Petzel presents a series of new paintings by Berlin-based artist Corinne Wasmuht, on view at the gallery’s new Chelsea location. The show marks Wasmuht’s fifth exhibition with the gallery.
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Building upon an infinite archive that is at once mnemonic, ephemeral, digital and physical, Corinne Wasmuht’s paintings are experienced in a manner akin to that of waking from a psychedelic dream. What begins as digitally sketched photographs taken by Wasmuht herself as she navigates the landscape of a communal zone or interior structure, such as an airport terminal or a pedestrian sidewalk, are then realized concretely in the form of intricate, labor-intensive paintings in which these spaces are reworked almost to the point of being indiscernible. Converting the colors of her original photographs to achieve a visually stimulating X-Ray effect, Wasmuht hints at barely-there figurations; ghostly silhouettes of corporeal forms emerge from a computerized negative space, like a void or a gap. Digital meets analog on surfaces under which lies the humble foundation of wood, a medium lauded with tradition that points to Wasmuht’s range and mastery of a unique and complex technique, one which involves layering translucent coats of paint and capturing a quality of light that seems to glow from within.
Developing upon previous works such as those seen in her most recent solo exhibition with Petzel—Alnitak of 2015—Wasmuht’s work serves as an ever-growing, forward-moving evolution of her trademark style. It is the concept of perception—the perception of a room or a space, and how we move within it—that is at the forefront of what unifies this series. Along with perception comes the disorientation of time and memory; the way that our brains select certain fragments and images of memories, permanently impressing them upon us for reasons that remain unclear. This selection and repetition is interwoven in the countlessly shredded and reassembled layers of Wasmuht’s paintings, where details big and small are plucked from one painting and duplicated in the next—a tiny fraction of a rainbow, a window, chairs in the waiting area of an airport terminal. As explained by Wasmuht, it is painting itself that is at the core of what inspires her work, and every painting she composes serves as source material for the next, with one image or particle standing out from the rest and thus presenting her with a new idea, a new design for a future composition.
About Corinne Wasmuht
Corinne Wasmuht was born in 1964 in Dortmund, Germany and currently lives in Berlin. Her works deal with issues such as globalization, economic crisis, the proliferation of technology, and modern warfare. Wasmuht studied at the Kunstakademie in Duesseldorf. She has exhibited widely and has had solo exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart (2017); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (2016); Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2014); Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany (2014); Petzel Gallery, New York (2006, 2008,2012,2015); Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (2011); Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2010); Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2009); Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin (2007); Kunstverein Hannover (2006); Kunstverein Bonn (2004); Kunstahalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden (2003). Wasmuht’s work has been featured in group shows at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (2018); Lenbachhaus, Munich (2017); Staedel Museum, Frankfurt (2015); the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); KW Institute for contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo (2010); Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle, Bonn (2008); Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg (2007); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2006); Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden (2006); Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2004); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003); Palacio Conde Duque, Madrid (2001); Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nürnberg (1999); and the Ulmer Museum, Ulm (1996), among many others. Corinne Wasmuht has been the recipient of awards including the Heitland Foundation Award (2009); the August Macke-Award (2011), the Art Award of the City of Offenburg (2011); and the Käthe-Kollwitz-Award (2014).
Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York