Honor Fraser is pleased to announce Für Kinder und Kenner, Tillman Kaiser's second solo exhibition at the gallery, opening Saturday April 2, 6 to 8pm, and on view through May 14.
Für Kinder und Kenner, which translates as for children and experts, is about beauty and harmony, and the balance between the two states (Kaiser is quick to define both as neither kitsch or banal, but essential and difficult to achieve). His process, as painter and sculptor, is both a pursuit of that balance and an exploration of combining contradictions (Surrealism and Bauhaus architecture have equal and opposing influence on his work). The influence of Surrealism, Dadaism, Constructivism and more specifically the work of Duchamp, is evident in the ready-mades he incorporates or uses as source material. Past work has been informed by items as disparate as black glass, photos of Thai religious ceremonies, Italian colored pencils, and actors from Nigerian soap operas. This exhibition is rooted in the conceptualization of a childrens Austrian television show, symmetrical religious architecture, Austrian schoolbooks, and found drawings. The forms Kaiser manifests from these notions are unassumingly volatile, inventive, and confident in their purpose.
Für Kinder und Kenner presents new work in 3 different genres; sculpture, painting, and an editioned wallpaper work. The wallpaper creates context and sets the stage for Kaiser's subjects, the paintings and sculptures in the exhibition. Kaiser has enlarged a found photo of a church organ, abstracting the appropriated image. He then reiterates the abstracted shapes in the sculpture and paintings, marking Für Kinder und Kenner's narrative with a steady rhythm of formal repetition and variation. The underpinning is his sculpture, and like Kaiser's early sculptural works, it evolves from an existing building, but pushes fearlessly away from representation. Although rooted in post-modern architecture and minimalist form, Kaiser's sculptures emanate an aura of the future. Employing a subtracted pallet of only black and white he creates hard, protruding edges and angular lines with less durable material such as cardboard, which in turn emphasizes his interest in form over function. With his use of egg tempera, and pencil on canvas the paintings Kaiser presents could be the crystallized exhalations of the sculpture; hard-edged forms appear soft, delicate yet deliberately defined in silkscreen.
Tillman Kaiser was born in Graz, Austria. He received his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1998. He has had solo exhibitions at the Belvedere in Vienna, Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna, and Neue Galerie Graz in Graz, Wilkinson Gallery in London. Kaiser has been included in exhibitions at institutions such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, and the Saatchi Gallery in London.