Wege in den Nihilismus
Upstream Gallery proudly presents a duo exhibition with new works of German artist Dennis Rudolph (Berlin, 1979) and the worldpremier of a video installation of British artist Mark Titchner (Lutin, 1973).
Dennis Rudolph makes sinister landscapes and dramatic portraits in oil paint or graphics His landscapes can be related to the tradition of the symbolically charged Romantic landscape painting. Auratic sceneries, such as deserted landscapes, expansive skies, mountaintops or rocky coasts and gigantic towers are adjusted to the modern time by the insertion of a modern metropolis, electricity pylons and skies ripped by aeroplanes. But whereas the religious symbolism of for example Caspar David Friedrich’s landscapes can be deciphered, Rudolph’s secular landscapes remain silent and miss allegorical meaning. He appropriates the allegorical image as symbolic representation of universal conceptions of the world (be it mythological or religious). Rudolph reintegrates allegory and symbolism into contemporary art by disposing the image of its religious meaning.
Recently Rudolph developed a special ‘offset’ printing technique. Offset is a medium of the twentieth century and thus starts becoming of interest for artists nowadays. Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. Instead of transferring the image from original materials to printing plates by using a photographic technique Rudolph’s works are painted with offset-plate developer and a brush directly onto the offset plates and then printed in an edition of 2 on an offset proof-printing machine. The result of this technique reminds one of overexposed black and white photos.
The strongest effect in this medium lies in the adaption of baroque art works turning into stunningly modern apocalyptic science fiction visions of a nearby future. Seventeenth and nineteenth century compositions combined with symbols of a highly technoligised civilization.
Starting from studies about Wagners Ring des Nibelungen, the series of works in this exhibition culminates in the allegorical picture of Walter Benjamin's Angel of History. Dennis Rudolph exalts the ninetheenth century Romantic landscape to a contemporary scene with a universal meaning.
In 2012 Rudolph received an important commision to design the posters as well as a large mural work for the opera building of the Bayerische Staatsoper München.Works by Dennis Rudolph have been on show at int.al. La Vallée Patibulaire, Berlin (2011), For love not money, Tallinn Print Triennial (2011), Hallewujah, Apart, Stuttgart & Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlijn (2011), Home Run, Architekturmuseum der TU-Berlin, Berlin (2010) andWaking the Dead, Autocenter, Berlin (2010), Kunsthalle Andratx (2009), Kunstverein Arnsberg (2008), Perry Rubinstein Gallery NY (2008) and Dortmunder Kunsteverein (2007).