22 Jan - 11 Mar 2007

Anne Wenzel, installation view, Galerie Conrads, Duesseldorf
© Anne Wenzel Untitled 2003, ceramics and wall painting, detail
installation view Alex Mertins, installation view, Galerie Conrads, Duesseldorf
installation view Chris Evans, installation view, Galerie Conrads, Duesseldorf
installation view Fiona Mackay, installation view, Galerie Conrads, Duesseldorf
Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Chris Evans, Fiona Mackay, Alex Mertins, Anne Wenzel

Curated by Walter Conrads and Jochen Weber

The international group exhibition entitled “the subjective object” juxtaposes five more recent artists against the background of formalistic approaches and examines their relationship to an aesthetic appreciation seen from a strongly subjective angle.
The works displayed in the exhibition refer less to the language of form found in modern art, as so often with artists of this generation, but return deliberately to the apparent presence of objects and thus to their own childhood experience.

The interaction of subject and object is not treated out of pure necessity (after all, as a conceptual category of art, the object is always conditioned simultaneously by its own existence and by the dual subjective function of artist and observer), but is raised to the very principle of the work in an active reference to the subjective personality. The process becomes integral to the work.

This subjective subject-object relationship means that the question of the form of the medium is superseded. A formal openness is produced that contrasts with the classical idea of the individual object. And like the medium, the use of the material by these artists also moves from unequivocally readable references to more experimental forms.

Koenraad Dedobbeleer (*1975, Brussels) works with everyday objects or creates objects whose individual elements have an apparent familiarity. His installations, which frequently also include photographs, projections and film and whose dimensions can fill an entire hall, play a highly narrative role. So the individual elements act as words or arguments from which the observer can progress to larger units. However, his narrative offers no final readability.

Chris Evans (*1967, Berlin/London) deliberately muddles the roles of artist and patron, genius and muse.He forges unnerving relationships between arts production and its supposed others, from aristocrats to CEOs to funding board bureaucrats.
In his “Rock“ series, for example, abstract “rocks” made of plaster are combined with figurative drawings.
He asked police officers from around the world to make drawings of judges who had freed the criminals they had arrested through their own investigations. Chris Evans responded to these drawings with these plaster “rocks” as his own form of interpretation.

Fiona Mackay (*1984, Glasgow) only recently graduated from the Glasgow School of Art. She uses her canvas not only in the traditional sense to carry an image but also as a structure for installations. So she often cuts it up, glues it with bits of paper or transforms it into a sculpture by combining it with furniture. The boundaries between the individual artistic media become fluid and any attempt to classify her work in an unequivocal way is driven into absurdity.

The sculptures of Alex Mertins (*1974, Cologne) are usually abstract and combine painting, drawing and sculptural elements. They show an unusual handling of material, as the fiberglass, polyester, resin and sawn wood do not seem to be subject to the laws of gravity but solely to those of the artist himself. The sculptures appear as collections of an artistic process – enclosed in resin.

Anne Wenzel (*1972, Rotterdam) works with figurative ceramic sculptures whose dimensions can extend up to life size. She sets her sculptural ensembles in a painted environment to create installations imbued with a specific atmosphere. Their dimensions build up a personal world that is imbued with the relationship between the observer and its own real content.

The positive response to the exhibitions “cross the line” and “scary tales“ at the Berlin FILIALE in summer 2006 has encouraged us to organize other curated exhibitions from time to time. They are also planned and implemented in close consultation with the invited artists. The third exhibition in this series “the subjective object” focuses on new forms of sculpture.
The impressive installation by Katharina Grosse in December 2005 at the gallery certainly drew our attention more strongly to works with a spatial reference. The stimulating discussions with Jochen Weber about new approaches to installed objects and sculptures made us aware of a field of artistic activity that had hitherto been scantily represented in the gallery’s program. Joint visits to exhibitions and artists’ studios then lead to the final concept of the exhibition. An artist himself and thus interested in current artistic discourse, Jochen Weber has played a major part in planning the exhibition

Tags: Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Chris Evans, Katharina Grosse, Fiona Mackay, Jochen Weber, Anne Wenzel