Jason Gringler – Black Mass / Martin Kobe – dystown
The exhibition, Black Mass, which has been specially conceived for the spaces of the Milan gallery, is composed of a monumental site-specific wall installation entitled Untitled (Biography / Second Version), consisting of a grid of fragmented mirrors forming continuous geometric alternations of positive and negative. It is an intimidating work in which the spectator, by being reflected, becomes part of a convulsive, multidirectional structure and is decomposed, fracturing into full images that recur, interposing a dark void, in a construction that borrows the lexicon of architecture and is lost in a fascinating interplay of minutiae and subtleties, while at the same time being heavy and dynamic. The mirror acts as an access window into the work of Gringler, who distils the urban landscape surrounding his Brooklyn studio, condensing the visual noise of its industrial areas. The exhibition dystown(Martin Kobe) gathers the fruits of the artist’s last two years of work, a production characterised by the meticulousness that distinguishes it. His canvases capture and render the impressions of a man born during the German Democratic Republic, who was able to witness Socialist urban planning during his childhood and has made architecture a fertile obsession. Martin Kobe’s work is likewise influenced by the images of his own collection of architecture drawings, travel photographs and a myriad of historical-artistic references ranging from Piranesi to Bauhaus. Industrial materials such as Plexiglas, mirrors, acrylic and spray paint are sectioned and overlapped in order to render, through reflections of light and abstractions, a disquieting depth on a two-dimensional plane in which the reorganisation of the lines compresses the space and creates new perspectives on the metropolitan environment. The limited palette, with sporadic flashes of artificial colours, also makes reference to the greyness of the factory and the lack of focus of urban life. Gringler borrows an abstract and minimalist aesthetics to contribute to a narration that is manifested in a veiled way through continuous symbolic and iconographic references. The crosses determined by the joints of the frames and the Xs set in the whirling compositions declare the artist’s desire to challenge the traditional access to painted works, harkening back to a primordial language and giving notice of stopping. The result is timeless, visionary images, poised between reality and fiction, frozen into a new metaphysics where architectural forms are limited to suggesting sources, whispering a setting or a building without leaving a any sense of definable recognition of this. The implosion of the multiple vanishing points opens up a labyrinth of suspended façades and converging beams; these intersect, attracting spectators into a flow of space for which the voids are also read as pure surfaces. This process of idealisation of architecture culminates in colour, which increases its artificiality suggesting smooth planes, sometimes interrupted by traces of design and gestural features through which the paint is scraped off to the bare canvas to allow spectators to slide and fall into unresolved areas.
September 27 - October 31, 2012
BRAND NEW GALLERY - via Farini 32, Milan
Image Above: Jason Gringler, Untitled (Black), 2012 , acrylic, plexiglass, spray enamel, collage, broken mirrors, 137 x 122 cm