In Abstract Overture, Bochenska Gallery and E1 Nation Art projects present their vision on future developments in abstract painting. It will be the first artistic event organized by the Dutch art collector and curator Iwan Yamin. He will present three artists that challenge the way abstract paintings are created,presented and can be interpreted.Through influences ranging from marketing strategies to mimicry and new techniques of reproduction Ronald de Bloeme, Joachim
Grommek and Judy Millar have started a new chapter for abstraction, focusing on visual codes and processes of recognition.
Ronald de Bloeme Abstraction has in part been an ongoing search for a border-free, universal visual language. Started as a utopian effort by the early modernists such as Mondriaan and Kandinsky this search has now transformed into an affirmation and subsequent transformation of existing visual codes. We now live in a society that relies as much on its visual channels of
information as on its lingual and textual frames of communication. Ronald de Bloeme isolates potent visual signals from popular consumer culture and re-appropriates them into an abstract painterly language. This language resembles the colour strategies of the world of marketing. By (digitally) transporting the colour codes of instantly recognizable product wrappings into the domain of abstract painting, he deconstructs their underlying commercial message and reconfigures
them as an attempt at a concurrent understanding of a system of signs. His pieces often resemble computer-glitches and similar distorted imagery. Yet even these 'unreadable'cluttered pieces unconsciously influence us and force certain hardwired visual associations and memories into our mind's eye. Still, his works are not only concerned with questions of interpretation and affect but also represent an unbridled joy in painting and in the unavoidable spontaneous imperfections within a carefully constructed unity of hand painted signs.
Ronald de Bloeme (1971) works and lives in Berlin. In 2007 he has received the prestigious Vattenval Art Prize. His latest solo exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (NL), Hellerau Galerie, Dresden (D), Berlinische Gallery, Berlin, (D). His works are in the collection of Albertinum, Dresden (D), Caldic Collection (NL), Safn Collection, Reykjavik, (IS).
He removes the utopian, supposedly ideal geometrical balance from iconic abstract works and replaces it with fields of simulated chipboard and tape. By doing so he humorously unhinges pieces by Andy Warhol, Mondriaan and Donald Judd. But there is reason behind this insincere
mimicry of his famed predecessors. He wants to add another layer of recognition to these works by not only focusing on the ideas they represent but also on the importance of the materials they use. He does so by meticulously repainting the structure of the bearer and even of making tape in techniques borrowed from the long history of the trompe l'oeil painting. He starts with a blank panel that is painted white, and then repaints the grain of the chipboard and tape on top of it. This
process functions as a denunciation of the almost mythological status of paint as the superior material for abstract two-dimensional works. He makes paint very closely approach the appearance of raw material.
Grommek's works reflect on the autonomous 'images' abstract paintings generating and presenting them as constructed objects. He questions our supposed need for authenticity and uniqueness in contemporary art by making the viewer aware of his or her inability to
spot a reproduction, fake or visual trick.
Joachim Grommek (1957) lives and works in Berlin. His latest solo show was in Stadtische Galerie, Wolfburg (D) and it will travel to several museums in Germany and Switzerland. A monograph of the artist has been recently published by Hatje Cantz. His works are collected among others by Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch (D) & Deutshe Bank
Judy Millar firmly places the abstract painting in the age of reproduction. She takes the painterly gesture - the wild swipe of paint often associated with abstract expressionism - and presents it as an enlarged print placed folded on the floor.
These 'paintings' engage in a two-sided relationship with the architectural space they are placed in by covering a part of it while simultaneously underlining its forms with its folds. Part of the image is lost within these folds so the onlooker neither has a complete overview of the space nor of the work. This way of presentation makes the 'end' product difficult to interpret but does give an apt documentation of the processes of painterly creation. She hides the totality of the piece in its construction, emphasizing the representation of a process. The viewer will never be able to experience Millar`s work as a whole. This partial disclosure of the entire image works as a metaphor for one of the oldest dilemma's in art: what reality - if any - does a work represent, and which does it create for itself? This focus on positive and negative space also becomes apparent in her more traditional twodimensional pieces, in which she simultaneously covers and uncovers multiple, layered paintings on one canvas.
Auckland born artist Judy Millar (1957) has spent the last few years bouncing between a hectic
work schedule in Europe and a hermetic life close to Piha (NZ). In 2009 she represented New
Zealand in Venice Biennale. Her fist solo museum exhibition in Europe will be at the Museum
Gegenstandsfreier Kunst Otterndorf during the summer of 2012. Her works can be found in
public collection such as Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland, SOER Rusche Sammlung, Germany, CAP Collection, Dublin, Ireland.
Written by Emiel van der Pol - Art historian from The Netherlands.