Josef Schulz, schwarz, rot, weiss (detail), 2009, C-Print / Diasec, 131,5 x 100 cm
Opening reception with Josef Schulz: Friday, November 4, 7-10 p.m.
Galerie Wagner + Partner is proud to introduce the first of their experimental dialogues. 'Signs' is a colourful exhibition in the tradition of American pop art that brings together for the first time two very different artists, the photo artist Josef Schulz (*1966) and the artist Georg Karl Pfahler (1926-2002). Starting from the aesthetic appearance of the works, this exhibition discusses anew the well-documented debate on abstraction vs. representation in western art history.
Georg Karl Pfahler is the most well known German representative of Color Field and Hard-Edge painting and was one of the most lauded abstract artists in Germany prior to the re-emergence of the Figurative. The arrangement of space through colour and its geometric composition were central concerns in Pfahlers practice. Simplicity and repetition became his distinguishing mark. His works can also be appreciated as transformed two-dimensional architectural fantasies.
Josef Schulz, one of Thomas Ruffs "Meisterschüler", is showing photographs that take the documentary tradition further through his digital intervention. Schulz's photographs touch on areas of contemporary painting and the starting point of his series "Sign out", like his prior series, "sachliches/formen" (fact/form), is the tangible existent architecture in the images. For this most recent series, large neon billboards along American highways were first documented and then reduced to their core, minus their original typography, to accentuate form and colour.
Extrinsically related, Georg Karl Pfahler remains hermetic in his imagery; in contrast Schulz works referentially as a photographer although through his treatment his photographs disassociate from the 'real'. What remains are autonomous signs. The exhibition invites the viewer to experience these two heterogeneous concepts of objective-formal presentation.