Artist: Andreas Slominski
Venue: Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
Date: January 24 – February 26, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
We are pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of the artist Andreas Slominski, living in Berlin, Slominski, born 1959 in Meppen, studied arts at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg, from 1983 to 1986. After a professorship in Karlsruhe, he became the successor of Franz Erhardt Walther at the Hamburg University in 2004. After important solo exhibitions in the ‘Deutsche Guggenheim’, Berlin (1999), the ‘Fondazione Prada’ in Milan (2003), and the ‘Serpentine Gallery’ in London (2005), Slominski had his so far most comprehensive exhibition in the museum of modern art (Museum für Moderne Kunst MMK) in Frankfurt in 2006/2007, where works of the last 20 years were shown.
Since the mid 1980s, Slominski has pursued his aesthetic explorations of everyday perceptions, often of the most casual type. “Something insidious, but also impish often lies in the inconspicuousness of the selected objects and materialities. There is always a reversal of the function, the context, and the contents. […] The casual becomes a strategy. The works often have a double bottom, and as a viewer, you sometimes fall into an ambush.” (Mario Kramer) In Salzburg, Slominski will present for the first time the completely new work block of the garage doors: originals, commercial doors, which are fixed at the wall with their front sides, hence presenting their backsides to the visitors, thus making them feel like being inside a garage. With Slominski, the door backsides become image carriers of objects applied to them in an assemblage-type manner – like signs, flexible tubes, car accessories, etc. -, which in their disparity lead in a dadaistic way to new meaning contexts. At the same time, Slominski nevertheless wants to make a garage milieu be felt with these works – in the sense of a “panel painting that transmits the specific atmosphere of a site” (Slominski). In history, garages often became the sites of legendary events: they were the basic units of gigantic firms – like Apple – and also of the success stories of many famous bands. The garage as a mystic site of retreating, hatching and testing things out is paid a tribute in these works. Two further focal points of the exhibition will be a series of polystyrene pictures and several – sometimes space-filling – trap sculptures, probably Slominski’s best-known form of expression. Stylized, naturalistic patterns and geometrical structures are scratched on large-format, ice-floe-type pieces of snow-white polystyrene. To these image carriers, often sprayed with flashy colours, which, on the one hand, seem to profane the genre of the classical marble relief, and, on the other hand, remind of a metropolitan graffiti, cut out toy-like objects are applied, which in their naïveté appear as if taken from a children’s book. The illustrative character of these works presented in a perspex box like in a herbarium and deriding the reality claim of the Nouveau Réalisme makes the personal hand of the artist almost disappear. The works appear like the product of some mysterious as well as spontaneous chemical transformation.
For a long time already, Slominski has pursued the principle of the trap with encyclopaedic and almost scientific precision. In the course of time, for Slominski the trap has become an overarching concept, an artistic strategy, a solution in his search for his own artistic form of expression. “Slominski’s traps are in fact sculptures that pretend to be traps, so that they may be used as ready-mades, thus in turn functioning as sculptures. They are works of art pretending to be common objects, only to finally become art again. To use a Rembrandt as an ironing-board.” (Massimiliano Gioni). The aesthetic attractiveness of Slominski’s trap sculptures lies in their purposefulness, their functionality, but also their absurdity in the exhibition context. “Not accidentally, his traps are beautiful. They serve just as much for catching as for eye-catching.” (Collier Schorr)