Skarstedt presents What time is it?, the exhibition of works by three artists presenting the new generation of abstract painters in Germany - Peppi Bottrop, Andreas Breunig and Jana Schröder.
Portraying complex networks of lines and colour fields, each body of work appears to follow its own internal logic, fusing the analytical approach to abstraction with the unpredictability of a single meandering line. Employing inside jokes, personal memories or self-imposed rules in their compositions, the artists avoid overt messaging whilst alerting the viewer to the aesthetic and social context of the present moment.
What time is it? is a question which mimics the evasive intelligence permeating the works of Bottrop, Breunig and Schröder. One of the first sentences one commonly absorbs in an English language class, it is an essential and universal unit of a routine conversation, which simultaneously speaks to some of the most complex issues of human existence. From the notion of historical progress to the nature of time per se, the question in the title also evokes the artist’s distinct methods of renewing the painting from within and evaluating its place in contemporary culture. Straddling the mundane and profound, the phrase invites both an immediate response and extended deliberation, cohering with the visual experience of the works on view
In Peppi Bottrop’s paintings, strokes in charcoal and graphite configure into networks without centre or periphery, which continually lead the eye along their multitudinous pathways. Defined in layers, the lines of varying thickness and velocity seem to follow a rhizome-like growth, registering change over time. Born in Ruhr, once Europe’s largest coal-mining region, Bottrop witnessed the radical transformations of the industrial landscape and the gradual closure of the mines – the memories which he now references in his map-like compositions. In Sorh [Soil of reddish hue] 13 - Devil's Plaything (2021), organic shapes intertwine with metallic grid patterns, evoking a vision of fenced-in fields or strata of the earth. Rejecting the linear concept of time, Bottrop accumulates the traces of systems in motion, constructing ever-evolving topographies situated between personal memories and physical landscapes.
Superimposing energetic gestures in oil with marks in charcoal and drips in acrylic, Andreas Breunig creates vibrant abstraction underpinned by a resolute analytical method. Defying immediate legibility in a seemingly erratic arrangement of strokes, the artist in fact consciously places all compositional elements, eliminating any spontaneity from the process. Working in series, Breunig coordinates available types of abstract strokes, locating meaning in the relationships between them, rather than in individual components. In ‘Sort Cuts’, bright hues of purple, green and yellow which the artist selected beforehand, stage visual connections between multiple works in the series. Referencing the idea of a ‘shortcut’ as a set of commands to secure a specific outcome, Breunig modifies the word, perhaps as an enquiry into a pattern of gestures equivalent to an enthralling abstract image. As the artist explained, “it makes sense if you push the right buttons, but it doesn't make sense at all, if you leave something out. So it's all about the exchange of the marks – each mark doesn't stand for something, just the marks together are within a system.”
In the ‘NEUROSOX’ series by Jana Schröder, layered twisting shapes oscillate between spontaneity and planning, structure and impulse. Executed in a pre-defined range of colours, each painting reflects Schröder’s distinct practice founded on specific parameters that she establishes for each series. Formulating a kind of algorithm or question before starting each work, she continuously negotiates her own rules during the painting process, leaving space for intuition and chance. Rapidly priming the canvas in a monochrome hue, the artist subsequently changes the pace to the measured development of individual shapes. Executed in impasto or opaque colours, the lines are precisely painted evoking the aesthetic of early computer programmes. Presenting spatial constructs of seemingly flat lines, the works in the ‘NEUROSOX’ series anticipate reproduction, negotiating the new mode of painting in the context of digital age.
Peppi Bottrop (b. 1986 in Bottrop, Germany) graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2014, where he studied under Albert Oehlen, Andreas Schulze and Jutta Koether. Recent solo exhibitions include Peppi Bottrop / Robert Janitz, M. Leblanc, Chicago (2022), Eliminate Nature, Pilar Corrias, London (2021), schwarze schraube deutschland, PKM Gallery, Seoul (2021), Going Deeper Underground, Galeria Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid (2020), SABOTAGE, Meyer Riegger, Berlin (2020), How Long is Forgotten, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf (2020), The Birds, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf (2020), Concord, Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo (2019), Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop: Line packers, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (2018). His work appeared in numerous group exhibitions including Different Strokes, Kunstverein Duisburg (2022), La vista y el tacto (ca. 1929-30), Centro Federico García Lorca, Granada (2021), Paint it black, Meyer Riegger, Berlin (2021), 5 Days for 14 Artists, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf (2020), Echo Chambers, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2020), Jetzt! Junge Malerei in Deutschland, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg (2020). His work is included in the collection of Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker; Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Collection Jumex, Mexico City; Hort Family Collection, New York; Hall Art Foundation, Reading.
Andreas Breunig (b. 1983 in Eberbach, Odenwald) attended the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf where he studied under Albert Oehlen. Recent solo exhibitions include TC, Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2022), Adaptability (PRO), Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2022), Adaptability (CONTRA), Nino Mier Gallery, Brussels (2022), inscrutable glade & cleaning projects (Full Circle), Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2021), The Big XI, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2020), PLAY ME HAVE NO PROBS, Kunstverein Heppenheim, Hesse (2020), Body Possibility, Knust Kunz Gallery, Munich (2019), Copy & Waste, Sauvage, Bonn (2019), The Windowing System – as a (hyperstatic) problem, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2019), VOTE (with Jana Schröder), Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim (2018), Hi>°
Jana Schröder (b. 1983 in n Brilon, Germany) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Professor Albert Oehlen. Her recent solo exhibitions include RUDDYSYNC ILILAC, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2022), NEUROSOX – Lapse of Memory, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2021); Mother, Nino Mier Brussels (2021); PPR, Replace Rubens, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne (2020); LORY, T293, Rome (2021), Neurosox, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2020), Jana Schröder, The Early Years, Kopfermann-Fuhrmann Stiftung, Düsseldorf (2020), PHELTIE, Hatalia Hug Galerie, Cologne (2020); Kadlites RS6-17, Rome (2019); Kadlites, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2019), Ecco Gelb, ANMO Art/Cha, Düsseldorf (2018). Group exhibitions include wir sagen uns Dunkles dark things we tell each other, Miettinen Collection, Berlin (2022), ACCESSO (curated by Christian Malycha), Alfonso Artiaco, Naples (2021), Echo Chambers, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2021), Surfaces, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2021), Inaugural Exhibition, Nino Mier Gallery, Brussel (2021), Jetzt!, Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2020). Her work can be found in the collections of Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, LB, Friedrichs Foundation, Bonn / Weidingen, DE, Miettinen Collection, Helsinki, FI / Berlin, DE.