The exhibition Seasons and Sacraments will feature a selection of new and recent works by Jutta Koether, one of the most important artists working with painting today.
While Koether’s practice also engages with performance, music and text, and often incorporates unusual materials such as glitter and liquid glass, the history of painting continues to play a decisive role in her work. The exhibition will comprise two large series of works that respond directly to the French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665), a reinterpretation of his The Seven Sacraments reimagined as a series of installations, and Seasons (2012), a response to Poussin’s The Four Seasons. Remembering, repeating and working within a tradition, but deviating and radicalising this tradition dramatically, serves as a working model in Koether’s practice to investigate what it means to be a painter today.
Koether’s version of The Seven Sacraments proposes seven different approaches to contemporary painting: Confirmation presents everyday objects encased in clear liquid acrylic, attached to vast sheets of glass; Penance is symbolised by a contemporary Danish-designed perspex table that resembles Poussin’s depiction of drapery, while Baptism is represented by a painted canvas featuring a racing car driver rather than a scene from classical antiquity. Koether’s response to Poussin’s The Four Seasons is presented on freestanding sheets of glass and was shown at the 2012 Whitney Biennial in New York.