As part of the Gallery Weekend Berlin, Galerie Thomas Schulte presents new works by Juan Uslé paralleled in the Corner Space by a site-specific window painting by Richard Deacon. Both artists open their presentations on Friday, May 1st from 6 to 9 pm.
At the center of Juan Uslé’s exhibition “Mar de Aral” are new, large-format works. Since the end of the 1990s, the Spanish artist has been working, in no particular order, on the series Soñé que revelabas (“I dreamed that you appeared”), which represents the largest coherent group of works within his diverse oeuvre. In it, Uslé's poetic emotional conceptualism comes to light, as the artist not only inquires into the structure of the painterly process within abstraction, but simultaneously allows the subjective experience and feeling to flow into it.
In predominantly black-and-white paintings, which always are created at night, Uslé works with extremely reduced painterly means. Color and ductus are limited to the slightest and the tension of the works results from minimal changes in tonal value and contrasting horizontal layers, slightly differing in brushstrokes. On always vertical canvases, bright streaks of color create highlights on the grey, vibrating chord. Each painting develops from the permanent repetition of a brushstroke, which from line to line fills the surface and provides a distinct transparent planarity. Every mark of the brush is charged with an existential corporeality, as the artist rhythmically transfers his heartbeat onto the canvas.
“Uslé has taken the brush imprint that represents nothing but itself – an invocation of the great historic longing in painting for the absolute absence of mimetic reference, for pictures that do not imitate anything – and turned it into a sort of painterly cardiogram, a work that reflects and responds to the history of painting and may at once be read as a self-portrait in a very elemental sense," Stephan Berg explains in the catalogue for Uslé's exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn in 2014.
Juan Uslé was born in 1954 in Santander, Spain. In recent years he has developed to be one of the most important artists in the international art world. His paintings and photographs have been shown in countless American and European exhibitions. He has had shows in museums such as the Reina Sofia (2003), the SMAK in Ghent (2004), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2004). In 2005 he participated in the 51st Biennale in Venice. In Germany, his works were presented in a retrospective of the Morsbroich Museum in Leverkusen and at the documenta IX. The group of works "Soñé que revelabas" was extensively exhibited in 2014 at the Kunstmuseum Bonn and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela. Numerous catalogues were published about him and in 2002 he won the Spanish national prize for art. He lives and works in New York and Saro in the North of Spain.
The window drawing is a continuation of Deacon’s wall drawings, created in the past decade, of which many were specifically designed and executed for Galerie Thomas Schulte. Twenty five years after incerting drawings into the window frames at the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Deacon returns to the subjet by realizing drawings on glass with his work “Film”.
On the three panes of the display windows of the gallery’s nine meter high Corner Space, Richard Deacon has drawn a grid of closed horizontal and vertical lines with liquid chalk markers in a band, parted by the window frames. The whole work consists of three sequences, colour combination and patterns, forming an array of abstract images. Caught in the linear web, curves delineate a larger spatial body, tapering in the middle and expanding beyond the boundaries of the strip at either end. “Film” not only refers to the purely formal appearance of film strip, but to cinema, an event which unfolds in time. Materially a film is a thin layer – the intermediate zone separating two environments from each other.
Aspects of superimposition and crossfading, which are also elementary themes in Deacon’s sculptures, especially come to light in his window piece. The work, which constitutes a transparent layer between inside and outside, exists as a membrane between the empty interior of the gallery and the public, open space of the city. From the inside of the gallery, looking at the image, the viewer gazes through the drawing onto the outer world, thus being in front of and within the image.
Born in Bangor, Wales, in 1949, Richard Deacon has emerged as one of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors. In addition to his work as an artist, Richard Deacon has held professorships at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and other institutions. Aside from numerous solo shows in museums in Europe, America and Asia, he has participated in many of the most significant survey exhibitions including the Carnegie International, documenta and Skulpturen Projekte Münster. His works may be found in leading collections all over the world, including the Tate Gallery (London), the Centre George Pompidou (Paris), the Reina Sofia (Madrid), The Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover.
Most recently, in spring 2014, his work was presented at Tate Britain in a major retrospective. Currently, Deacon is preparing a show for the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Swizzerland. Deacon is recipient of the 1987 Turner Prize and has been made Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1996. In 1997, he was awarded Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture in France, and was elected a Royal Academician in 1998. The Akademie der Künste in Berlin elected him a member in 2010.