John Lurie, This is What I Really Call a Message, 2009
Invitation to the opening:
Galerie Martin Mertens is pleased to present a special highlight with its next exhibition: the first solo show with works of the New York artist John Lurie in Berlin.
While the artist, born 1952 in Minneapolis, Massachusetts, is in Germany so far mostly renowned as musician, who recorded albums such as The Legendary Marvin Pontiac, as leader of The Lounge Lizards, and composer of scores for movies such as Stranger Than Paradise, Fishing with John or Down by Law, he has since his first exhibition in 2004 on top of all made a name for himself in the art world.
Since then Lurie’s work has been exhibited in esteemed galleries throughout the world. His solo museum exhibits include P.S.1. Contemporary Arts Center in New York, Musee Des Beaux-Arts De Montreal, the Musee d' Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg and the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Both the Wadsorth Athenaeum in Connecticut and The Museum of Modern Art in New York have acquired his work for their permanent collections.
With nine prints and two drawings our exhibition will now introduce the artist’s fantastic picture world to the Berlin public.
John Lurie uses mixed media – watercolour, oil, ink pastel in various combinations – for his small scale works full of mystery. They are usually populated with one or two small figures, sometimes man, sometimes animal, sometimes anthropomorphic beings in-between. They have an air of children’s drawings or comics about them and are at the same time of great depth in the way they treat issues, such as sex and violence. Yet again, they are far from any accusation or despair, but usually seem rather cheerful in their subtle colouring. In combination with the surprising, fantastic titles, such as “The Skeleton in my Closet has Moved Back out to the Garden“ or “Three Dentists Think about the same Squirrel“ there is very often another, ironic twist to Lurie’s works. This conjunction of abysmal depth, beauty and humour is one of the outstanding qualities of Lurie’s art.
We hope you will not miss this special event and look forward to welcoming you.