Meliksetian | Briggs is pleased to present Fractured Memories, Johannes Wohnseifer’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
In this latest exhibition, Johannes Wohnseifer looks back twenty five years to his first solo exhibition in 1995 as a reference point. The very fact that 1995 was twenty five years ago and time has passed seemingly so quickly feels like a “scandal“ to the artist and his latest series of paintings on aluminum are his reaction to this inevitability. In the new exhibition, Wohnseifer continues his critique of consumerism, capitalism and culture using the artistic language of Pop, Minimalism and Conceptualism, repurposing, reusing and co-opting logos, corporate branding, and design strategies to frame autobiographical, historical, political, and fictional data.
The show’s title painting and central reference point uses a rendering of a - mostly redacted - press release from the renowned Berlin gallery neugerriemschneider the site of Wohnseifer’s first solo show in 1995 at as source material, leaving only the gallery details and the phrase “fractured memories,” the composition recalling conceptual art of the 1960’s and 70’s. The monochromatic announcement cards used at the time by the Berlin gallery were designed by artist Jorge Pardo and the exhibiting artists were free to select their own personal color choice for the card. Wohnseifer opted for a fluorescent orange and this special “signal” color of Wohnseifer’s is an emblem that recurs throughout the new paintings in the current show, weaving a thread through time from that initial exhibition.
The nine new paintings (all 2020) refer to Wohnseifer’s childhood in the 1970s, his youth in the ‘80s, and his first public appearances as an artist in the ‘90s. They relate to the construction of memory, how subjective perception makes time pass quickly or slowly and a world subject to constantly changing values.
Wohnseifer uses a range of consumer imagery and references from Cherry Coke, the Rolex “Daytona” and his friend and mentor Martin Kippenberger’s Capri paintings from the early 1980s, to dreams, disco, the latest memes, word play, codes and riddles, all of which are synchronized, consolidated and fused into the new works. Wohnseifer resumes his ongoing series’ of Spam and Bungalow paintings combining these with his most recent series of Password paintings, where images are transformed into text files and fragments of the resulting code are presented in the paintings.
A free signed and numbered edition of 100 prints will be available at the gallery during the exhibition.
Johannes Wohnseifer (b.1967) lives and works in Cologne and Erftstadt, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Johann König Galerie, London, Galerie K, Oslo (with Matthias Weischer), Parkhaus im Malkastenpark, Düsseldorf, and the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne. Group shows over the past few years include exhibitions at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, MARTa Herford, Herford, Germany, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Sammlung Olbricht / me Collectors Room. Berlin, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria among others. Upcoming exhibitions in 2020 include group shows at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and the Kunstverein Braunschwieg, Germany and Wohnseifer’s work is currently view at the Boros Bunker / Boros Collection, Berlin and the Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf (ongoing). Wohnseifer has made numerous artist’s books throughout his career, including his latest, Das Afrikanische Viertel, 2019 published by Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne. Wohnseifer's work is included in major institutional collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Vancouver Art Gallery.