Hamish Morrison Galerie is delighted to present an exhibition of new paintings by Jörg Scheibe. This is his fifth solo show with the gallery.
Scheibe changes medium fluidly: from realism, to abstraction, to collage. A single thread runs through these disparate strands – doubt. His works create a kind of anxiety: the realistic painting that stems from a bad photo, for example; or the “abstract” painting which is in fact a copy of an image rendered abstract by computer software; or the small, chance collages made from the destruction of much larger, carefully planned pieces. His most recent paintings continue this trend. Drawing on sources as diverse as horror films, science fiction, marginalized pop music and classical modernism’s statement, he uses his images to suspend us between spaces and states – either as happy, blinded consumers of his works, or as their subjects, caught inside his frightening painted world.
In the series Garageland, Scheibe re-imagines the modernist notion of the artist as explorer, positioning the artist as “handyman” instead. Like migratory construction zones vague remnants of architectural motifs traverse the series. Cubism and futurism brought multiperspectivity and simultaneity into art, which today, one hundred years later, are givens as status quo. He 'photoshops' found images into complex, proto-modernist digital collages, then faithfully reproduces them in paint. He then “patches” these structures up – like any good handyman would – carrying out temporary repairs to his computer-generated structures and re-introduces them in the manner of traditional painting. The resulting images, like the Cubist works they pay homage to, are caught between abstraction and figuration, a digital analogue’s continuous provisional arrangement. But they also create an alarming distance between the image and its original reality, they construct a course of artefacts in which dwindling forms of modernity maraud – the hills of high culture have eyes.
Garageland is accompanied by a second voice of small format paintings, which focus on the extreme extract, and yet pose the question of correlation. In these and the other works, Scheibe constantly avoids clear resolution or obvious meaning. This can be frustrating; and because his works “fail” to meet our expectations for them, they create a kind of crisis. But this crisis doesn’t belong to the work, or to the artist. It belongs to us, as viewers. Scheibe forces us to examine our preconceptions about image making, and our preoccupations with mass culture. His works are quiet confrontations in an over-exposed, image-saturated world.
Jorg Scheibe was born in 1966 in Ebersbach, Saxony. His work has been shown extensively throughout Germany. He has also exhibited internationally in Milan, Prague, Genoa, New York and Wellington, among other cities. His work is held in several public collections. He lives and works in Berlin.