This spring Gallery Art Forum Ute Barth presents a group exhibition featuring Kevin Finklea (*1958, lives and works in Philadelphia, USA), Lucia Coray (*1957, lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland) and Iryna Pryval (*1987, lives and works in Nuremberg and Munich); artists who share a commitment to both serial and pictorial strategies as the basis of their distinctive individual practices. Seriality, among the most revolutionary techniques of modern art to emerge in the early twentieth century with the painting of Monet, has since been used as an apparatus for the critique of conventional visual expression, methods, materials, compositional schemes, and even the politics of seeing and image. This exhibition focuses on pictorial seriality in the work of three contemporary artists, to highlight the diversity and profundity of work centered on the act of repetition as a stylistic, and hence political device, today.
The manifestation of repetition as both a formal and disruptive act is particularly relevant to American artist Kevin Finklea whose sculptural recycling of material from sculptures goes beyond reuse as a principle, to assert the subversive possibilities of creative assembly. Equally, Lucia Coray's optically destabilising drawings of the human face (the leitmotif of her work since the early 1980's), appear in innumerable variations. What initially began as sign-like elements ranked in strict grid formations, over time evolved into stylized abstract figures, layered together one across another in complex and oblique patterns. Finally Iryna Pryval's uncanny gray, black and pastel-coloured "wrinkle formations" are derived from the abstraction and transformation of baroque draperies: what at first appear playful sequences of folds, quickly assume a darker, unsettling character, stretched out across the walls of the gallery, real yet surreal in their frozen verisimilitude.