The large-scale mixed-media expressionistic paintings and sculptures in Andreas Golder's "da steckt ganz viel dahinter" ("There is a lot behind") owe obvious debts to Francis Bacon and Hieronymus Bosch, but the exhibition's spirit comes from The Rolling Stones. The burning question that crystallizes the intense energy in the Russia-born and Berlin-based artist's gothic paintings is Jagger's own challenge: " If I could stick a knife in my heart/ Suicide right on stage/ Would it be enough for your teenage lust/ Would it help to ease the pain? Ease your brain?" Despite the ghoulish guitar-player in Golder's "Verargerte Jugend" oil on canvas, however, his concern is not with rock-stars themselves, but in asking how much an artist needs to spill his guts to seize his audience's attention.
Golden's three bronze sculptures show rotting skulls frozen in decay. Also monstrous are his six paintings, which each weigh in at 78 x 70 in. and feature figures painted with aggressive, thick brushstrokes over glossy, highly varnished flat black and silver backgrounds. Most of the paintings directly reference Francis Bacon's "Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion," but with even more grotesque flourishes. "Krisenengel mit meiner letzten hose" ("Crisis angel with my last pants") and "schuljungenhumor" ("school kid humour") also feature paint-soiled pairs of trousers and cigarette butts. More cigarette butts are caught in a thick grotesque shiny red mass in the belly of a mangled, longhaired figure dangling in the centre of "Fieses Bild" ("Fieses' picture.") Butts and spattered trousers are staples of studio life. Here they are cries from the heart - symbols of the messy (and undoubtedly unhealthy) life that the artist has taken upon himself to create such compelling work.
--Ana Finel Honigman
(*Images, from top to bottom: Andreas Golder, Krisenengel mit meiner letzten Hose, 2009, Öl auf Leinwand, 200 x 180 cm /78,74 x 70,87 in, Courtesy Arndt & Partner Berlin/Zurich und White Cube, London. Andreas Golder, Verärgerte Jugend, 2009, Öl auf Leinwand, 200 x 180 cm /78,74 x 70,87 in, Courtesy Arndt & Partner Berlin/Zurich und White Cube, London. Andreas Golder, Ausstellungsansicht bei Arndt & Partner Berlin, 2009; Photo: Bernd Borchard.)