Henning Strassburger (EN)
1. March 2014 – 19. April 2014
What this does
Salon Dahlmann is proud to announce an exhibition of works by Henning Strassburger. With large scale canvases, the Berlin based artist, born in 1983 in Meissen, exhibits his latest body of paintings in conversation with a video space titled #sources, and a so called #material space which interweaves objects, media, and ideological associations.
Strassburger’s work emerges as a kind of balancing act through questioning the tension between image and likeness in the age of electronic media. In a laconic, but simultaneously insistent manner the artist reflects the image-phantasms of a culinary exaggerated morphing-culture. Our culture constantly spits out new Fata Morganas, creating dazzling, artificial paradises, which often turn out to be empty artifacts of a consumer industry. On this threshold, Strassburger’s paintings propose passionate confessions towards a contemporary form of painting.
The #material space illustrates Strassburger’s conception of painting as not necessarily being bound to painting itself. This is personified by a bilious green wig made of synthetic fibers, which can be viewed through the lens of painting as a compression of strokes or as a substrate of a brush weaving. The artist also refers to synthetic forms, which he includes as plastic stripes into his paintings, where they stand equally alongside conventional painterly gestures.
The #sources space shows that contemporary painting as such exists, but can’t be separated from its surrounding world of images. The two videos by Henning Strassburger show that today’s electronic and media images sometimes appear to us as a snapshot and sometimes as movement. They provoke an engagement with questions surrounding artistic work by combining sequences of movement with static moments, as well as mechanically demonstrated operations (e.g. combing hair).
Focusing on the question of what today’s painting is or can be, Strassburger’s work not only employs its material conditions, but also refers to the legacy of its artistic attitude. Strassburger shows a kaleidoscope of dispositions in his Hotel Painting series, printed on transparent banners. They describe the artist as dandy, a nonchalant or sporty aesthete, and as a hedonistic berserk among others, who merely strikes the painter’s pose in front of the strange paintings used as hotel room decor.
Strassburger’s painting is based on an attitude of rejection. The artist has developed a reductive ‘realism’, which denies opulence, special depth, and pathological formulas. His paintings stay committed to their surfaces and are mostly free of figuration or associating objects, familiar spheres, and moods. The color schemes used by Strassburger are also redeemed through the use of the industrial CMYK spectrum derived from print technology, a subtractive color system constructed through inorganic, gaudy and ‘cold’ shades: cyan –blue, magenta, yellow and black.
Referring to a cartoon by Ad Reinhardt, What this does, the artist transforms a question into a statement; in knowing that an artwork manually produced can question and challenge the viewer’s existence, how does painting impact digital image culture?
Henning Strassburger (b. 1983, Meissen) studied at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf in 2006-2009. Recent solo exhibitions include: The Revenge of the Double X Factor (with Hans-Jörg Mayer), Provinz Editionen, Projekte Bochum (2013); indexternal, Soy Capitán, Berlin; I am a Girl, Kavi Gupta, Chicago; So Athletic (with Wendy White), Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz eV Berlin, (2012); SoftiDrink, Kunstverein Heppenheim (2011); Good old configuration, Art Collection German Bundesbank, Frankfurt (2010). In 2013 Strassburger has participated amongst others to the following group exhibitions: Come, Ye All Faithful, Florian Christopher, Zürich; The Digital Divide, Sies + Hoeke, Dusseldorf;In The Studio | Part of ReMap 4, Kunsthalle Athena, Athens; Berlin.Status(2), Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Freie Sicht, Nassauischer Kunstverein; Get off the lawn, Parade Ground New York. He lives and works in Berlin.
Opening hours: Saturdays 11am – 4pm and with appointment
On Saturdays it is also possible to view the private rooms of Salon Dahlmann, as well as the Hans Arp sculpture in the courtyard and the artist studio of Secundino Hernandez at 4pm by appointment.