The three-part exhibition series taking place in conjunction with the Barbara Gross Galerie’s thirtieth anniversary is a gift and at the same time an homage from the artists and curators to the work of the gallerist. The concluding part of the trilogy also adheres to the clear instructions stipulated in the invitation: starting with a set bundle of works previously exhibited in the gallery, Bethan Huws (b. 1961, UK) and Christian Ganzenberg (b. 1980, D) have come up with a new and personal arrangement. Following the two preceding presentations’ focus on the programmatic emphases of the gallery during its early years and its subsequent development, this exhibition now attempts a different approach.
The present selection of works is not concerned with illustrating a thesis. It does not proceed — top-down— from the abstract to the concrete. No, this exhibition aims in the opposite viewing direction –bottom-up — focusing on the special, the subordinated and often overseen, on the details and particular characteristics that inhere in a work. The result is an ahistorical and heterarchical constellation of pieces that yield a kind of “text” in which the individual objects, like words, are joined together in a new syntax. The works’ historical and discursive contexts, along with artists’ biographical backgrounds, recede, making room for us to see and feel the works themselves. In reading this “text,” personal approaches are encouraged; the most diverse perspectives and interpretations are possible.
Via proximity and juxtaposition, certain aspects and links between the works are accentuated: the gentleness and vulnerability of the motifs in Tejal Shah’s and Alicia Framis’s works, for instance, are contrasted with the severity and masculine violence in the pieces by Carlos Garaicoa and Leon Golub. Not only do formal intersections emerge between Marthe Wéry’s concrete color painting, Carol Bove’s sculptural sensibility, and James Welling’s super abstractions; chromatic associations, formal analogies, emotional affinity, and sensual points of contact are the parameters of this session. And although these connections can never be clearly named or reduced to simple statements, the reading of this “text” nevertheless reveals ideational relationships and guiding principles that have also made an impact on the gallery’s unique and multifaceted history.