Klodin Erb, Die Familie, 2009/10, Oil on canvas, 200x160cm
It is with great pleasure that we inaugurate our new space* with a solo exhibition featuring Klodin Erb (born 1963 in Winterthur, Switzerland).
The paintings by the Swiss artist Klodin Erb deal with approximations - with the associative networking of our current perceptual world within our cultural and art-historical collective memory. Painting in her works is manifest as both an artistic instrument and an object of investigation. As she says herself, she practices "painting as trial". Paintings hereby come about that at first glance we believe we've seen before. For they show objects and episodes that are supposedly familiar to us: a lamp like CÚzanne painted it, a pitcher as seen in a Delacroix, a living room like Alberto Giacometti captured on canvas. Conjuring up such painterly echoes is an essential feature of Klodin Erb's artistic quests. "I want to exhaust everything between Salon painting and free figuration," says the artist, who from a number of art-historical props chooses a precise vocabulary for her cheeky and direct expression that she quite consciously applies directly to the canvas with no preliminary sketch.
This conceptually declared balance between rapid gesture, painterly signature style and post-postmodernist concept embodies an independent and contemporary treatment of painting that is fused into enigmatic picture worlds and located quasi in a classical here and now. Klodin Erb shows us young people who flick through their iPod sound-inspired dream worlds and have the same sunk-in-thought look as Caravaggio's "Boy with a Basket of Fruit". With a few swipes of the brush, she slaps on the canvas a Baccarat vase that served as decoration for a shooting for the fashion magazine "Vogue", but to connoisseurs can be unmistakably identified as a chinoiserie relic from the French Third Republic and the Paris World's Fair from 1867. It is these cultural processes of shifts and transitions that stand at the center of Klodin Erb's painterly studies: the charismatic transformation in paint of themes and images that are, simultaneously, from yesterday, today and tomorrow - painting in permanent potentiality.
Text Christoph Doswald (from the German by Jeanne Haunschild)
We are looking forward to seeing you!
Sabina Kohler & Bettina Meier-Bickel
*After two-and-a-half years at Rotwandstrasse 53, Rotwand is moving on, around the corner, and is opening a new and larger gallery that sports an industrial flair right in the midst of the extrovert Aussersihl Quarter at Lutherstrasse 34 in a building built in 1894. The gallery room - the former site of an ice-box factory, later the domicile of an electrical supply wholesaler and lastly of a parquet company - offers the artists of the gallery new and attractive possibilities for exhibiting. With its window front that opens onto a quiet little park and a salon that faces the back courtyard, the new location invites its visitors to linger, hold discussions and philosophize.