Many past things lie in mysterious darkness. Entitled drama & romanticism the gallery presents another set of innovative linocuts by Class Gutsche. Gutsche's themes in his first solo exhibition at Wagner + Partner are places and landscapes of idyllic appeal. The idyllic appearance, however, is in discord with the dark shadings, which the artist works into the linoleum. Gutsche produces a sublime structure of light and shade, which evokes an atmosphere of mystery, but also of menace. In addition, the title of the motif usually indicates the actual place and its history.
Claas Gutsche (*1982), who studied at the Hochschule für Kunst und Design in Halle and at the Royal Collage of Art in London, belongs to a new generation of artists, who consciously re-focus on the rich tradition of linocut technique and aim to tap into its potential for contemporary imagery.
Gutsche recapitulates in his works the functionality of pictures in the media and an accompanying collective cultural memory. Romantic scenes are surprisingly transformed in his often large scale linocuts and lead into sometimes dramatic chapters of German history. An ambivalence appears, questioning our political and historic consciousness.
The artist takes a further step in his linocut installations. For the large spaces of the gallery Claas Gutsche has devised oversized linocut curtains of impenetrable black ink. Whatever is hidden behind them becomes an imaginary exhibition space. This connects directly to Gutsche's series of linocut wallpaper installations, whose fence and wall motifs asked an unmitigated question about the secrets beyond the boundary.
As part of a scholarship in 2012 Claas Gutsche will be presented in a solo exhibition in the BAT CampusGalerie in Bayreuth, for which a catalogue is forthcoming.