The artists on show explore the great potential of the grey colour. The large spectrum of paintings on view exploit a wide variety of compositional and material strategies.
Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present Always There, a group exhibition in two parts featuring grey paintings by Haluk Akakçe, André Butzer, Günther Förg, Mark Grotjahn, Arturo Herrera, Sarah Morris, Frank Nitsche, Albert Oehlen, Yves Oppenheim, Richard Phillips, Michael Raedecker, Anselm Reyle, Kay Rosen, Kelley Walker and Christopher Wool.
The colour Grey has long been a stimulating source of inspiration for artists as far back as the 15th century and as recently as Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter or Brice Marden. The neutrality of grey provides artists with the opportunity to experiment with form in the absence of colour, an act both self-effacing and ambiguous. Never monotonous, it can also be described as the most subtle colour.
In Always There, the artists explore the great potential of this achromatic colour. The large spectrum of paintings on view exploit a wide variety of compositional and material strategies. From the metamorphosis of colours into grey as in a black and white reproduction within Richard Phillips’ painting Chastity (2007), to the veiling effect of Albert Oehlen’s sober range of tonal values, to the explicit use of tactile materials and texture with Arturo Herrera’s felt, Günther Förg’s lead, Michael Raedecker’s broidery, Anselm Reyle’s silver foil or mirrors and Haluk Akakçe’s wood relief.
By avoiding a colour situation and opting for this so-called neutral hue, these artists are deliberately emphasizing the material they are using, resulting in an inexhaustible range of possibilities. Förg, Butzer, Oehlen and Herrera have regulary alternated series of grey works with those in colour and, in Oehlen’s case, black and white. Raedecker often reduces his palette to an exploration of grey. In Christopher Wool’s paintings we witness a modification of black and white by the use of solvent producing de facto grey with lines he paints and erases on top, thus creating a dynamic tension. In Kelley Walker’s recent brick painting Untitled 2008, subtle striated bounds of pixilation mechanically reproduced from printed source lead to a surimposition of graphic accumulation. Kay Rosen’s grey option illustrates an economy of colour which parallels the restrictive language that constitutes the subject of her paintings.
For Frank Nitsche, grey is a constant. In his painting, EGO-01-2008, colour effect takes place among numerous other elements where monochrome areas are symbolically related to complex tangles of movement.
Colour experimentations form the basis of Sarah Morris’, Yves Oppenheim’s and Mark Grotjahn’s practices. Each contributed paintings executed in grey tones for this exhibition. In Anselm Reyle’s Untitled (2008) vertical stripes of paint, mirror and silver foil, in equal parts and relentless repetition, form the composition of his mixed media painting that evokes abstract painting styles and techniques.
Always There juxtaposes diverse means of working with grey in order to analyze, define and deconstruct this non-colour. Accompanying the exhibition will be a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian Gudrun Inboden.
Always There I: 8 – 29 March
Haluk Akakçe, Günther Förg, Mark Grotjahn, Sarah Morris, Frank Nitsche, Yves Oppenheim, Anselm Reyle, Kelley Walker
Always There II: 4 – 26 April
André Butzer, Arturo Herrera, Albert Oehlen, Richard Phillips, Michael
Raedecker, Kay Rosen, Christopher Wool
Galerie Max Hetzler
Zimmerstrasse 90/91 - Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 6 pm