Paul Pretzer, Charles und Eddie, 2012
oil on canvas, 130 x 95 cm
Foto: H.G. Gaul
Hamish Morrison Galerie is pleased to inaugurate its new gallery space with an exhibition of the latest works by Dresden-based artist Paul Pretzer, entitled Dr. Kloffkoloschs Rache [Dr Kloffkolosch's Revenge]. This is Pretzer's fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. At the end of last year, he had his first solo show in New York.
Paul Pretzer's works open up a playful world for our thoughts and fantasies. We enter a world that is peopled by humans and animals, but also by a wide range of hybrid creatures. It is quite possible to encounter a figure that has branches growing out of its neck, where one might have expected a head. Even though our habits of seeing are jarred, the surreal motifs Pretzer presents frequently seem oddly familiar. This may be due to Pretzer's skilful references to art history, or to his amalgamation of various motifs and figures into scenes that might originate from a dream or a fable, or indeed from our collective memory of images.
In his latest works, Pretzer's recent tendency to use larger formats is once again evident. His paintings seem like portraits - Pretzer devotes great care to his motifs, like a portrait painter who needs to study his sitter and dissect his features and traits.
The beholder already familiar with the artist's work will recognise variations of already familiar figures, scenes, or environments. On second sight, we recognise faces that seem to cry or wail, some with open mouths, in the cloud-like formations of the dark background in front of which the Queen of Tears' is enthroned. In the painting `Dr. Kloffkoloschs Rache´ the strange, masked man with the red costume and large scissor-hands returns. Standing before a relief-like background, he looks at something behind the beholder, with a surprised expression, almost as if caught in the act. All of a sudden, there are a lot of associations, questions, and ideas. And just as we may ask many questions of these paintings, they seem to pose many questions to us.
Paul Pretzer was born in 1981 in Paide, Estonia. After graduating with a MFA from the Dresden Hochschule für Bildende Künste, he has established himself as an exciting young painter in Germany. His works have been shown in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and most recently in his first New York solo show entitled The Seventh Skill at Marc Straus. This year, he will exhibit once again in New York and Vienna. Pretzer is the recipient of several prizes and stipends. His works are in numerous collections, including the Rubell Family Collection, the collection SØR Rusche, the collection of Bundesbank Dresden, and the Städtische Galerie Dresden. Paul Pretzer lives and works in Dresden.