Andy Denzler, # 1572 (Insomnia I), 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 250 x 190 cm
Insomnia. Recent Paintings
GALERIA FILOMENA SOARES
March 8 to April 14, 2007
Inauguration: March 8 at 9:30 p.m.
Insomnia. Recent Paintings is Andy Denzler's first exhibition in Portugal. After spending a period of time researching the various potentials of abstraction (here we are referring to the core of several large-scale monochrome panels developed between 1994 and 2004), Denzler has devoted his time to figuration. This turn-about arises from the artist's interest in the image, how it is produced, then circulates and is produced again in the context of today's mass media and the entertainment industry. The first series of figurative paintings dates from 2005 and is entitled American Paintings. The series is a group of portraits highly charged with a political statement in which Denzler intersperses the conventions of art history and popular culture using techniques based on multi-faceted processes of representation.
Though executed in a different direction, it is the same technique that we find in Andy Denzler's more recent work, Blur Motion Portraits that constitutes the exhibition currently on display. Under the title of Insomnia, Denzler puts together a group of his newest paintings, which are based on pre-existing photographic images from the mass media and the film industry. The artist gathers and selects then decontextualizes the images, thus stripping them of potential scenarios that would serve to identify and place them. They are then projected and drawn in pencil onto the canvas and painted in acrylic or oil, in line with their initial form. All of these chromatic compositions display a predominance of grey and sepia, a feature that is recurrent in Denzler's work and one that here harks back to the uses and history of photography. Yet the blur effect and sense of movement that Andy Denzler adds toward the end of each work serve to destabilize the referent, thus making it difficult to recognize the figure. In some cases these effects are softer, as in 1572. Insomnia I or in 1581.Contemplation; in others they are more radical, as in 1586. Line Up in which the figure is nearly obliterated. The faces and bodies of the characters are always portrayed as blurred and disfigured and create in the observer a constant state of watchfulness, disquiet and mutability. With this group of paintings we are witnessing work that, while initially based on appropriation, has gone on to gain a new signification.
The order of the discourse in all of the portraits seems to reject the idea of the subject as a presence. Instead it fosters a Derridean interpretation of the subject and of identity which determines that both are constructed and then reconstructed on a relational basis and defined by a lack, in a movement that is stopless.
Andy Denzler was born in 1965 in Zurich, where he currently lives and works. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich in 1981 and at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999. He completed his Master's Degree in Fine Arts at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London in 2006. He has exhibited widely: Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Los Angeles and Kashya Hildebrand Gallery in New York (2005) and Zurich (2006); the Galerie Werner Bommer, Zurich (2003) and Galerie Carzaniga + Ueker, Basel (2001). His work is represented in several of collections such as: the Museum Würth, Schwäbisch Hall, Burger Collection and the Klinik Hirlsanden, ORL Zentrum, Zurich.
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