see the image as a representation of the human condition. These changes evoke a discussion on the original vs. mass produced object, as well as on the state of our contemporary society. Works employing popular music culture are reassembled for this exhibition, showing both representations of famous album covers and classical painting which uses music to carry a narrative.
Downstairs, works by Christine Ödlund and Nikolaus Gansterer approach art through a scientific investigation, using paper as a support for notations and a way of making visible that which is invisible. Gansterer’s drawings are spaces in which the noted forms are intuitive and related to what is happening in his body and surroundings during the creation of the works. He gives forms to senses and thoughts in an abstract manner, creating lines which are the representation of mental processes or of physical agitations. As for Christine Ödlund, her work has two main axes of research – notation of electro-acoustic music, and the invisible communication strategies of plants. Her works can often be read as a musical composition. She paints and draws directly on paper, using plant-based pigments which range from light washes of colour to completely opaque zones which seem to absorb the light around them.
Works by Jason Gringler, Katharina Hinsberg and Santiago Reyes Villaveces are reflections on the materiality of paper. Jason Gringler uses photographs of his studio to create collages which abstract his own works hanging on the walls or posed on the floor. The images are obscured with paint, other photographs, and silver foil, upending traditional exhibition photography. Katharina Hinsberg uses paper not as a support but as the main subject of her works, cutting away areas of the sheet to create abstract grids or to accentuate intuitive abstract forms. Encased in white frames and almost blending into their backgrounds, the works necessitate a close interaction with the spectator, who enters into the intimate sphere of the work and discovers the artist’s gestures. The moon rocks by Santiago Reyes Villaveces are sculptural works using only graphite and paper. The force exerted upon these drawings creates a relief in which the image appears through plays of light and shadow.