Marcel Hüppauff, Untitled, 2008, Oil on canvas, 33 x 46 cm
Marcel Hüppauff’s show is only at La Maison Jaune and not at the main gallery
Patricia Low Contemporary is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Marcel Hüppauff.
Marcel Hüppauff's giddily monstrous world is a tempestuous parallel for the pure delight of painting - a realm discovery where anything is possible. Ichabod Crane pumpkin heads, gape-toothed scarecrows, and gangly-limbed arachnids (accompanied by a reoccurring mascot of a twee birdie in supporting role as the perpetual hero/victim/harbinger) revel in their horrific invention, sci-fi narratives played out on the unlikely 'screen' of canvas. His sets: 'panned' Transylvanian landscapes, statically rendered 'action scenes', and grizzly 'close ups' ironically staged with the homely efficacy of made-for-TV format; the paint affectedly approximating campy special effects.
Citing influences as diverse as Asger Jorn, Tim Burton, and Old Masters, Marcel Hüppauff's canvases humorously converge high art tradition with pop-culture vernacular, authoring his own eclectic lineage and legend. With their gleefully ghoulish subjects, oil tarnished palette, and moor-ish surfaces, the swarthy ambience of Hüppauff's work is a creeping affair. Ensnaring with raw physicality, liquidy blurs of fixed chaos, violent and desperate scribbles, and encrusted seething globs freeze the moment of pure energy; their power quite literally oozes from the canvas in aggressively tactile veneers.
Construing painting as a performative field, Hüppauff's compositions allude to both his spontaneous process and a theatrical staginess. His midnight blue and yellow palette fuses the dynamic of Rubens and Titian with the chroma-tones of 70s cinema, frenzied brushwork etches out forms with ominous intuition, and movement is conveyed as inert suggestion, carved out in heavy handed styling. Rendered with faux-naïve expressionism, Huppauff's scenes are simultaneous sinister and sympathetic, translating media-induced nightmare into infinitely personable and cuddly neurosis. Dull-eyed zombies, flesh-hungry pirates, and hunchbacked fiends describe an avant garde-ish adventure of making, with all of its avidity, trepidation, and superstitious belief. Like every good ghost story, they seep under your skin, prickling on the liminal edge of imagination and its beaconing indulgence.