In November 2017, artist Christoph Niemann flew from Berlin to Los Angeles at the invitation of his Zurich publisher, Philipp Keel, under the auspices of meeting David Hockney. Anybody who knows the first thing about Christoph Niemann (from his many New Yorker covers, museum exhibitions, children’s books, “Abstract Sunday” his New York Times blog and Instagram account, TED Talk, apps or any of the many other ways he manifests as a contemporary visual voice) knows that under his scrutiny, even the most mundane task can turn into something altogether peculiar, altogether special, as if to say everything can be enlightening.
His epic road trip simply within the city of Los Angeles itself while waiting for the rarified opportunity of spending time with a contemporary giant like Hockney led to 45 works on paper and six silkscreen editions, and a meditation on the meaning of “Hopes and Dreams,” all captured in the accompanying publication of the same name.
Pondering “big dreams and long odds for happy endings,” Niemann brings his sharp focus not on the glitz, but the quotidian inherent in every phase of life. And his own journey highlights how travel physically not only transports one from home but allows one to mentally enter a parallel universe, imagine a path not taken.
Niemann is a master of capturing the essence of a place within his distinctive style, and he nails L.A. despite only the slightest glimpse of its landmarks. In ink and watercolor, Niemann seems able to sketch a crowded landscape while waiting for a stoplight to change in the back of an Uber, while other works, thoughtful and serene, carry all that spontaneity to the quiet terrace of a hotel suite, hiking the hills or combing the beach.
The exhibition includes the original works on paper, silkscreens, and marks the launch of his new publication, copies of which are priced at $100 and include a special edition print.
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