Tatjana Doll (Burgsteinfurt, 1970) presents "Recession I I", her second exhibition at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, in Lisbon.
The title chosen for this show implies a sequential relation between the work that was first presented at the gallery ( "Recession", in 2008) and the paintings and drawings composing this exhibition. Concurrently, the title - the use of words - represents a line of thought and reflection within the artist's body of work , in which the titles are an element present in the works that determines their relation with objects, everyday references, or geometric patterns - often graphically striking - that expand, to the viewer, their diverse field of observation.
One of the artworks, titled "PICT_Glasurit", is exemplary of the relational structure built by Tatjana Doll. Glasurit is a particular brand of industrial enamel paint that the artist uses in her paintings. The self-referential relation indicates an affinity for materials - such as spray paint or acrylic - that allow the body to have greater technical versatility when painting. On the other hand, as a semantic tool, language opens up a field of possibilities in the prolific network of meanings occurring between the image and the set of words that compose its title, as it happens in the case of "PICT_Seeds" and "TECHN ICS_Nintendo." Within this complementary relation between word and image, the recent works Tatjana Doll now exhibits traverse an opposite path to the one suggested by her previous show in the gallery. The images represented by the paintings are subjected to a transmutation, sometimes almost spectral, as it happens with the painting "DUMMY_Angelina Jolie", and in other cases fragmented and stripped of their resemblance to the objects or characters they refer to - both in what concerns their scale and proportion, and in their apparent proximity to the real model, or its context.
As it is visible in the drawings, the titles suggest a numeric and temporal seriality, and the word is integral to the work , incorporating seemingly decontextualized references and self-referential memories. "Recession I I" is a provocative exhibition in the sense that it makes us closer to painting (to its haptic dimension) as the artist reflects on the social universe of the images we are permanently faced with (symbols, signs, typography) . Tatjana Doll proposes a confrontation between what is essential in the immediate acknowledgment of a referent and her active capability - as an artist - to distill and transform the symbols of a collective imaginary into fragmented, quasi abstract elements. Within the conceptual framework of this exhibition, painting is a thought process through which pictorial objects are reclaimed by time and action and become autonomous within strong and expressive chromatic compositions, never losing sight of an analytical intention that demands our physical and emotional presence.
Her oversized enamel canvasses of everyday objects put Tatjana Doll's name on the map: Cars, trains, containers, pictograms, babushkas... And yet, the pictures do not show reality. Instead they retain their independence. This is also true of her fine drawings - often done in pencil - that make an interesting contrast to the massive paintings. Although the viewer is immediately reminded of commercial photographs typically seen in fashion magazines, they are disembedded from their "instrumentalization," i.e. the sale of goods. Like the objects in her paintings, Tatjana Doll lends her figures an independent existence. By transforming them into the drawing medium, on the one hand Tatjana Doll reveals the figures' desires and on the other hand she shows precisely what they can trigger in the spectator. At the same time, she exhibits a part of herself, which is cleverly hidden behind the drawn element.
Tatjana Doll was born in 1970 in Burgsteinfurt. In 1998, she graduated from Düsseldor f's Kunstakademie. After working as Visiting Professor for Painting at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee, Berlin (2005-2006) , she was made professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe in 2009-2010. Tatjana Doll lives and works in Berlin.