Johnen + Schöttle

Victor Man

18 Apr - 15 May 2007

© Victor Man
Installation view
Johnen + Schötte, Cologne

Samstag, 18. April 2007, 18 - 21 Uhr
bis 15. Mai 2007
Dienstag-Freitag 10-13, 14-18 Uhr
Samstag 11-15 Uhr

Johnen + Schöttle gallery is pleased to announce Victor Man’s first solo show in Germany. Victor Man is known for his paintings in combination with drawings, photography and objects or even a wall painting. Although all of his pieces function as single objects with their own identity and aura, they appear in various contexts. Out of those to the space related installations he creates an atmosphere in-between nostalgia and secrets, which emerges from the different correspondences between them, without shedding their own impact on the viewer.
Victor Man was born in Cluj-Napoca in Romania where he returned to live after he went to art academy in Israel. In his works Victor Man is dealing with the experiences he makes living in this specific cultural and political disposition of a country that was still under the pressure of the Communist system when Victor Man was born and that decayed and terminated while he grew up. Thus the orientation towards the west was and still is an important component for the formation of his work. It is stressing the limitation of material and resources, the reduced access to information and exchange and although Victor Man is now widely travelling he consciously has chosen his hometown Cluj-Napoca as his permanent place of living. This constitutes a background for the transformation of a pictorial universe that is full of memory, secret and mystery. Reconstructing his dreams and visions he creates a complex system of meanings and references within his individual works as well as within the installations he is activating them.
The contents of the works by Victor Man are generated from a kind of personal image bank, from imagination and observation of how images are originated from abstract forms as well as how abstract forms are contained in figuration. Specific details that would be able to link the image to a certain context are however eliminated, it in contrary shows a mostly absurd or enigmatic situation, which does not get clarified by the co-relation with other works but might be only perceived by approaching it directly. Victor Man’s works thus do appeal to a collective memory and create a disturbance that denotes truth as a question of clues available.
It is the contextual blur that bestows a collective engagement to the works of Victor Man, which makes it impossible for the viewer to take any distance from a potentially clear situation and thus escape from the forces innate to the image. Also the painterly approach of the works by Victor Man do correspond to that, it shows fragmented perspectives and details that are given only partly or do hide their complete shape. The combination of these “paintings of pictures, as Barry Schwabsky has put it in an essay on Victor Man, with found objects stemming from the personal context of Victor Man and containing a special meaning for him does create a hermetic atmosphere that provides space for the imagination of different truths and interweaves them by sharing the identity of its signs at the same time.
Victor Man will participate in this year’s Prague Biennale for Contemporary Art as well as he will be showing at the Romanian Pavilion at Venice Biennial.

Tags: Victor Man