We are delighted to welcome influential German artist Jutta Koether back to DCA, five years after her work was shown in the group exhibition Altered States of Paint, for a solo exhibition of new work. Seasons and Sacraments demonstrates her distinct and powerful style and is inspired by two important series of paintings by the 17th century French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665).
Large painted canvases are presented on freestanding sheets of glass in Gallery 1. Seasons (2012) is a response to Poussin’s The Four Seasons (1660 -1664) which depicts Old Testament scenes representing spring, summer, autumn and winter. Koether’s paintings rework these themes into contemporary representations which are typical of her bold style. This is the European premiere of the series, following its successful debut at the 2012 Whitney Biennial in New York.
Gallery 2 features a newly commissioned series which responds to Poussin’s The Seven Sacraments. Poussin’s paintings depict the sacraments of the Catholic Church: baptism, eucharist, confirmation, marriage, penance, ordination and extreme unction. He created two versions of the work, the second of which was created between 1644 and 1648 and is displayed at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.
Koether reinterprets The Seven Sacraments as a series of dynamic installations. Confirmation presents everyday objects encased in clear liquid acrylic, attached to vast sheets of glass; while Baptism is represented by a painted canvas featuring racing car driver Sebastian Vettel rather than a scene from classical antiquity.
Based in Berlin and New York, Jutta Koether is currently a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. Recent exhibitions include the Whitney and Sao Paulo Biennials, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the VanAbbemuseum, Eindhoven. Seasons and Sacraments is her largest exhibition in the UK to date and coincides with her inclusion the Tate Modern exhibition A Bigger Splash.