Andrej Golder: 35,000 Jahre Salat, eine Zeitreise 27. April 2012 - 16. June 2012

A total of nine new paintings by the Berlin based artist Andreas Golder are on view in the current exhibition at the Michael Fuchs Galerie entitled ‘35,000 years of salad - a journey through time’. In the former assembly hall of the ‘Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule Berlin’ (Former Jewish Girls’ School Berlin) hang two large format painting which serve as our starting point, each portraying a group of six people strung out one after the other; whilst in the adjacent former classrooms individual portraits of the group members are exhibited, as well as a sculpture entitled ‘Dyskolos’. The exhibition’s title ‘35,000 years of salad - a journey through time’ alludes to the history of art, receding back to the oldest examples of human art and also to Golder’s art historical references, which are a constant element in his artistic practice. In this series of paintings he works through the history of Western art, combining various styles, breaking them down and reconstructing them in a unique visual language. The large-scale works are one of five paintings, in which Golder reinterprets ‘The Blind Leading the Blind’ (1568) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/1530 - 1569) and sets himself the challenge in each painting of creating a further compositionally driven image.

Golder’s aim in painting is the decomposition of the historical model and its implementation in his individual artistic practice. These are paintings that acquire their strength through confrontation with the historical motif and the dissolution into individual shapes and colours, surprising the viewer with their expressiveness. Like his historical precedent, Golder breaks with the laws of composition and develops a systematic visual depth that intersects at a series realistic cloud formations. The diagonally slopping path of the figurative and at times seemingly grotesque characters points to the impending fall which Golder dissolves in an abstract explosion of colours. The strength of the individual portraits is based upon the immediacy of the composition and the use of colour. With a variety of stylistic approaches he places the characters upon the canvas, usually sketching with a few brush strokes, creating their shape in combination with pastel tones. The individual figures, and the self-portrait of the artist appear fragmented and sketchy or in the process of defragmentation.

Golder’s Dyskolos appears dominant siting upon the plinth in the hall. The bust of the misanthrope in lacquered clay on a sandstone plinth is far from the idealization of the human image to be found for example in ‘Old Man Asleep’ (1774) by Philippe-Laurent Roland (1746-1816). The alienation of the physical features through the deformation and reduction of the open mouth, nose and eye sockets are typical stylistic techniques found in Golder’s grotesque heads and bodies. The flowing beard and long hair merge into the mass of the formed clay. Golder deliberately uses an almost absurdly fantastical distortion to create a tension between the realistically shaped torso and the disharmonious forms of the head. In the work of Andreas Golder, one finds the grotesque as a unique form of satire characterized by the dualism between attraction and repulsion, fascination and retreat.

Andreas Golder (* 1979) born in Yekaterinburg (Russia), lives and works in Berlin. He studied painting under Daniel Richter, Anselm Reyle and Robert Lucander at the University of the Arts in Berlin. His work is represented in international private collections as well as in European Institutions for contemporary art.

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